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MarlieJane
June 4th, 2010, 03:18 PM
I just graduated from college and accepted a job offer for my dream job. It is exactly the work I want to be doing and offers a high salary, and I am so excited to get started. As part of the hiring process I am required to take a physical and a hair drug test. For the hair test, they will have to cut off a chunk of my hair (at least the diameter of a pencil) as close to the root as they can. I'm not a drug user so I don't have any problem submitting to a drug test, and I realize that they won't be cutting off a ton of my hair or anything, but I'm not thrilled about having one chunk of my hair cut that short.

I'm wondering if anyone here has taken a hair test before and can tell me what part of the head they usually take the hair from. Or, does anyone have advice about where I should suggest they take the hair from to make the short spot less visible? I'm thinking somewhere in the back-middle of my hair would be best, but I'd love to hear some input. Thanks! :-)

heidihug
June 4th, 2010, 03:24 PM
What??!! That's unheard of in the US, unless you are working for the CIA or FBI, I might imagine. Perhaps some of our Canadian members can shed light on this practice. I took drug tests when I was hired 4 years ago, but if they had told me I had to give them a huge hunk (seriously, that's a huge hunk) of my hair, I may have contacted a lawyer for advice.

Well, if you're willing to do it, I would say in the middle of the back of your head.

Seriously, though...

HintOfMint
June 4th, 2010, 03:35 PM
I must disagree with heidihug, it is not so unheard of in the US. Not only do many major governmental agencies besides the FBI and CIA do it, but a lot of multinationals, and it is becoming more common as it is a more reliable and comprehensive drug test.

I would say middle back of your head, although if you wear half ups, keep in mind where you make your part and don't have them cut there.

Congratulations on the job though!! That is marvelous news! And to get your dream job right out of college!

Cleopatra18
June 4th, 2010, 03:36 PM
i agree on the middle of the back of your head,that way it wont show in an updo or when you wear it down.It is such an extreme thing to do though..

spidermom
June 4th, 2010, 03:39 PM
That seems like such an invasion of privacy! I can understand a urine or even a blood test to be sure you aren't using drugs now, but they want to know about a year ago, 2 years ago, and so forth. This puts people who have gone through rehab at another disadvantage that not all of them deserve.

Islandgrrl
June 4th, 2010, 03:40 PM
Diameter of a pencil? That's a good lot of hair.

I agree with the others...somewhere in the middle back where it won't be obvious.

ETA:

That seems like such an invasion of privacy! I can understand a urine or even a blood test to be sure you aren't using drugs now, but they want to know about a year ago, 2 years ago, and so forth. This puts people who have gone through rehab at another disadvantage that not all of them deserve.

At least those who maintain long hair.

What do they do, I wonder, for bald people?

jaine
June 4th, 2010, 03:42 PM
Maybe you could pluck enough hairs for them to make a pencil-sized clump? Would that work? That way you could at least spread it out over your head so you don't have stubbiness as it grows back in.

ETA: In hindsight, they will probably want to be present for this to verify that it's your hair. I wouldn't pluck anything in advance in case they don't accept it!

invisiblebabe
June 4th, 2010, 03:46 PM
Hmm... very strange. I've taken urine drug tests before, but never that. And, how would it even work on dyed hair?

jera
June 4th, 2010, 03:47 PM
Is it too late to tell them this is against your religion? They can't do this to you if you tell them that. Agree to blood and urine tests, but tell them to remove your hair is a no go.

Also congrats on graduation. :)

StarryNight
June 4th, 2010, 03:56 PM
It isn't unheard of. I was working for a fuel company at a truck stop and I had to have a hair test done when they wanted me to go from a temp to full time. I declined. A crappy truck stop job was not enough to get me to shave a square inch (which is what they asked for!) of hair. But if that is your dream job, the hair will grow back . :)

OperaTeacherMom
June 4th, 2010, 04:01 PM
A square inch??? Dude, that would be a LOT in my fine thin hair!

I agree, try the religious exemption, and if that doesn't work, ask if you can get them to take tiny bits from a few places around the middle/back of your hair; that will be better than taking it all from one spot.

If it is really your dream job, you should definitely do it!

masa_inn
June 4th, 2010, 04:02 PM
Is it too late to tell them this is against your religion? They can't do this to you if you tell them that. Agree to blood and urine tests, but tell them to remove your hair is a no go.

Also congrats on graduation. :)

I wouldn't do that. Might look like a refusal to take the test :(

HintOfMint
June 4th, 2010, 04:02 PM
That seems like such an invasion of privacy! I can understand a urine or even a blood test to be sure you aren't using drugs now, but they want to know about a year ago, 2 years ago, and so forth. This puts people who have gone through rehab at another disadvantage that not all of them deserve.

Actually, they only test 2.5 to 3 inches of the newest growth, so the hair closest to your scalp. They don't test beyond that and if you have longer hair than that they don't test down to the ends. They would have a major legal problem if they did because then it would be really unfair to most women who may have the same drug histories as men but the men have gotten rid of the evidence thanks to gender conventions in hair lengths.

masa_inn
June 4th, 2010, 04:03 PM
LOL! I just came up with a solution, but it's kinda naughty... :lipssealed::lipssealed::lipssealed:

HintOfMint
June 4th, 2010, 04:08 PM
What do they do, I wonder, for bald people?

They pluck body hair which grows at a slower rate. If there is no body hair, then you are disqualified.

I don't see this as a bigger invasion of my privacy than a blood or urine test. It just happens to be most accurate. Like I said before, since they only test the inches of your newest growth, it is only the last few months of your life. Actually, I may have mispoke for the 2.5 to 3 inches length. It could possibly be shorter because I remember hearing from a friend that they only want 3 months of history, which works out to only an inch and a half.

MsBubbles
June 4th, 2010, 04:09 PM
Good idea about the religious-reasons thing.

When I got hit in the head last year with a golf ball, the abrasion was about the thickness of a pencil and I lost about that much hair. I have very fine, thin hair and didn't even notice it. This was above my parietal lobe (side, towards the top and back).

jera
June 4th, 2010, 04:09 PM
I wouldn't do that. Might look like a refusal to take the test :(

No, because she'd agree to blood and urine tests. Also why can't they just shave an armpit and use that hair? :D Nobody wants hairy pits anyway. I know, I know it's because they're testing to see if drugs were in the system a long while ago and armpit hair is too short.


LOL! I just came up with a solution, but it's kinda naughty... :lipssealed::lipssealed::lipssealed:

I know what you're thinking. :eyebrows:

HintOfMint
June 4th, 2010, 04:16 PM
Blood and urine tests don't cover as long of a time period as the hair test. So yes, refusing to do it would be suspicious and she may not get the job.

Honestly, you described it as your dream job with a really high salary. I graduated a year ago and watched many of my talented, brilliant and accomplished friends languish in unemployment or jobs that weren't what they wanted for their career.

Try to see if they can cut from hairs scattered across your head, so there's no "drug test stump" of sorts. But don't try to get out of the hair test entirely. Please have some perspective.

trolleypup
June 4th, 2010, 04:16 PM
You know, I would be tempted to have them cut from some place really obvious like the forehead...and then I would bleach and dye that patch and get a tattoo of the company logo there...and shave it off each work anniversary.

Actually, they probably wouldn't want to hire someone with my attitude, nor would I want to work for a company with that sort of policy or culture. And I don't. And I haven't. Drug testing...sure, whatever...breath or urine[1], but I will give my employer points for not caring about much other than whether I show up and do the job.

I always wonder what they do about people who apply with pixies or buzz cuts or alopecia or baldness. Jeez...if you did drugs, just cut your hair before your apply...duh!

[1] And hey...if I work a regular 8 hour shift, I can get in 8 hours of drinking before I stop so I can get legal! Honestly...I'd worry more about people who go directly from work to the bar than possible hair testing results...any drug user would just keep their hair short so any positives would end up on the floor.

masa_inn
June 4th, 2010, 04:18 PM
Blood and urine tests don't cover as long of a time period as the hair test. So yes, refusing to do it would be suspicious and she may not get the job.

Honestly, you described it as your dream job with a really high salary. I graduated a year ago and watched many of my talented, brilliant and accomplished friends languish in unemployment or jobs that weren't what they wanted for their career.

Try to see if they can cut from hairs scattered across your head, so there's no "drug test stump" of sorts. But don't try to get out of the hair test entirely. Please have some perspective.

Very well said.

Beatnik Guy
June 4th, 2010, 04:23 PM
If I remember corectly, heidi w was asked to do this and was able to agree an alternative with her employer. I think there's a thread here or on the archive board -- or maybe Heidi will stop by herself.

trolleypup
June 4th, 2010, 04:25 PM
LOL! I just came up with a solution, but it's kinda naughty... :lipssealed::lipssealed::lipssealed:
Ahahahaha!

They pluck body hair which grows at a slower rate. If there is no body hair, then you are disqualified.
Hmmm...no cancer patients need apply, nor alopecia sufferers...well, I think you could hit them with ADA for that.

I don't see this as a bigger invasion of my privacy than a blood or urine test. It just happens to be most accurate. Like I said before, since they only test the inches of your newest growth, it is only the last few months of your life. Actually, I may have mispoke for the 2.5 to 3 inches length. It could possibly be shorter because I remember hearing from a friend that they only want 3 months of history, which works out to only an inch and a half.
3 months...:rolleyes: Anyone who can't stay clean for three months is going to be positive for post-employment testing eventually...unless they don't do randoms...*sprains eyeball*

If I remember corectly, heidi w was asked to do this and was able to agree an alternative with her employer. I think there's a thread here or on the archive board -- or maybe Heidi will stop by herself.
Or they may not...this sort of testing of new hires just makes me think of the boss putting a boot print on your shoulders.

