Since 1991 the federal government has required drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines these drug and alcohol testing rules and regulations for employees who drive commercial trucks and buses that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL). These regulations identify who is subject to testing, when they are tested and in what situations.
On November 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule, which, among other items, added four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone) to the drug screening panel. Some common names for these semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, Exalgo®. It also added methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte and removed the testing for methylenedioxyethylamphetaime (MDEA).
Because the added opioids can be legally taken with a doctor’s prescription, this may result in more initial positives that trigger Medical Review Officer (MRO) review and require the MRO to evaluate whether the employee is taking the opioid pursuant to a valid prescription.
More details can be found at www.transportation.gov/odapc/Part_40_Final_Rule_Summary_of_Changes
This change is effective January 1, 2018. Companies that are covered by DOT should amend their drug testing programs accordingly before this date.
B&D attorneys can provide you with guidance to assure that your business remains in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation rules and regulations.