On November 13, 2017, the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) announced that it is amending its drug-testing program on January 1, 2018 to include certain semi-synthetic opioids: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone — more commonly known as OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, Exalgo®. This change will require covered employers to test for a wider range of illegal drug use. The new drug-testing requirements will also add methylenedioxyamphetamine (“MDA”) as an initial test analyte and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (“MDEA”) as a confirmatory test analyte. Additionally, employers and Third-Party Administrators will no longer be required to submit blind specimens to laboratories.
These changes follow President Trump’s October declaration that the opioid crisis is a national public health emergency. Currently, the DOT requires drug testing for safety-sensitive employees in transportation industries. However, prolific drug abuse has prompted the DOT to update its drug testing standards. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao stated that “[t]he ability to test for a broader range of opioids will advance transportation safety significantly and provide another deterrence to opioid abuse, which will better protect the public and ultimately save lives.”
The new rules take effect on January 1, 2018, and they will apply to all employers currently subject to DOT drug testing requirements. DOT covered employers need to modify their current drug and alcohol testing policies to conform to the regulations. If an employee has questions about the accuracy of the positive, adulterated, or substituted test result of his or her specimen, he or she retains the right to request that his or her split specimen be tested.
For more information on Minnesota drug testing law, Minnesota drug testing policies, or the DOT drug testing requirements, contact one of the employment law attorneys of Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A.
About the Author:
Minnesota drug testing attorney Craig W. Trepanier regularly represents Minnesota employers in reviewing and complying with drug testing laws, drafting DOT drug and alcohol testing policies, and advising employers regarding opioids in the workplace. If you have questions about Minnesota drug testing policies, Minnesota drug testing law, or Minnesota drug testing litigation, Craig may be reached at 612.455.0502 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A. is a Minnesota drug testing law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota.