Am I in the Clear? Amtrak hire process

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Pennsylvania
Hello I'm new here nice to be here! I was hired to be an Amtrak R and I Clerk in early Aug and I have gone through all the exams.
1. Offered Position and Accepted
2. Hair Follicle Test done on the spot
3. Medical Exam Done Next
4. Urine Done Next

I emailed my point of contact as its almost the end of sept to check on the status of my employment. She saids Amtrak Medical are just looking over the medical portion now and will update me when there is an update. She stated my tentative start date is Oct 18, 2021 but I must be cleared before I can began. So my question is will they contact me if there is any issues, if im cleared or will they give me the silent treatment?
 

pennyk

50 year Amtrak Rider
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
11,568
Location
Orlando, FL
Congratulations (so far) and good luck. I do not know the answer to your questions, but @Acela150 may know the answers.
 

Acela150

Super Buff
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
8,914
Location
Somewhere between here and there
You should be fine. As long as you haven’t used any type of illegal drugs in the past year you should be fine. And this includes marijuana. Although I believe that they would have told you by now that you had tested positive for something. I briefly worked at the call center. It’s a very nice building. We desperately need people there! If you have any other questions, feel free to drop me a PM. I’ll be more then glad to help out.
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,781
Location
Ithaca, NY
Yes they are, and most likely will always do it.
It's completely stupid, but until federal law changes, most companies with a federal connection will keep doing it -- keep the feds happy. Federal law is perfectly likely to change within the next 10 years, however.
 

daybeers

Conductor
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
1,109
Location
HFD/POU
They're still doing hair tests for non-safety involved jobs like the call center?!? Certainly isn't helping their labor shortage.
Yes they are, and most likely will always do it.
That's craziness. I was considering applying for a station job like baggage or customer service rep but would not pass the longer hair test. Maybe in the future after working another job, but I can't wait until the 90-day mark to apply to work. :D
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Pennsylvania
You should be fine. As long as you haven’t used any type of illegal drugs in the past year you should be fine. And this includes marijuana. Although I believe that they would have told you by now that you had tested positive for something. I briefly worked at the call center. It’s a very nice building. We desperately need people there! If you have any other questions, feel free to drop me a PM. I’ll be more then glad to help out.
Thank you Acela150 yes I’ve been in contact be email and so far so good. I’m just waiting on the all clear email so I can give notice to my current job. And yes the call center is very nice I agree!
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Pennsylvania
Yeah I had to give my armpit hair lol because I get my hair cut really short. I did that after the interview. Took about 2 weeks for them to get back to me and schedule everything else. Going on about a month and half now so I’m waiting patiently waiting on the all clear.
 

dlagrua

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,285
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
It appears that you are on your way and I wish you all the best on your new job. AFAIK, only DOT workers need to take the hair test that will indicate drug use going back quite a while. I believe that test may be somewhat discriminatory. If you have taken a prescription pain killer say for migraines or used medical marijuana salve for a sprain, you would probably be denied employment.
 

dwebarts

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
61
Location
Bethesda MD
I’ve had to do drug tests for many office jobs
Sometimes even when it makes no logical sense for the position. I'd always pass (not a user), but for some of the jobs I've held, it seems stupid to reject a candidate in a private sector company for having a little marijuana in jurisdictions where it's perfectly legal. I find it hard to believe that a javascript coder can't work if they've indulged. I've known plenty of remote coders that had a glass of their beverage of choice on hand when they're hard at work.
 
Last edited:

Just-Thinking-51

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
2,316
Location
USA
Federal Law does not allow the use of marijuana. So it not open for discussion. What is open for discussion is changing of the law.

The whole hair drug test is questionable and does not meet test requirements of the federal government. My trucking job can give me a hair test, but to meet the job requirements I need a urinalysis.

Which became a issue since we were sending them to New Orleans and a hurricane closed that location down. We had new drivers sitting around waiting for the results for a week longer than normal.

The drama never ends…
 

flitcraft

Conductor
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
1,068
Without opining on the value of drug-testing that reveals marijuana use months earlier, I wondered if the hair test is used because it is cheaper than the more accurate tests, and so can screen out a potential employee without having to use the more expensive tests. Sort of like the way that patrol officers can use the hand-held portable alcohol sensors in a suspected drunk driving stop even though they are too unreliable to be admitted into evidence in a trial--if the suspect's field alcohol test is well under the limit, the office will send them on their way without going through the rigamarole of a proper BAC Verifier test at the station... (I know this from professional rather than personal experience. 😉)
 

daybeers

Conductor
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
1,109
Location
HFD/POU
The issue of tests only showing past usage not current intoxication level has been discussed on this board before. For the purposes of testing for a safety-sensitive position or even a company policy, determining whether a person is intoxicated after an incident or during work hours is important, but the test shouldn't punish those who use outside of work hours, just like those who work for Amtrak are more than welcome to imbibe in an alcoholic drink after work.

Maybe if cannabis was allowed to be researched a little more, we'd have a test like the breathalyzer by now.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Pennsylvania
Well so far Amtrak hasn’t said anything to me about the drug tests hair and urine although I don’t do any illegal substances including marijuana. I’m glad I started the thread because it could help other people in this area of drug testing, time lapse, and employment.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
1
Location
Chicago
Well so far Amtrak hasn’t said anything to me about the drug tests hair and urine although I don’t do any illegal substances including marijuana. I’m glad I started the thread because it could help other people in this area of drug testing, time lapse, and employment.
I’m in the pre-employment and was wondering when you got contact after all the tests were done and if they delayed your start date? Just curious because my start date is the 25 of October and they have not said anything to me in about two weeks. Which I need to put my two weeks in but reluctant to because they haven’t technically approved me. So when did they tell you you were able to start? Thanks!
 
Top