HintOfMint
June 4th, 2010, 04:42 PM
3 months...:rolleyes: Anyone who can't stay clean for three months is going to be positive for post-employment testing eventually...unless they don't do randoms...*sprains eyeball*

I completely agree. It's a part of being an adult. When it comes time for the job hunt, it is time to put away the doobie :p

Some are treating this as an invasion of privacy, but don't feel that way about other forms of drug testing that involve NEEDLES and BODILY FLUIDS. :rolleyes:

Sure there is a privacy argument to be made, regardless of the method. And there is an argument to be made that if you agree to work with a company or agency, they can choose the conditions under which you work. Of course one can argue that casual usage of pot in no way affects one's work performance and should be legalized anyway. These issues have been hashed out ad-frickin'-nauseum.

For all immediate purposes, yes, to get a job, you need to keep it clean, and yes, employers have the right to enforce that. While there are exceptions such as chemotherapy patients, alopecia sufferers and whatnot, they remain EXCEPTIONS to be dealt with on a case by case basis. They don't change a reliable method with which the rest of us must deal with.

Magicknthenight
June 4th, 2010, 04:47 PM
Congratulations on graduating college!
Is their anyway you would just be able to collect some of your shed hair? That comes out when you brush/comb? Then you can just put that together and give it to them..since that hair would have came out anyway? At least then you wouldn't have to have it taken from so close from one spot. How often would they want to do that?
I dunno if i would want to take any job where i walk out with less of something on my body then i walked in with. Though i guess it would grow back eventually. That's just my opinion though..and it sounds like you really want this job. Perhaps offer other blood/urine tests as well as the shedding hair? Though I'm not sure they'd accept shed hair. Its pretty easy to accumulate though :o
Good luck!
ETA: After a few months maybe it would just blend in with the rest of your hair

ravenreed
June 4th, 2010, 04:48 PM
When I applied at a casino they wanted to do a witnessed urine test. I cannot go in company. I offered a blood test, even though I am terrified of needles and I offered a sample of hair. The employer refused. End of story.


No, because she'd agree to blood and urine tests. Also why can't they just shave an armpit and use that hair? :D Nobody wants hairy pits anyway. I know, I know it's because they're testing to see if drugs were in the system a long while ago and armpit hair is too short.



I know what you're thinking. :eyebrows:

RavennaNight
June 4th, 2010, 04:50 PM
That seems like such an invasion of privacy! I can understand a urine or even a blood test to be sure you aren't using drugs now, but they want to know about a year ago, 2 years ago, and so forth. This puts people who have gone through rehab at another disadvantage that not all of them deserve.

Ummm yeah. I find it odd because let's say one has classic length hair, and they are 30 years old. They may have took acid (that stays in the hair samples) when they were in high school or college, and it is being held against them. This must be some serious type of work to require them knowing if the employment candidate was a wild child back in the day. :ponder:

RavennaNight
June 4th, 2010, 04:56 PM
Actually, they only test 2.5 to 3 inches of the newest growth, so the hair closest to your scalp. They don't test beyond that and if you have longer hair than that they don't test down to the ends. They would have a major legal problem if they did because then it would be really unfair to most women who may have the same drug histories as men but the men have gotten rid of the evidence thanks to gender conventions in hair lengths.

Poops I missed this.
(note to self: read whole thread next time :lol:)

angelthadiva
June 4th, 2010, 05:15 PM
At least those who maintain long hair.

What do they do, I wonder, for bald people?

They gather hair from other...Places :eyebrows:


Good idea about the religious-reasons thing.
<snip>

I do not recommend lying to a potential employer; especially using a religious conviction as grounds. Not only would you be a liar, you also would jeopardize your credibility in the future...Let's say if she ever decided to get a hair cut...

I once worked for an employer who had hair testing as part of the pre-employment drug screen. My hair was quite long at the time, but not nearly as long as it is now. The gal (nurse) who collected my sample was very kind and allowed me to select where she could take the sample from. I chose a spot from the back under several layers to make it less noticeable.

There was a guy who found out about the drug testing and removed ALL of his body hair (everything from everywhere)...They hired him, but gave him 30 days to submit to the drug test. They had to clip it from his pits. His "story" was that he was a body builder (he's not).

MarlieJane
June 4th, 2010, 06:17 PM
Thank you all for your responses and input. I am already loving this forum! :-)

I think it is completely reasonable that my employer requires a hair test and I think it is very responsible of them to do their best to ensure that they don't hire individuals with drug problems. For this specific job it is particularly important that employees be sober, alert, and aware at all times and the job does require employees to be "on-call" and work very strange hours sometimes, so I am glad the company is interested in obtaining a 3 month drug history from new hires. As far as I know they only test the 1.5 inches of hair closest to the scalp, so it wouldn't discriminate against folks who used years ago but are clean now. While I appreciate the input I received about alternative tests or refusal options, I will definitely be submitting to the hair test.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my long hair. I just don't need to keep these strands that they'll be taking enough to risk losing the job. I worked really hard to get here in my professional life and I'm so excited about this opportunity that I'd be willing to hand over as much hair as they needed, as long as I got to keep some :-)

I really like the idea about asking if they can spread the hair collection out across my head instead of taking a big chunk from one location. I know that when they are forced to use body hair they collect as much as they need from different locations to add up to the required amount, so it seems likely that they could do the same with the hair on my head. I'm also grateful for HintofMint's comment about making sure they don't make the cut where I part my hair when I wear it half-up, if they have to take it all from one spot. I hadn't even thought about that!

Thanks again for the ideas, ladies, and thanks for the congratulations! :-)

windinherhair
June 4th, 2010, 06:34 PM
Yes, congrats about your job! :) I would feel very invaded if someone told me I had to give a sample of hair that big. I am surprised they dont do that for nursing, or at least so far they dont since there are high demands on that job too. They are strict on fingerprints though.

rusika1
June 4th, 2010, 06:44 PM
Marliejane, do you have nape wispies? Maybe they could take those for your sample. Since the hair there is shorter, it won't take as long to grow back.

angelthadiva
June 4th, 2010, 07:22 PM
Marliejane, do you have nape wispies? Maybe they could take those for your sample. Since the hair there is shorter, it won't take as long to grow back.

That's a good idea! Check to see if this will work!

Beatnik Guy
June 4th, 2010, 07:26 PM
this sort of testing of new hires just makes me think of the boss putting a boot print on your shoulders.
Absolutely! :rolleyes:

SHELIAANN1969
June 4th, 2010, 09:14 PM
When I applied at a casino they wanted to do a witnessed urine test. I cannot go in company. I offered a blood test, even though I am terrified of needles and I offered a sample of hair. The employer refused. End of story.


I can't go with people in the room either, not even hubs, he has to run the water or sing.:rolleyes:

Back in 2000 I got a job that required this, I had short hair and didn't care much because I had short short hair, I am not so sure I would do it now tho, I would have to work out a system that someone described earlier about spreading it out, I would rather pull the hair by the roots I think, as in fingercombing.

egads, either way it's a :poop:y deal

StephanieB
June 4th, 2010, 09:45 PM
I'm too involved in watching the Flyers beat the Blackhawks :cheese: to read all of the replies past the frist 15 or so...

BUT I do know that:

It's done quite often in the USA, in certain job sectors, and it is only done when considered necessary... hair is more expensive to process than blood or urine.

It's not any invasion of privacy for a prospective employer to demand a drug test, and the hair test is the most accurate for the longest period of time backwards (90 days - hair can prove one is 'clean' of drug use for 90 days past, unlike blood and/or urine which only reflect one being 'clean' for 3-6 days back).

Hair testing required the first inch or two at the root - so the hair must be cut all the way down to the scalp; shed hairs are of no value for this kind of drug testing, nor are single individually plucked hairs. So far as I know, also, it can come from any place on your scalp, but it has to be one general area - a chunk - not a bit here and a bit there and a bit near that spot.

I'd say that, if they are willing to cut carefully and where you ask (many lab techs won't care to be bothered, and will just want to cut where they're taught to cut from) - it might be best - from your standpoint - if the do it just down the back from your crown and from your underneath layer... if you wear your hair up sometimes and down or ponytailed other times. If you always wear it up, then it might be best for you to ask if they'll cut it on the top layer, same place - back of your head, high up near your crown. Or maybe lower down the back of your head. That depends upon where you bun - higher or lower.

In today's world and global ecomomy - if you've got a dream job that pays well, then do what you must to get your job. Yes, it sucks. But hair grows back and jobs are scarce these days - especially good and good-paying jobs!

Focusing on the good going on in your life - congratulations on your graduation AND on bagging a great job!! :cheese:

ilovelonghair
June 4th, 2010, 09:53 PM
I just wonder why they need that much hair, apparently forensics can do tests like that with ONE hair.

Aurielle
June 4th, 2010, 09:58 PM
I would get it cut from right behind one of my ears, where my hair stops and plain skin begins. I don't think I would miss it as much as something in the middle of my head.

chloeishere
June 4th, 2010, 10:51 PM
I would do an area with a shorter terminal length, like around my ears or at the fringe of my nape. Nape hairs for me only get 6-12ish inches long, so it wouldn't be that big of a loss. I would ask for them to do a very small section across the whole back, until they got as much as they needed-- I think regrowth would be much more subtle that way.

