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The DOT Drug Test Has Changed. Have You Updated Your Policy?
Scott Mogensen
3 mins read

JANUARY 23, 2018 – Last month the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced some changes to the federal drug testing panel. These changes, which were made to address our nation’s growing opioid crisis, will provide for a more comprehensive drug screen by including synthetic opioids as part of the standard test. Previously, these substances were only included on optional, expanded panel screens.

Although little changes for you, the employer, there is one important task you must complete – and that’s to review your current drug and alcohol testing policy.

Related: Download Your Free Policy Addendum

When Policy Updates are Required

According to guidance released by the DOT this month, if your current policy only references compliance with 49 CFR Part 40, without mentioning the individual drugs that are included on the test (or their cutoff levels), you won’t need to make any updates to your policy.

However, if your policy provides any of the additional information outlined below, you will need to update your policy as advised by the DOT:

#1: You list out the drug subcategories that are included on the test

If your current policy lists “Opiates (codeine, heroin and morphine)” you must change it to “Opioids (codeine, heroin, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone)” to reflect the addition of synthetic opiates to the testing panel. Likewise, If you currently list “Amphetamines (amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA, MDA, MDEA),” MDEA needs to be removed to reflect it’s deletion from the testing panel.

Alternatively, you can remove all subcategories of drugs from the policy, as described above.

#2: You list the cut-off levels for each substance included on the test

These cut-off levels need to be updated to reflect the current changes to the federal drug testing program. Again, you have the option of deleting these cut-off levels entirely instead of listing them individually in your policy.

Although your workplace drug testing policy may need to be updated to reflect the new changes, you aren’t required to provide written notice to your employees about the change. Please understand that all DOT agencies encourage you to do so, however.

To make this easier for you and your company, we’re providing you with the updated language you need to ensure a compliant policy – for free! To download the updated language so you can add it to your current policy, please click here.

Keep in mind, if you’re a current customer in our drug and alcohol testing program, we’ve already provided you with an updated policy. If you have any questions about these updates, or how these changes impact your program, please give us a call at (800) 253-5506.

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