Legislative Alert - Thursday, February 16th, 2017: DHHS and DOT Expanding Drug Testing Programs
- Federal Drug Testing Changes
- Correspondence School or Diploma Mill?
- Credit Card Chips: Not Making Things Better
Federal Drug Testing Changes
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) are making moves to expand their drug testing programs. First, in an effort to maintain drug free workplaces, the DHHS has issued new mandatory guidelines that allow federal executive branch agencies to perform additional testing for four additional Schedule II opioids (hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone). The new guidelines also make small changes like lowering cutoff levels when looking for adulterated drug testing samples. Federal employees will be allowed to give an oral fluid specimen if they are unable to provide urine for the test. These revisions go into effect on October 1, 2017.
The DOT is proposing changes that would also add the same four opioids to its drug testing panel and adjust some of the testing criteria. The notice of proposed rulemaking will bring the DOT’s regulations in line with revised DHHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace drug testing programs. Comments on the proposed rulemaking will be accepted until March 24, 2017.
Correspondence School or Diploma Mill?
The Stratford Career Institute has settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for allegedly selling high school “diplomas” that failed to meet even the most basic requirements. Tons of consumers complained because colleges, universities and even employers refused to accept them saying they were not equivalent to a traditional high school diploma. Under the settlement, Stratford will have to tell students that their diploma might not be recognized, and they are required to let students cancel if they wish. They are also not allowed to make any false claims about their high school equivalency programs. Due to the company’s financial hardship, they have only been required to pay a small fraction of the $6.5 million judgement against them.
Credit Card Chips: Not Making Things Better
Remember when you had to get all new credit cards so you would have that little chip to protect you from identity theft? Well, after all the money banks and retailers dumped into the project, it turns out identity fraud cases have gone up since the switch about a year and a half ago. A new study from Javelin Strategy & Research found that fraud rose by 16% -- or $700 million -- in losses more than the year before the chips debuted. Why? Experts suggest that the criminals have just taken their illegal actions online. Once you have a credit card number, you can use it anywhere. Plus, in Europe, the chips also required the card holder to put in a PIN number when using the cards. The U.S. only instituted half of the system.