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Here on the blog, we aim to help business owners and HR professionals around the country best understand the current landscape of the background check industry. We are seasoned and invested in the industry, which is always changing. You can count on our blog to always give you a good idea of what you need to know when important stories pop up around background screening and drug testing. 

Today we wanted to touch on a recent report that talks about how changes to Federal Drug Testing have impacted the number of truck drivers in the supply chain. 

Not Enough Drivers

According to government data, since January of 2020, 72,000 truck drivers have been taken off US roads because they have failed drug tests that are now required by the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. This has had a domino effect on the US supply chain. 

Why the Drop Off?

According to several sources quoted in this NY Post article, the new stipulations put in place with the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse have made thousands of job applicants “unhirable.” If and when a driver finds themselves in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s clearinghouse, they are ineligible to drive. If someone fails a drug test, employers are required to report the data to the list. The list is in place to keep other motorists safe, and the enforcement is working. 

Prior to the registry, employees were “job-hopping.” according to Steve Keppler, co-director of Scopelitus Transportation Consulting. 

“Before the clearinghouse, there were situations when drivers were testing positive and were job-hopping. They wouldn’t report their previous employer, so a carrier wouldn’t pick up on the positive test. The clearinghouse has stopped that from happening.” 

Read More – NY POST – Full Story

State & Federal Drug Test Laws

As we’ve mentioned here on the blog, the slow rollout of the recreational legalization of marijuana in various influential states has also put a cog in the wheel. The federal data shows that a whopping 56% of clearinghouse violations are attributed to marijuana. As marijuana can stay in your system for up to 30 days, many have argued that this does not accurately reflect whether a person is driving under the influence. This could be part of the reason why drivers who land on the registry choose not to complete the optional “return to duty” program. 

“Drivers who land on the registry can get off the list if they complete a “return to duty” program, but so far the vast majority, 54,495 violators, have not started the program — and likely will not, experts say.”

Not many people consider drug testing and background screening to be at the top of the list when it comes to the economy, but stories like this are eye-opening. Regardless of your industry, properly screening your employees has a huge effect on business operations. 

We see this impact at the smallest scale of newly launched small businesses, all the way up to the federal regulatory industry like the trucking supply chain or health care industry. Having the right people for the job includes ensuring they are the safest and most honest people for your company. 

Having a proper background check policy, in addition to an up-to-date drug testing policy is more important than ever heading into 2022. 

If you have any questions about your company’s current background screening policy, or just want to ask a question, please don’t hesitate to reach out via our contact form or give us a call! We always have a professional ready to answer any questions you may have! Have a great week!