MissManda
June 4th, 2010, 10:51 PM
Marliejane, do you have nape wispies? Maybe they could take those for your sample. Since the hair there is shorter, it won't take as long to grow back.

Yes! I was going to suggest this as well. Congratulations on your graduation and best of luck to you!

TammySue
June 4th, 2010, 11:13 PM
I would get it cut from right behind one of my ears, where my hair stops and plain skin begins. I don't think I would miss it as much as something in the middle of my head.

Great idea! I had some hair cut from this area awhile ago (won't go into details why) and didn't even notice the loss.

Toadstool
June 5th, 2010, 12:09 AM
Congratulations on your dream job!
While I totally agree that if this is company policy then losing a chunk of hair is somehing I would readily agree to, I am astounded that employers are allowed to do any kind of drug test. I have never heard of this in the UK - that's not to say it doesn't happen but I have never heard of it.
I would question whether en emloyee's drug use is any business of an employer unless it affects their work. And I agree with Spidermom about people who are in recovery being penalised by this method.

Arctic_Mama
June 5th, 2010, 02:09 AM
I'd have them take it in the lower back if my head, slightly off part, so something like pigtails isn't showing a chunk missing :)

emmabovary
June 5th, 2010, 03:37 AM
That sucks :( As long as they don't cheat and test more than the first two inches (or so), I guess it's not that much worse than other test methods. Personally I consider all kinds of drug tests an invasion of privacy. Congrats on the dream job, anyway, and I hope you find a good place to take the hair from!

30isthenewblack
June 5th, 2010, 03:42 AM
Actually, they probably wouldn't want to hire someone with my attitude, nor would I want to work for a company with that sort of policy or culture. And I don't. And I haven't. Drug testing...sure, whatever...breath or urine[1], but I will give my employer points for not caring about much other than whether I show up and do the job.

Haha ... I think I have the same attitude as you. I have never heard this done in Australia - what is the world coming to? I would never work for an employer who subjected me to these tests. Some jobs are highly paid for a reason.

mellie
June 5th, 2010, 08:04 AM
I have never heard of hair testing required for jobs, I learned something new today.

I've never worked a job that required any kind of drug testing, so it is surprising to me to hear of these tests.

orbiting
June 5th, 2010, 08:21 AM
They did this to my dad when he was in the interviewing process for a major car manufacturer... It was just a stupid factory job and they took a chunk out of what little hair he has... he looked terrible for weeks, he felt terrible and he ended up telling them to stick their job where the sun don't shine.

As for drug testing, it's standard in America to work *anywhere* - you can't work at Walmart without a drug test (cause you so need to be sober to work there...:rolleyes:).

And as for jobs, the economy etc and that comment - quite frankly that kind of mentality scares the crap out of me. It's leading, quite quickly, to abuses by employers. They are abusing their employees, jerking them around, not giving them a livable wage, not providing the care employees need to be healthy, happy and productive.... All because "well... You know, this is a decent paying job! How could you possibly leave!?!? You'll be unemployed! Then what!?!?!" As long as we continue to stand for it, they will just get worse and worse.

frodolaughs
June 5th, 2010, 09:54 AM
Orbiting, that's exactly how I feel. I find it very sad that while, under law, we are all considered innocent until proven guilty, private companies often consider their employees suspects at all times. I don't know what I would do if I was offered a job which required drug testing. If they wanted a hair sample I think I'd just start to cry (so I'd probably lose the job anyway). I know I would resent it and that resentment would be likely to exaggerate all sorts of other things which would rub me the wrong way.

I had a friend who worked for a small, successful company which was bought by a larger company. The big company instituted random drug tests. Many people failed them and were fired. Those people had been very important for the success of the little company, and without them it became much less successful, so much so that the whole department (what had been the little company) was shut down. These people weren't doing drugs on the job, and it obviously wasn't affecting their job performance (or, if it was, they were still doing their jobs better than anyone else could). My friend lost that job when the department was eliminated, so he submitted to the drug tests for nothing.

Lamb
June 5th, 2010, 11:17 AM
And as for jobs, the economy etc and that comment - quite frankly that kind of mentality scares the crap out of me. It's leading, quite quickly, to abuses by employers. They are abusing their employees, jerking them around, not giving them a livable wage, not providing the care employees need to be healthy, happy and productive.... All because "well... You know, this is a decent paying job! How could you possibly leave!?!? You'll be unemployed! Then what!?!?!" As long as we continue to stand for it, they will just get worse and worse.

Excellent point.

angelthadiva
June 5th, 2010, 11:34 AM
Orbiting: I won't mention the product(s), but there are things one can take to "flush" out one's system to avoid drug detection in such screens one would take in say a urine analysis. Hair follicle testing is more reliable; because either it is there or it isn't.

For where I was working at the time; I'm glad they tested because the work there was quite dangerous. At any moment you could be asked/required to operate machinery that could not only put yourself at risk, but certainly others. That job paid over $20/hr USD and that was about 6 years ago. Most people happily complied because they appreciated the lengths the company went through to keep them safe while at work.

My policy is unless I have something to hide, what's the big deal? :shrug: We do have to give up some of our freedoms in order to protect our safety...What people do outside of work/parking lot (on breaks/lunch) does affect their ability to perform the job they were hired to do.

Purdy Bear
June 5th, 2010, 11:35 AM
Its something Iv come across a lot in my old work (I dont work now), and I think is something becoming more common in the UK.

The hair needs to go as close to the root as possible because it retains any drugs that the person has used, so the closest inch would be the last month and so on. On average it shows up to 6 months after the use of any drug (including medicinal), depending on the length of the hair.

Some employers require yearly hair drugs tests, depending on the type of work/situation your in. These drugs tests are done un-announced for obvious reasons.

I think its well worth liasing with the employer as Im sure they can take hair from underneath where it wont show.

kdaniels8811
June 5th, 2010, 11:59 AM
I have had this done and they took a couple dozen strands from underneath, nowhere near the amount you describe of the width of a pencil. It is standard practice in the US for drug testing as it is more accurate and goes back a while. The lady doing the cutting was careful and commented on how nice and long my hair was!

HairColoredHair
June 5th, 2010, 12:20 PM
I just wonder why they need that much hair, apparently forensics can do tests like that with ONE hair.

Yes and no. The content in a single hair is not high and so the method used to determine drug content in that hair must be very sensitive. Drug testing methods are meant to be quicker and cheaper and hence, generally less sensitive. And if you give them a larger sample then they have some available to retest if necessary, with one hair you use it and it's gone! And taking sections doesn't work, because if you used in THIS section that was ruined, then testing THAT section where you were clean is not going to help.

yellowchariot
June 5th, 2010, 12:23 PM
*Slightly off topic, but. . . *

Next thing they'll be wanting liver samples. Then they'll be putting PCB chips inside of us. . . Ya know, just to make sure you're not doing drugs on the job. . . or to make sure you're being a good little boy or girl. . . :rolleyes:

Toadstool
June 5th, 2010, 12:24 PM
Its something Iv come across a lot in my old work (I dont work now), and I think is something becoming more common in the UK.
.

How very depressing :(

jera
June 5th, 2010, 03:46 PM
*Slightly off topic, but. . . *

Next thing they'll be wanting liver samples. Then they'll be putting PCB chips inside of us. . . Ya know, just to make sure you're not doing drugs on the job. . . or to make sure you're being a good little boy or girl. . . :rolleyes:

That's a good point yellowchariot. They probably will want to put PCB chips in us all eventually. :(


Actually, they probably wouldn't want to hire someone with my attitude, nor would I want to work for a company with that sort of policy or culture.

They wouldn't want to hire me either trolleypup. Nor would I want to work for such an agency/ organization. How can this be anyone's dream job? It's blatantly discriminating against multiple groups of people, like those who are bald or suffer from AA. Are these people unfamiliar with the constitution and the bill of rights?

I'd hire a lawyer, take them to court, pursue the matter relentlessly until I get coverage on CNN and then write a best seller based on my experiences which, of course, will be turned into a hit movie, after which I'd tell these people what they can do with their position and their testing. :steam

orbiting
June 5th, 2010, 04:03 PM
Orbiting: My policy is unless I have something to hide, what's the big deal? :shrug: We do have to give up some of our freedoms in order to protect our safety...What people do outside of work/parking lot (on breaks/lunch) does affect their ability to perform the job they were hired to do.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

Also - What business is it of an employer what you do when you are *not* at work? As long as you are not coming in drunk or high, they *are* invading the privacy of your personal life.

This, again, is another problem of our society. From 9am to 5pm (or what ever variant) I am responsible to my company because they pay me, but I will not allow them to dictate what I do in my personal (key word: personal) life. I believe drug testing, as well as stalking employees facebooks, forum posts, myspace accounts, and other online personae should be completely, utterly illegal. My life is my own, no company has the right to "own" me just because they deign to offer me employment. What's next? Sorry - you can't marry that fellow, we don't like the looks of him? Sorry, you can't have long hair - we don't allow that kind of thing here? Sorry - we don't let people with diabetes/fibro/a history of cancer work here....

Please list to me, one job, which does not have an "on call" factor (therefore eliminating: doctors, emergency responders of all kinds, nurses, therapists, and possible security admins for large corporations) where whether or not I am sober when I am *not* there matters?

