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Expanded U.S. Department Of Transportation Drug Testing Rules Effective January 1, 2018

Peter Gillespie

On November 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule that expanded required drug-testing to include the synthetic opioids hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone, among other changes.

These changes were made to harmonize the DOT’s drug testing regulations with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. Affected employers in the transportation industry should be sure that their drug-testing laboratories have implemented these requirements.

Companies that voluntarily comply with the HHS Mandatory Guidelines should consider amending their programs as well. Employers that test for these substances must also recognize that they will see a greater number of positive drug test results, likely from prescription drugs.

For these reasons, employers should closely coordinate with their medical review officers about verifying prescriptions and safety-related concerns based on the use of these substances.


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