BOSTON (AP) – MBTA workers are protesting a new federal regulation requiring they have company when giving urine samples for drug tests.

The Department of Transportation guidelines take effect in November and mandate the “directly observed collection” of urine from employees who have previously tested positive.

The rule also applies to employees who have submitted past samples that appeared to have been tampered with. Observers are required to be the same gender as the employee.

Transportation officials say they need the rule to combat what they call a flourishing industry set up to help people beat the tests.

But Terrence Ward, who heads the MBTA’s Concerned Minority Employees Group, tells the Boston Globe the procedures violate workers’ privacy.

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