Furthermore, we're ok (and even encourage) our workers to "socialize" outside of work - which almost always means getting disgustingly drunk on a weekly basis (at least from what I've seen of most people), possibly driving home that way and more than likely coming in to work so hung over your cannot function is completely ok.

Domino
June 5th, 2010, 04:09 PM
I don't know if it's been said before but if it were me, I would refuse having it cut (religious reasons seem nice for this) BUT maybe they would be okay with using the shed hairs...? Not combing for 3 days would create plenty of shed hairs stuck in there for my hair.

Cailie
June 5th, 2010, 04:40 PM
I'd say the "neck hair" too. It's shorter and wouldn't take as long to grow back. I wouldn't miss it as much as the rest of my hair...


You should ask for you hair being used STRICTLY for the drug tests (or whatever you agree too) and be destroyed afterwards... I wouldn't want my DNA to be stored in anyone's database without my explicit consent....

angelthadiva
June 5th, 2010, 11:09 PM
orbiting: You quoted me, but missed my point. My actual words you quoted reflected my thoughts and the point I was making...At more than one job and more times than I can count people were getting drunk/high in the parking lot on breaks/lunch...Then were coming back to work operating machines that put themselves/others at risk. The only place this wasn't an issue was the place that did the hair follicle testing. If you can weed out these individuals who can't stay clean enough to pass a drug screen there are plenty of people who are qualified and CAN pass the test... Socializing outside of work is completely different; you aren't getting paid to socialize.

StephanieB
June 6th, 2010, 02:56 PM
I would get it cut from right behind one of my ears, where my hair stops and plain skin begins. I don't think I would miss it as much as something in the middle of my head.
I think that's a great idea! I hadn't thought about that.

GRU
June 6th, 2010, 07:55 PM
I used to work for a propane company, and I was subject to random drug tests (urine) even though I wasn't driving the trucks (I did handle propane at the office facility).

If I got The Phone Call from the corporate office, I had a maximum of two hours to get my butt to the collection facility and provide them with a sample.

I was not required to be "witnessed" (with an observer in the stall with me) but I was made to empty out all my pockets and leave my purse outside of the bathroom. I was not allowed to flush the toilet or wash my hands or run water in any way until after I handed off the collection cup to the nurse. I was so naive that I had no idea what this was all about... then I found out about people smuggling in urine from other people (non-drug-users) and passing it off as their own. (ewwww!!!!) The nurse took my urine's temperature for the same reason -- if it was too cold or too hot, they'd know that it was "smuggled" urine (too cold = something that was in your pocket or outside of your body somewhere; too hot = something that you heated artificially to try to pass off as body temperature). People who have a "shy bladder" and cannot go in front of another person (it's more common than you think!) have the option of using a catheter.

As for whether it's the employer's business what you do in your "private" life, it's your own choice whether you want to be employed or not. People who operate vehicles or machinery pose a danger to themselves and to others. Ditto for people who deal with hazardous materials.

People in healthcare settings are a double-hazard -- you don't want a druggie administering medication or performing procedures, plus being in a setting with drugs gives a drug-user a lot of temptation. If you're an addict on Saturday and Sunday, are you really able to "turn that off" on Monday through Friday?

cm006j
June 6th, 2010, 08:18 PM
I have never heard of that! Do you have any parts of your hair that are shorter? Like, I have short bits around my ears, so maybe they could take a section of that?

ibleedlipstick
June 6th, 2010, 08:31 PM
I have heard of this, and it is much more effective than a urine test for drug screening. While some may believe that what one does outside of work is none of your employer's business, it is. This type of testing is generally done in higher-risk jobs, and if someone has a history of drug abuse, this has to be factored in. Would you want a surgeon operating on you while high? Or suffering from withdrawal? Would you want your bank's online security chief to have a heroin addiction? Just because it seems horribly invasive, there are reasons for this.

Honestly, if it *is* your dream job, do it. Take it from the center, or the very bottom of your hair, and let it go. I really would not try to get out of it with religious reasons as an excuse, because while you may think that you will never, ever want shorter hair, someday you might, and if you are still working at your dream job, people will notice and remember.

I personally would be more than willing to do this. I have absolutely nothing to hide, and I would give up a pencil-sized amount of my hair to live my dream. I would not be especially happy about it, because I love my hair and find the idea of a pencil sized amount to be a bit excessive to take from one spot, if that was all it took to gain my employer's trust, it would be worth it.

I would want to make sure this is a one-time only thing, and not something that they plan to do yearly or randomly spring on you. I think constantly losing a pencil-sized amount would stress me a bit.

Also, ask if they could take maybe 3-4 hairs from a few different places on your head until it added up to the amount they needed, to lessen the "I cut a chunk of hair" look.

Enjoy your new job, and congratulations. :)

Arctic_Mama
June 6th, 2010, 08:33 PM
Yes and no. The content in a single hair is not high and so the method used to determine drug content in that hair must be very sensitive. Drug testing methods are meant to be quicker and cheaper and hence, generally less sensitive. And if you give them a larger sample then they have some available to retest if necessary, with one hair you use it and it's gone! And taking sections doesn't work, because if you used in THIS section that was ruined, then testing THAT section where you were clean is not going to help.

This is my understanding as well, especially given that it is usually multiple tests run for various substances. It sucks, but it will grow back. My husband tells me my initial assumption of it being an inordinate amount was incorrect.

TrudieCat
June 6th, 2010, 09:02 PM
I think the location (where you have the hair taken from) will make less of a difference than you might think, unless your hair grows in very, very thin. I have a scar (where no hair grows) on my head about an inch back from my forehead, where my hair is not as thick as it is on the rest of my head. It's maybe the size of two pencil erasers or so. This is definitely not a location I would have chosen to have a permanent bald spot, but truly it never shows unless I'm pointing it out to someone and go looking for it. My own mother had no idea I even had this scar for years, and I see her a lot. I part my hair in the middle or on the other side, and no one is the wiser. I can wear my hair down or back and it still won't show. From my experience, I would imagine you probably won't have a problem with that size of a bald spot on most semi-hidden places on your scalp unless your hair is quite thin.

Good luck at your new job!! :)

heidihug
June 6th, 2010, 09:57 PM
My hair is very thin (and thinning more as I grow older), so I know this large of a sample would show anywhere on my head - except for the high middle of the back of my head, maybe, as I always wear it up. But then I would have the problem of a chunk of short growth to contend with for months and months.

I had never - ever - heard of this type of drug testing as a condition of employment where I live, and I know about a dozen people who work in HR (I used to work in an off-shoot field). I asked a few of them about it this weekend, and they said that they know of no major private sector employer in our area who uses this method of testing, though some public sector jobs (police officers, corrections officers, etc) do require it.

I know I personally would have a huge problem with this type of drug testing for any private sector job. I was quite alright with the witnessed urine test I did as a condition of employment of my current job, though. It would have to be my dream job before I would even consider allowing anyone to cut any amount of my hair off. It honestly makes me feel ill just thinking about it.

Milui Elenath
June 6th, 2010, 10:17 PM
I have not heard of hair being taken for drug testing before. :(

I think these sorts of tests (all of them) do open up all sorts of discrimination - and not just against drug users/ those who have reformed.

Hair strands, in particular are used for DNA testing. How long before they're saying, "sorry you have a genetic predisposition for . . . . therefore we won't hire you." (you could also suppose they might say, drinks too much caffeine, have smoked cigarettes, has a propensity towards depression etc etc)

They already do medicals that ascertain whether you are too unfit, diabetic - those are the ones I remember from the medical I never went to.:D

It's not just the hair either I also wouldn't want to submit to blood or urine tests. Am I the only one that finds that completely creepy?!? BTW I am a completely healthy individual who avoids all drugs including presciptions as much as possible. I also wouldn't work for a company that required it.

Just my:twocents:

Congrats to the OP on her graduation and I hope if you go ahead with the test it will be unnoticeable and grow quickly. :)

azile9
June 6th, 2010, 11:04 PM
I just had a hair sample taken last month for a summer internship (manufacturing industry). They took a pencil sized cut at the back of my head. For the first week or two, I could feel where they did it, and it really bothered me. Now, a month later, its grown out enough that I can't find the spot. I've had to do urine samples for previous jobs, but I was really caught off guard for the hair sample; I thought I was just going in for the interview that day!

Alun
June 7th, 2010, 12:30 AM
There was certainly a previous thread on this. I think it was Heidi W, and I think she got them to agree to a urine test instead, with some difficulty.

I would never agree to a hair test. It could be a great job, and they could stuff it, as far as I'm concerned. YMMV.

It's not a reasonable requirement. It reminds me of the mice in the Hitchhiker's Guide wanting to test Arthur Dent's brain, after removing it. The difference may be obvious, but the similarity is that it makes scientific sense, while taking s*d *ll account of human feelings or sensibilities.

GoddesJourney
June 7th, 2010, 01:10 AM
Funny that this will tell them a whole lot less about someone who has a buzz cut. Too bad they wouldn't take shed hairs...

GRU
June 7th, 2010, 01:26 AM
I find it odd that so many people think that drug testing is an invasion of privacy.

Do the people who feel this way also feel that employers should not be allowed to run a criminal background check on prospective employees?

In the past I worked for a bank, and I was fingerprinted and also had a background check run prior to my first day of work. The bank's bonding company and their own loss prevention policies required this. It doesn't seem that hard to figure out why a bank wouldn't want to be employing people with a past history of embezzlement, theft, fraud, etc., and I don't see it as an invasion of my privacy for them to confirm the fact that I am who I claim to be and that I'm not a felon.

