Legislative Alert: DOT Drug Report | ICE Arrests | Lab Harshly Fined [Video]
- Failed Drug Tests Skyrocketing
- ICE Raid Leads to Hundreds of Arrests
- Cheating Lab Pays Huge Fines
Failed Drug Tests Skyrocketing
The effects of the much talked-about opioid crisis can be clearly seen in a new report from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. A study found that the number of failed drug tests among pilots, railroad operators, bus drivers and others in safety-sensitive positions has jumped 77% since 2006. The recently released report found “significant gaps” in the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) drug and alcohol testing program. The six-month review found that the DOT needs to revise its regulations to close these gaps. Some of those recommendations are to focus more on marijuana as its use becomes more prevalent, and to require more stringent drug testing of aircraft maintenance personnel. The committee also recommends that the DOT provide annually updated drug and alcohol positivity rates for each mode of transportation.
ICE Raid Leads to Hundreds of Arrests
Last week we told you about US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids being conducted in California. The numbers are in, and we now know agents raided more than 120 businesses and arrested 212 illegal immigrants. Of those arrested, 88% were convicted criminals. Many of the others were already going through deportation proceedings. According to an ICE spokeswoman, the goal of the audits is two-fold: punish employers for hiring illegal workers and discourage more illegal immigrants from crossing the border to look for work. California law now requires employers to notify their workers if they have been given a notice of inspection. One raided business said 15 employees stopped showing up for work after the notification.
Cheating Lab Pays Huge Fines
Boston-based Precision Testing Laboratories, Inc. will pay more than a million dollars in fines after an investigation by the Attorneys General from Massachusetts and Connecticut found the lab was bilking clients for unnecessary tests. According to an investigation by the two states, the company was pushing drug treatment centers and sober houses to use a urine drug test that was several times more expensive than what was necessary. This scam costs the states’ Medicaid programs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The company will now pay $400,000 to MassHealth and $657,000 to Connecticut for their part of the settlement. The lab is also banned from participating in each state’s Medicaid program for 10 years.