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Weekend Roundup: Fake Urine, Salary History, and the Jobs Report

Sneaky job seekers, urine trouble now! Using fake pee to skirt drug testing has become such an epidemic nationwide that many states are working to ban sales of the substance. It’s a development sure to make a splash in the labor market! In slightly less strange news, more local and state governments are working to bar salary-history questions from job applications and interviews, even as the labor market remains historically strong for workers. Discover why in today’s Weekend Roundup:

States Moving to Ban Fake Urine

Drug addicts have always used various tricks to beat the drug test. From using another person’s urine to diluting it with excess water intake, they always come up with some way or the other to pass the drug test.

One recent practice that is in vogue among drug addicts is to use fake urine. Fake urine or synthetic urine to be exact looks exactly like the natural urine and are available easily in stores or online. These are available by brand name UPass™, Xtream®, QuickFix®, and Magnum®.

While the manufacturers claim that the product is meant for pranks and novelty gift, it is highly being used by drug addicts and athletes to go undetected for the consumption of banned drugs or performance enhancing steroids. Some fake urine preparations are available in powder form and a step-by-step guide is provided to formulate the fake urine such as amount of water to be mixed and temperature for microwaving.

More Jurisdictions Are Banning Salary-History Inquiries

Requesting applicants’ salary history has been standard practice for many employers that use this information to eliminate applicants from the hiring pool: “This person is too expensive.” “At that low rate of pay, this person must be unqualified.”

Employers have also used prior pay information to set compensation for new hires—a practice that may perpetuate the pay disparity between men and women.

To address gender pay disparity, a number of states and localities have recently enacted prohibitions on inquiring into such information, though these prohibitions vary in terms, scope and applicability.

The Latest Jobs Report Shows Why it’s Still a Workers’ Labor Market

The new data shows that the US economy remains strong even though it’s not really booming. For example, average monthly job growth in the first quarter of 2019 was about 180,000, which is lower than the 223,000 monthly average during the same period in 2018. The decrease isn’t alarming; it just suggests that the economy isn’t growing as fast as before, and that the current labor shortage is making it hard for employers to fill all the open positions.

The strong labor market is a good sign for workers. Such a low unemployment rate means that nearly every American who wants to work, and is able to, has snagged a job by now. And those who lose their jobs, or decide to leave, probably won’t have a hard time finding another position.

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