I'm about to enter school to go into the nursing profession, and I'm not even allowed into classes without first undergoing a criminal background check. Once I graduate, the state will again run a criminal background check on me prior to issuing my license, and another check will be run every time my license is up for renewal. I don't see it as an invasion of my privacy for the Board of Nursing to keep criminals out of the nursing profession.

Granted, I may have performed the hypothetical illegal act during "private time"... but if I commit fraud in the evening hours, that's still going to affect the bank's willingness to employ me during daytime hours. If I rob a convenience store on the weekend, that should affect the Board of Nursing's willingness to put people's lives in my hands during the week.

So again, what makes a drug test like this so much more offensive to some folks compared to a criminal background check? Or do you feel that a background check is also an invasion of privacy in instances like this?

Milui Elenath
June 7th, 2010, 01:56 AM
A criminal background check for an appropriate job would not be an invasion of privacy but not for all jobs. How would we expect those who had been convicted and served their sentence (fines, community service or gaol) to support themselves? Ideally criminal record checks should only focus on crimes related to the position. - I don't know if this is the case?

I do think there is a difference between looking up a record and giving over my body fluids/hair to a medical facility (likely privately owned) to do who knows what with or with who knows what security. I would not allow my workplace to have a record of my finger prints / retina scans etc either.

teela1978
June 7th, 2010, 02:10 AM
I'm rather surprised at the number of people against drug testing as well. I feel a bit better taking the bus knowing that the driver is subjected to random drug tests and therefore is unlikely to be under the influence of any substance that would impair their ability to get me safely to work. There are many job duties in this world where a person with impaired reactions could cause harm or death to come to co-workers. For people looking to work in those positions I don't think it's a stretch to expect a drug test.

The hair test bugs me in the sense that there is definitely potential to get a lot more info from my hair than someone with shorter hair... however, if you can say someone's been clean for the last 3 months you can probably get by without testing as often... maybe...

I dunno, I've had random urine tests for a job (driving a shuttle during college, ergo impairment could lead to me killing a busload of people, plus anyone in the way of my busload of people) and never really had a problem with it or even thought about it. I wouldn't really care if someone wanted to do a hair test on me... although I might make them cut off the part they 'weren't going to test' just for spite.

Miluli, they can't get DNA from hair unless the bulb is attached, so cutting off from the scalp shouldn't give any genetic information.

jera
June 7th, 2010, 02:14 AM
I would never agree to a hair test. It could be a great job, and they could stuff it, as far as I'm concerned. YMMV.

It's not a reasonable requirement.

It's not reasonable and it's not an accurate indicator of the reliability and worth of a prospective employee. The beauty of being human is that we can change ourselves - constantly. So what happened yesterday belongs to yesterday.

What if someone was a heavy drug user, became a B.A. Christian and could not get employment because their hair might reveal they once did drugs? It's ridiculous and I just hope life never hurls me to the depths where I'd have to submit to such outrageously degrading treatment just for a job.

There's a lot to be said for self employment. :toast:

orbiting
June 7th, 2010, 02:18 AM
angelthadiva - technically, lunch hours are unpaid, and are therefore your private time. Again - if you come into work incapable of performing your job, that's a problem. Obviously a liquid lunch is not recommended if you're working on a factory line.

But that isn't the point. Employers are taking it too far. A criminal background check is one thing, but they also do a credit check. Unless I am working for a financial institution, why do you need to do a credit check? I've been in bankruptcy (discharged this winter) and it makes getting a job difficult for me. Because you know, I don't need a job to pay my bills like everybody else. I understand wanting to make sure that your new social worker isn't a former child molester or your new bank teller isn't on record for armed robbery, but again, not all jobs really need this kind of investigation.

Also - employers are quite literally stalking their employees online. Your Facebook, Myspace, etc... even classified ads (Woman seeking man who likes long walks on the beach yadayadayada) are being used *against* employees. This is unacceptable. Even with my Facebook locked down, my myspace deleted, etc... I am *still* at risk of an employer finding me and holding against me something I said on my own personal time (including religious and political opinions), and possibly firing me for them.

I have worked on a Naval Base. I have had a Common Access Card (or CAC). I have gone through the process to receive Secret clearance. I have had my entire history (starting from birth) looked at, rifled through, etc. I have been finger printed, had my retina scanned, taken multiple drug tests, etc. I accepted it because it was a government job, on a large (largest on the East coast I believe) Naval Base. Why do I have to be just as picked apart to work at the Quick Stop/Grocery Store/Mall as I do for a government job which includes protecting our national security? It doesn't make sense. They do it because they can, it's that simple.

teela1978 - I'm not against drug testing for cocaine, heroin, crack, meth, etc. I'm against drug testing for marijuana because I don't feel it is a drug any better or worse than alcohol, and unless you're a raging alcoholic who is drunk at the interview, they don't discriminate against that. I am against testing in invasive ways - I will take a urine test. If they want to watch me, then I tell them where to stick their job, as I will not have some stranger watch me pee (there are people with f*tish for that, and that I'm sure doesn't show up on your background check!) And for whoever mentioned a catheter - have you ever BEEN catheterized? I don't know about men, but talk about an invasion of privacy! Now you're not just watching me pee, a stranger has me with my legs in the stirrups, looking at my most *private* place and they're going to stick a needle some where that hurts like nothing I've ever experienced AND I get a Urinary Tract infection for my troubles. No way. Also - no employer may have my blood, hair or DNA sample. Period.

Also - I take large amounts of pain meds and I'm also on anti-anxiety medication (PTSD and a car accident)... these can affect my reaction times, etc. Should I not be allowed to work because of it?

emmabovary
June 7th, 2010, 02:44 AM
If they're worried about employees being UTI at work they could test that and that only. What you do during your private time is your own business. What you did three months prior to employment? Like jera said, people can change. And testing positive doesn't equal addiction, it could just as easily be a one time thing showing up on the test. Baseline, I find it completely ludicrous and upsetting. What's next, telescreens?

noelgirl
June 7th, 2010, 07:25 AM
I have not heard of hair being taken for drug testing before. :(

I think these sorts of tests (all of them) do open up all sorts of discrimination - and not just against drug users/ those who have reformed.

Hair strands, in particular are used for DNA testing. How long before they're saying, "sorry you have a genetic predisposition for . . . . therefore we won't hire you." (you could also suppose they might say, drinks too much caffeine, have smoked cigarettes, has a propensity towards depression etc etc)

They already do medicals that ascertain whether you are too unfit, diabetic - those are the ones I remember from the medical I never went to.:D

Wait, so one of the things they check for at the medical is diabetes, and if you have it, they won't hire you? Well, isn't that just lovely. Both of my parents are diabetic, and even though I haven't shown signs of it yet, the genetic tendency is so strong that however careful I am, this may be something I need to deal with down the road anyway. And to add insult to injury, a potential employer can discriminate against me for it? Something there is just not right.

GRU
June 7th, 2010, 08:45 AM
A criminal background check for an appropriate job would not be an invasion of privacy but not for all jobs.

That's the thing.... nobody ever said that this hair-drug-testing was for every single job. I'm assuming that the OP's applying for either a government job or something else that has a reason to need to know someone's background. I highly doubt that her dream job is working at Starbuck's, ya know?



It's not reasonable and it's not an accurate indicator of the reliability and worth of a prospective employee. The beauty of being human is that we can change ourselves - constantly. So what happened yesterday belongs to yesterday.

What if someone was a heavy drug user, became a B.A. Christian and could not get employment because their hair might reveal they once did drugs? It's ridiculous and I just hope life never hurls me to the depths where I'd have to submit to such outrageously degrading treatment just for a job.

Trust is something that is earned, not guaranteed. One way to earn trust is to behave in an appropriate manner, even when nobody is looking. When my son says he did his chores, every now and then I go and check to make sure he did them completely and properly. This really isn't any different.

Employers have the right to hire any type of person that they want to hire. If they want someone who doesn't break the law, then they have the right to check to make sure that their prospective and current employees aren't breaking the law. By that same token, employees who don't want to have their drug usage looked into have the right to not apply for work with an employer who cares about such things.


And for whoever mentioned a catheter - have you ever BEEN catheterized? I don't know about men, but talk about an invasion of privacy! Now you're not just watching me pee, a stranger has me with my legs in the stirrups, looking at my most *private* place and they're going to stick a needle some where that hurts like nothing I've ever experienced AND I get a Urinary Tract infection for my troubles. No way.

Yes, I have been catheterized, and it's quite obvious that you never have been. First of all, catheterization does NOT involve a needle. Secondly, it can be self-performed. With some simple instruction, you could catheterize YOURSELF, with nobody's nose up in your hooha.


Also - no employer may have my blood, hair or DNA sample. Period.

Are you planning on living in a bubble? You leave bits of your DNA everywhere you go. But if you choose to not allow the collection of such samples, then you are also choosing to not work for an employer who would require such a sample. Nobody is forcing anyone to apply for these types of jobs -- if you don't want the job because of the employment requirements, I'm sure there is someone else who would be happy to apply for the position.


Also - I take large amounts of pain meds and I'm also on anti-anxiety medication (PTSD and a car accident)... these can affect my reaction times, etc. Should I not be allowed to work because of it?

