USDOT Issues Proposal
On February 27, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register entitled “Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Oral Fluid Specimen Testing for Drugs” to add the oral fluid testing procedures to the existing urine drug testing procedures for safety-sensitive transportation employees subject to drug testing under Part 40 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
This proposal by the USDOT will give employers a choice that will help combat employee cheating on urine drug tests and provide a more economical and less intrusive means of achieving the safety goals of the program. The proposal includes other provisions to update the USDOT’s regulation, and to harmonize, as needed, with the new Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Other Factors and Comment Period
In addition to adding oral fluid as a drug testing method, the USDOT proposes to clarify certain Part 40 provisions that cover urine drug testing procedures; to remove provisions that no longer are necessary; to add clarifying language to other provisions like updated definitions and web links; and to update provisions to reflect issues that have arisen in recent practice. Since 2004, when HHS previously considered oral fluid testing, the scientific viability of that testing has advanced.
Comments for the proposal should be submitted by March 30, 2022. They should be sent by mail to Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, West Building Ground Floor Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001, or submitted online to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. To ensure proper docketing of comments, please include the agency name and docket number DOT-OST-2021-0093.
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