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DOT Publishes Changes To Drug Testing Regulations

Volume 16, Issue 20
November 28, 2017

On November 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published changes to the federal regulations that govern drug testing for certain safety sensitive transportation employees. If your employees are subject to DOT drug testing requirements, these changes become effective January 1, 2018.

This final rule "harmonizes DOT regulations with the revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing."

Under the final rule, the DOT will now require employers to test for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone). Some common names for these substances include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, and Exalgo®. The DOT also added methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and removed the testing for methylenedioxyethylamphetaime (MDEA). These two substances are related to screening for the drug known as ecstasy.

The DOT will no longer require employers to conduct blind specimen testing. The purpose of this change is to relieve unnecessary costs and administrative burdens on employers now that laboratory testing has become more reliable.

Employers who are covered by DOT drug testing requirements will want to review all the changes made by this final rule. To obtain the final rule, click here. If you have questions about the changes or whether you are covered by DOT drug testing rules, please contact a KZA attorney.

Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.