Wow, that's a REAL stretch.... who ever said you can't work if you're taking legally prescribed medication???

Carolyn
June 7th, 2010, 09:00 AM
I just now sectioned off what I think would be a "pencil size" section of hair on my head. Wowza that's a lot of hair and I don't even have super thick hair. My braid is already skinny enough without losing a pencil sized chunk of my hair. I can't imagine an employer around here where I might be applying for a job requiring such a test. It was humiliating enough to have to do a pee test to work at Hellmart. I think I'd just say shove it to a hair test. I wouldn't be assured of getting the job and I'd be minus the hair no matter what. If I was just starting my working life I might be more amenable to giving up a large chunk of hair but not at where I am now.

HotRag
June 7th, 2010, 09:52 AM
I can understand the hair test for a very few jobs.

Otherwise, I think as the ones in this thread that are against it.

A much more common problem is alcohol by the way. But that is legal. At least in my country. With alcohol being ok, it's a bit strange to put so much effort into drug testing.

It has come out that pilots are flying day after they have been drinking or worse. What good does a drug test do there?

heidihug
June 7th, 2010, 09:52 AM
If I was just starting my working life I might be more amenable to giving up a large chunk of hair but not at where I am now.
I agree, Carolyn. There might be plenty of people who would love to apply for a job which I might be interested in; however, I know I would be one of the few who would be qualified for it. So the employer would have to risk losing out on my experience and abilities if they insisted on this type of test.

If I do my hair in a single braid, it's already pencil-sized in circumference about 2/3's of the way down it's length. I realize that I have a ton of taper, but any volume that I have is hard won, and the loss would be mentally painful to me.

GRU
June 7th, 2010, 10:00 AM
This is OT, but I just wanted to comment about how I love that we can *discuss* issues like this here without it turning into some huge flame war. So many internet forums are full of childish attention-seeking brats, and it's so nice to have this community of mature individuals where discussions can simply be discussions without degenerating into mud-slinging arguments.

You gals and guys really rock!!!

Clarisse
June 7th, 2010, 10:07 AM
I haven't read through all the posts, so perhaps my question has already been answered... But can't they just use hair from somewhere else on the body? Say, the armpits og "down under" or something?

GeoJ
June 7th, 2010, 10:39 AM
Well, I would be less bothered by the initial bald spot than I would the annoying bit of hair that would likely end up stick out of my updos for several years after such a test. I would probably try to offer the hair "downstairs"; it grows about three inches long and I don't care if some gets shaved off. I'm hoping I'll never have to do a hair test (I've done the urine tests before and they don't bother me).

I almost forgot, congratulations to the OP on finding a dream job with a high salary!

Toadstool
June 7th, 2010, 10:49 AM
]GRU [/B ]Do the people who feel this way also feel that employers should not be allowed to run a criminal background check on prospective employees?


Yes unless they are going to work with vulnerable people. I have never objected to criminal records checks when I have worked with children or adults with learning disabilities. But I certainly feel in other jobs any spent convictions are none of an employer's business.

BelleBot
June 7th, 2010, 11:17 AM
I haven't read the whole thread, but have they specified the hair has to be taken from the scalp? If not, then perhaps they can take pubic hair or armpit hair. Sounds gross I know, but you never know, might just be acceptable and you won't have to worry about your lovely long hair on your head. A bald armpit or crotch is far easier to live with and regrow than a small patch at the back of your head.

Oskimosa
June 7th, 2010, 11:23 AM
Hm. I think this thread has sufficiently covered the actual drug-testing aspect of the OP's question, so I'll skip on by that...

I was thinking on where the chunk should be taken. At first, the lower section or behind the ear sounded good to me. However, you may want to check what part of your head has the largest concentration of hairs. For me, the top half of my head has waaaay more hair on it than the bottom half. If I were to take that much hair off the lower half of my head, I would have a huge bald spot. From the top half of my hair (obviously not on the very top; more like in the middle, where I bun my hair so no one would ever notice anyhow), I don't think the chunk would have to come from as much area to get the required amount of hair.

I hope that makes sense.

GRU
June 7th, 2010, 11:28 AM
Yes unless they are going to work with vulnerable people. I have never objected to criminal records checks when I have worked with children or adults with learning disabilities. But I certainly feel in other jobs any spent convictions are none of an employer's business.

I think that folks aren't taking into account that just because something "pings" on a background check, that doesn't mean that the prospective employee is automatically rejected. I would like to think that the majority of human resources employees have at least a few working brain cells.

Someone applying for a desk job who has a DUI conviction from five years ago? Not a big deal.

Someone applying for a construction job with a shoplifting conviction from twenty years ago? Not a big deal.

Someone applying for a truck driving job with a conviction for shooting off bottle rockets* on the 4th of July? Not a big deal. (In some states, bottle rockets are illegal.)

But particularly with the litigious society in which we live, an employer is practically *required* to do a background check on potential employees just to protect the company from liability. If someone has a history of violence, assault, weapons violations, etc., the employer is opening themselves up to liability if that person goes off the deep end and starts shooting coworkers.

My husband's employer provides him with a company vehicle, the employer required each employee to provide their driver license information. If an employee gets into an accident with a company vehicle, and if the employee has a history of driving violations, then the employer is at an increased risk of being sued for allowing a dangerous employee to drive a company vehicle.

There are valid reasons for doing a background check. The issue is whether the company is able to use the results to make judicious hiring choices. And if a company is going to hold an old, unrelated conviction against you for the rest of your life, is that really the type of place you'd want to work in the first place?

orbiting
June 7th, 2010, 11:31 AM
Yes, I have been catheterized, and it's quite obvious that you never have been. First of all, catheterization does NOT involve a needle. Secondly, it can be self-performed. With some simple instruction, you could catheterize YOURSELF, with nobody's nose up in your hooha.
I've been catheterized twice. Both times it hurt so badly I cried (the one time I was lying there, screaming, and the nurse would not stop until my mother almost hit her! Yes, I was an adult at the time, but there was something wrong with me and I was scared and my mother came with me). It did required me to be basically in the same position required for a pap smear and I got severe UTIs both times, requiring large amounts of antibiotics. And needle or no, it feels like stabbing. Just *thinking* about it makes me want to cry. And as a female, my urethra is short, a man's is much longer, therefore it can be much more painful for a man than a woman. I would quite frankly think an employer was (1) Insane (2) not worth it, if they required such from me.


Wow, that's a REAL stretch.... who ever said you can't work if you're taking legally prescribed medication???
My medications make my reaction time slower. It's recommended that I don't use heavy machinery or drive if I'm taking it. Also - One can be addicted to both types of medications I am on (pain killers and benzodiazapines). Therefore, one could argue that I am unfit to work certain jobs.

Also - My father's a truck driver these days. They get tested/physical/etc for everything, and they do test for certain medications that are prescribed, in certain amounts. So yes - you can be denied employment for taking certain legally prescribed medications.

Obviously - No one has to take a job if they don't agree to the conditions of pre-employement. However - I feel it is becoming much too common for employers to take over their employees life, including "stalking" them on the internet and policing their behavior outside of work. I will usually agree to a (non-witnessed) urine sample, and a criminal background check and the credit check. I hate doing it, I've considered stopping, but I do need a job.

And for the record - I've never done illegal/street drugs in my life. Not even trying a joint in high school. I've only taken legally prescribed meds, at their recommended dosages. I rarely drink and never to excess. I have no big secrets or deviant behaviors. I have no criminal record. I have bad credit, but who doesn't these days in America? So this isn't about "trying to hide" anything. It's about the idea of freedom, privacy and the right to live my life as I want to as long as I'm not hurting anyone.

MarlieJane
June 7th, 2010, 11:44 AM
This is OT, but I just wanted to comment about how I love that we can *discuss* issues like this here without it turning into some huge flame war. So many internet forums are full of childish attention-seeking brats, and it's so nice to have this community of mature individuals where discussions can simply be discussions without degenerating into mud-slinging arguments.

You gals and guys really rock!!!

Agreed! I am so glad I found this place!

My test is a week from today, so I'll be sure to let everyone know how the cutting went. I love the idea of using nape wispies!! :-)


What if someone was a heavy drug user, became a B.A. Christian and could not get employment because their hair might reveal they once did drugs?

The detection period of drug use is only 3 months for these hair tests. If a person can't stay clean for 3 months to pass a drug test, I would be very uncomfortable and feel very unsafe having them work with me for this particular job.

The job is pretty dangerous and requires the ability to operate very large, very expensive equipment and make on-the-fly decisions that could seriously affect the lives myself or coworkers. The position does not require random drug testing, it just requires this pre-employment test. I don't think the company cares what people do in their private off-work time. It's an entry level position, and most college seniors who are serious about getting jobs (in my major at least, chemical engineering) expect to be drug tested and are smart enough to put aside the joint smoking a few months prior to graduation in order to pass their drug tests. I really don't think 3 months of sobriety is asking too much, it's not that long in the scheme of things.

They wouldn't want to hire me either trolleypup. Nor would I want to work for such an agency/ organization. How can this be anyone's dream job? It's blatantly discriminating against multiple groups of people, like those who are bald or suffer from AA. Are these people unfamiliar with the constitution and the bill of rights?

I'd hire a lawyer, take them to court, pursue the matter relentlessly until I get coverage on CNN and then write a best seller based on my experiences which, of course, will be turned into a hit movie, after which I'd tell these people what they can do with their position and their testing.

It’s not my dream to have someone monitor the levels of toxins in my hair, but it is a dream of mine not to be killed on the job because junkies or speed heads were able to sober up long enough to get through the interview process and then show up strung out at work and make poor decisions. I have friends with AA who are able to grow hair in certain areas, those hairs could be tested. I would be shocked if the company wasn't able to work something out with new hires who are completely hairless because of medical reasons or genetics. I can’t say how this works though, because I have a healthy head of hair and so it isn’t an issue I’ve had to raise with the company. As far as the constitution and the bill of rights go, the company isn't forcing drug tests on random folk who don't want to work for them. I promise they’re not going to come in to your house while you’re sleeping and cut off a hunk of your hair or anything :-)

This multinational company is very large (70,000+ employees) and I really get the feeling that the testing is done for safety purposes and not just to push around new hires. While I agree that hair testing would definitely be an invasion of privacy for some (most) jobs, I can see its merit for other jobs.

I haven't read through all the posts, so perhaps my question has already been answered... But can't they just use hair from somewhere else on the body? Say, the armpits og "down under" or something?
They definitely can, although they prefer to use hair from the head if it is available. I have the hair testing kit in my possession right now, and the forms have a place with checkboxes to mark where the hair was collected from (head, arm, leg, chest, armpit, other). My arm hairs are naturally very short and they might have to shave both my arms completely to collect enough hair. If I had armpit or leg hairs, I’d offer them up in a heartbeat. Lucky for me, I don’t have any chest hairs. The drug test person has to collect the hair sample themselves though, so I’d much rather lose some head hair than have a stranger take scissors to me “down under”, lol. I think the nape wispies would be fine to lose, otherwise back-upper head, above where I do a part for half-up and below the visible hairs when I wear my hair down, smackdab in the middle of where I wear a high bun. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll get a long haired technician taking my sample and she’ll be awesome about it :-)

GRU
June 7th, 2010, 11:49 AM
My medications make my reaction time slower. It's recommended that I don't use heavy machinery or drive if I'm taking it. Also - One can be addicted to both types of medications I am on (pain killers and benzodiazapines). Therefore, one could argue that I am unfit to work certain jobs.

And one would be correct with that argument -- you would be unfit to work with heavy machinery or drive a vehicle due to your medications. (This is why truck drivers can't be on meds that affect their ability to drive safely, even if the meds are legally prescribed. Do you really want a guy driving a semi-trailer on the public roadways when he's whacked out on pain meds???)

You would not be able to get a job with heavy machinery or driving. But so what? That's just life, not an invasion of your privacy or a form of discrimination.


I'm overweight and out of shape -- I am unfit to work as a ballerina, trapeze artist, etc.
My eyesight is horrid -- I am unfit to be a fighter pilot in the Air Force.
I'm short (aka "vertically challenged") -- I am unfit to be a professional basketball player.
I abhor history and politics -- I am unfit to be a social studies teacher.

But so what? So far in my life I've waited tables, managed fast food, been a bank teller, worked at a propane plant, and crunched numbers for a construction company, and I'm about to become a registered nurse. There are some jobs that I'm unfit for, so I went out and found jobs that I *could* do.

(As for catheterization, I'm sorry if you personally experienced unskilled healthcare professionals. However, catheterization does not have to be painful and it does not have to result in a urinary tract infection. )

Lady Mary
June 7th, 2010, 12:25 PM
(As for catheterization, I'm sorry if you personally experienced unskilled healthcare professionals. However, catheterization does not have to be painful and it does not have to result in a urinary tract infection. )

Totally off topic but...

From my very limited statistical sample of relatives and friends, they have all been in excruciating pain from that procedure and have all received UTIs at least once, if not more than once after it.

GRU
June 7th, 2010, 12:30 PM
Totally off topic but...

From my very limited statistical sample of relatives and friends, they have all been in excruciating pain from that procedure and have all received UTIs at least once, if not more than once after it.

What a shame! I'll keep that in mind during my nursing training. I had a catheter for about 24 hours when I had my son, and I didn't experience discomfort upon insertion or an infection afterward. My certified nurse midwife inserted mine, and she is partially responsible for my decision to go into nursing now. I shall strive to have her skilled, light touch when I'm doing caths in the future.

I know that UTIs are common in long-term catheterizations (such as in nursing homes), but short-term cathing shouldn't be problematic if done properly... unfortunately, it sounds like not everyone is using the care that they should be.

berr
June 7th, 2010, 12:44 PM
They pluck body hair which grows at a slower rate. If there is no body hair, then you are disqualified.

I don't see this as a bigger invasion of my privacy than a blood or urine test. It just happens to be most accurate. Like I said before, since they only test the inches of your newest growth, it is only the last few months of your life. Actually, I may have mispoke for the 2.5 to 3 inches length. It could possibly be shorter because I remember hearing from a friend that they only want 3 months of history, which works out to only an inch and a half.

So the guys that regularly buzz cut their hair would be out if they didn't have significant body hair? Many women groom hairy areas, that would leave them out if they had a really short hairstyle.

I fail to see that hair is a good or fair indicator of drug history???

MarlieJane
June 7th, 2010, 12:57 PM
I've heard of companies that give completely buzzed/shaved people a certain amount of time, say a couple of months, to "comply" (read: grow some hair somewhere) if they want the job. But again, with this mess of hair that I have, I don't have any experience with that.

GRU
June 7th, 2010, 01:06 PM
I fail to see that hair is a good or fair indicator of drug history???

They test the collected hair for metabolites that are formed in the body as a result of drug usage.

This rules out just "exposure" (like being in a room where people are doing drugs) and shows that the person actually took the drug into their body.

If you haven't ingested drugs, the metabolites won't be found in your hair. If you have ingested drugs, the metabolites will be found in your hair.

What about that strikes you as unfair?

MarlieJane
June 7th, 2010, 01:56 PM
Hair testing also allows for a longer detection period for drugs like cocaine and meth, which can process through the body and allow for a negative urine test in ~5 days, versus a 90 day retention time in hair. Or so I've read.

jera
June 7th, 2010, 03:49 PM
I've heard of companies that give completely buzzed/shaved people a certain amount of time, say a couple of months, to "comply" (read: grow some hair somewhere) if they want the job. But again, with this mess of hair that I have, I don't have any experience with that.

So a man with hereditary baldness or anyone with AA could never work for these people? Couldn't they take a sample from the nether regions? The hair there, if someone doesn't get Brazilians is long enough? No? :rolleyes:

jane53
June 7th, 2010, 04:03 PM
Back to the real point of all this: congratulations on getting your dream job, doing what you trained to do, for a good salary! It sounds like you will be in a position of responsibility. If you slipped up seriously on your job, everyone would be asking for just the sort of information this kind of drug test will provide.

For my job, I'm drug-tested and finger-printed. They don't do the hair test, but you can bet that people whose children I will be working with want to be absolutely sure that I am responsible and capable.

Again, congratulations. And may a kindly long-haired technician take your sample!

rhosyn_du
June 7th, 2010, 04:57 PM
So again, what makes a drug test like this so much more offensive to some folks compared to a criminal background check? Or do you feel that a background check is also an invasion of privacy in instances like this?

There are medications that will pop on a drug test. I know this because I'm taking one. My doctor can provide a note that explains I've been prescribed something that will show up in a certain way on a drug test, but the fact is that there are a limited number of medications that will show up that way and a limited number of things those medications are prescribed for. And the fact that an employer can require a test that will give them that much insight into my medical treatment? Is a serious invasion of my privacy.

Sisko
June 7th, 2010, 05:20 PM
I have to crawl out of my shell for this one.

Caution really ought to be exercised here. Don't be so quick to cut off a chunk of yourself for any salary in the world.

I agree with rhosyn_du, and I think more people would benefit from reading or re-watching 1984, Brazil and the like. The point such fiction is trying to illustrate is that once we've been stripped of all our freedom, there is no turning back. We are walking blindfolded into this scenario - mostly due to convenience. It is convenient for you to accept this job (and beneficial, at this time).

You seem to have made up your mind, so I shall step back. It is not easy to be young in this decade. We have the prospect of unemployment looming over our shoulders and are almost forced into taking the first best job that comes along. No matter the cost. A pencil-sized amount is definitely costly, even by outside-LHC standards.

Right, I was supposed to step back. :p

jane53
June 7th, 2010, 05:53 PM
When there is a fatal plane crash, ferry crash, or bus crash, one of the first issues that comes up is whether the pilot or driver was under the influence of any drug or alcohol.

For a job that is high risk and could influence the well-being of others, a 3 month view of clean living is not entirely unreasonable.

If school bus drivers were not drug-tested and finger-printed, I'm sure many here would be first to speak up if some school bus driver killed a child in an accident or molested a child and it was found that the necessary cautions were not taken in employing that individual.

MarlieJane
June 7th, 2010, 06:12 PM
So a man with hereditary baldness or anyone with AA could never work for these people? Couldn't they take a sample from the nether regions? The hair there, if someone doesn't get Brazilians is long enough? No? :rolleyes:

They'll take hair from wherever they can get it. For me, I'd rather a complete stranger snip the hairs from my head than have to drop trou and let them near my nether regions with a pair of scissors.



Caution really ought to be exercised here. Don't be so quick to cut off a chunk of yourself for any salary in the world.

I agree with rhosyn_du, and I think more people would benefit from reading or re-watching 1984, Brazil and the like. The point such fiction is trying to illustrate is that once we've been stripped of all our freedom, there is no turning back. We are walking blindfolded into this scenario - mostly due to convenience. It is convenient for you to accept this job (and beneficial, at this time).

The nice salary is really an added bonus for me. It's the job that I'm excited about. It's an awesome step for me in the direction I want to take my professional life. I am convinced the hair drug test is a reasonable request for safety reasons (for this job in particular, not for, say, a grocery store cashier or news reporter job).

If during the next step of the hiring process I'm asked when I'd like to schedule my sub-dermal microchip implantation or I come home to find someone installing cameras in my apartment, I will run in the opposite direction as fast as I can :-)

GRU
June 7th, 2010, 06:25 PM
The nice salary is really an added bonus for me. It's the job that I'm excited about. It's an awesome step for me in the direction I want to take my professional life. I am convinced the hair drug test is a reasonable request for safety reasons (for this job in particular, not for, say, a grocery store cashier or news reporter job).

It's really a win-win-win situation all the way 'round, isn't it? You're going to be doing a job that you WANT to do, you're going to be making good money doing it, and you'll be working for an organization that cares enough to keep all its employees as safe as possible!


If during the next step of the hiring process I'm asked when I'd like to schedule my sub-dermal microchip implantation or I come home to find someone installing cameras in my apartment, I will run in the opposite direction as fast as I can :-)

Don't forget about that thing they put into your brain to make you experience/remember things that never happened, like in the movie Total Recall. If they tell you to shove a ball up your nose as far as it will go, just back slowly away from the desk and head for the door.... ;)

MarlieJane
June 7th, 2010, 06:41 PM
Don't forget about that thing they put into your brain to make you experience/remember things that never happened, like in the movie Total Recall. If they tell you to shove a ball up your nose as far as it will go, just back slowly away from the desk and head for the door.... ;)

If I start signing my posts Quaid, I mean Hauser, I mean Qauid, you'll know I'm in too deep ;)

LaurelSpring
June 7th, 2010, 06:42 PM
They did this to me several years back. I had applied to a company that tried to collect on defaulted school loans. I was totally unprepared for them to ask for hair! They didnt take much and it was on the underneath and back where you couldnt see it. It wasnt as much of a big deal to me then as it would be right now. However if I really wanted the job I would do what they wanted.

GRU
June 7th, 2010, 06:46 PM
If I start signing my posts Quaid, I mean Hauser, I mean Qauid, you'll know I'm in too deep ;)

Here's the suitcase you gave me.... :eyebrows: :p

jane53
June 7th, 2010, 06:51 PM
Just wanted you to know, MarlieJane, that I have my dream job that I got two graduate degrees for and it took moving to a place I thought I'd never live to get it. It's what powers my life and I don't regret it. Best to you!

Magicknthenight
June 7th, 2010, 07:20 PM
As much as i hate the idea of them taking some hair i don't really mind urine tests (i wouldn't want them watching me. But if i really wanted the job i guess as long as their not staring me down or looking directly where i don't want them to then maybe). Its not like they want to keep my pee after they test it right? Blood tests i wouldn't MIND but i wouldn't like and not regularly.
Just because I've passed out before from small samples to large donations. Hearing had gone...Its left me weak...made me feel puny afterwords...over heated and bruised my arm where the needle went in. Ouch.
But at the time i saw donating as worth it..and my thoughts are maybe I'll react better next time. I think its normal to make sure no one is under any influences that could keep them from doing their job. The stalking on the internet i feel is going far. Then again anything you put on the internet can be seen by anyone and if you don't want it seen then maybe you shouldn't put it out there. Because it really can get into the wrong hands.



I haven't read through all the posts, so perhaps my question has already been answered... But can't they just use hair from somewhere else on the body? Say, the armpits og "down under" or something?
Armpit hair could be a good idea. i don't shave my armpits anymore and i wouldn't care if they took a patch or even all of it. It wouldn't be as detrimental to me as taking the hair on my head. Of course a lot of people probably wouldn't want to grow it out. Eventually I'll probably shave them..but i don't think its odd/gross at the moment



My test is a week from today, so I'll be sure to let everyone know how the cutting went. I love the idea of using nape wispies!! :-)

Good luck MarlieJane! I hope things go good and the person cutting your hair is understanding.:blossom:

truepeacenik
June 7th, 2010, 10:54 PM
I zoomed in on your avatar, and huuuuge congrats on getting a degree from Mines.
So, I'm assuming you will be in mineral extraction/ fuels.
Typically, I'd agree with Trolleypup on testing, but with the level of judgment expected in resource extraction, and the lives on the line, I can see their side.

I keep toying with the international business certificate with a sustainable energy focus from Mines. I think that would keep me out of classes led by John Andrews, and we have had words before over my former newspaper's coverage of his campaigns. :-)





Agreed! I am so glad I found this place!

My test is a week from today, so I'll be sure to let everyone know how the cutting went. I love the idea of using nape wispies!! :-)



The detection period of drug use is only 3 months for these hair tests. If a person can't stay clean for 3 months to pass a drug test, I would be very uncomfortable and feel very unsafe having them work with me for this particular job.

The job is pretty dangerous and requires the ability to operate very large, very expensive equipment and make on-the-fly decisions that could seriously affect the lives myself or coworkers. The position does not require random drug testing, it just requires this pre-employment test. I don't think the company cares what people do in their private off-work time. It's an entry level position, and most college seniors who are serious about getting jobs (in my major at least, chemical engineering) expect to be drug tested and are smart enough to put aside the joint smoking a few months prior to graduation in order to pass their drug tests. I really don't think 3 months of sobriety is asking too much, it's not that long in the scheme of things.


It’s not my dream to have someone monitor the levels of toxins in my hair, but it is a dream of mine not to be killed on the job because junkies or speed heads were able to sober up long enough to get through the interview process and then show up strung out at work and make poor decisions. I have friends with AA who are able to grow hair in certain areas, those hairs could be tested. I would be shocked if the company wasn't able to work something out with new hires who are completely hairless because of medical reasons or genetics. I can’t say how this works though, because I have a healthy head of hair and so it isn’t an issue I’ve had to raise with the company. As far as the constitution and the bill of rights go, the company isn't forcing drug tests on random folk who don't want to work for them. I promise they’re not going to come in to your house while you’re sleeping and cut off a hunk of your hair or anything :-)

This multinational company is very large (70,000+ employees) and I really get the feeling that the testing is done for safety purposes and not just to push around new hires. While I agree that hair testing would definitely be an invasion of privacy for some (most) jobs, I can see its merit for other jobs.

They definitely can, although they prefer to use hair from the head if it is available. I have the hair testing kit in my possession right now, and the forms have a place with checkboxes to mark where the hair was collected from (head, arm, leg, chest, armpit, other). My arm hairs are naturally very short and they might have to shave both my arms completely to collect enough hair. If I had armpit or leg hairs, I’d offer them up in a heartbeat. Lucky for me, I don’t have any chest hairs. The drug test person has to collect the hair sample themselves though, so I’d much rather lose some head hair than have a stranger take scissors to me “down under”, lol. I think the nape wispies would be fine to lose, otherwise back-upper head, above where I do a part for half-up and below the visible hairs when I wear my hair down, smackdab in the middle of where I wear a high bun. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll get a long haired technician taking my sample and she’ll be awesome about it :-)

jera
June 8th, 2010, 02:26 AM
I have to crawl out of my shell for this one.

Caution really ought to be exercised here. Don't be so quick to cut off a chunk of yourself for any salary in the world.

I agree with rhosyn_du, and I think more people would benefit from reading or re-watching 1984, Brazil and the like. The point such fiction is trying to illustrate is that once we've been stripped of all our freedom, there is no turning back. We are walking blindfolded into this scenario - mostly due to convenience. It is convenient for you to accept this job (and beneficial, at this time).

You seem to have made up your mind, so I shall step back. It is not easy to be young in this decade. We have the prospect of unemployment looming over our shoulders and are almost forced into taking the first best job that comes along. No matter the cost. A pencil-sized amount is definitely costly, even by outside-LHC standards.:p

Everything you've said is so apt. It's more than just what this one corporation is doing or the one person who's agreeing to allow it to be done to them, it's the ramifications for the future of all of us everywhere. We're losing our freedoms and if not one individual will stand up for themselves, this situation will escalate until people are forced to chop off a body part for even menial positions. Once one corporation/organanization gets away with this, others are like to follow and the freedoms that made this country great will be flushed down the drain, metaphorically speaking.

I suppose I understand how young people could feel this way about a position and a prospective salary, ie. financial security, but it does make me despair for the future of the world if young people everywhere not willing to defy authority when it so plainly merits defiance. :soapbox:

As much as I want to say wholeheartedly "congrats on you're job", a part of me can't because although something has been gained, something even greater is lost. :steam

Toadstool
June 8th, 2010, 06:29 AM
If during the next step of the hiring process I'm asked when I'd like to schedule my sub-dermal microchip implantation or I come home to find someone installing cameras in my apartment, I will run in the opposite direction as fast as I can :-)


LOL:D.....

Alun
June 9th, 2010, 12:35 AM
As for drug testing, it's standard in America to work *anywhere*



No it isn't. I moved to the US twenty years ago and have held quite a few separate jobs. I've never been drug tested. Lots of employers don't do anything like that at all.

OTOH, I would give as much armpit hair as anyone wants. Nobody looks under there anyway, except our cats, who like sniffing armpits, LOL!