Part 40 DOT Policies Notice

December 4, 2017 - https://www.transportation.gov

DOT Drug Testing: Employer DOT Policies – the Part 40 Changes

The DOT Agencies & United States Coast Guard (USCG) have provided guidance to DOT-regulated employers about what their DOT policies will need to contain about the changes to 49 CFR Part 40, which are effective January 1, 2018.

1. The Federal Transit Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, and USCG take this position.

There is no need for employers to make any changes if their current DOT policies refer to adhering to “... Part 40.” However, there are exceptions when an employer’s DOT policy lists the following optional information:

If sub-categories of drugs tested under the 5-panel are listed – for example, if a policy lists "Opiates (codeine, heroin, & morphine)" and/or “Amphetamines (amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA, MDA, MDEA), then “Opiates“ needs to change to “Opioids (codeine, heroin, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone)” and “MDEA” will need to be removed from the list under Amphetamines.  If however, employers would like to delete the sub-categories of drugs, doing so will also be acceptable.

Likewise, if cut-off levels are listed in current policies, employers must update those cut-off levels. Again, employers may simply delete the cut-off levels completely and be in compliance if the DOT policy refers to adhering to “... Part 40.”

While these DOT Agencies and USCG suggest that employers provide written notice to employees about their updated DOT policies, doing so is an employer's prerogative.

2. This document replaces the previous Employer DOT Policies - Part 40 Changes notice from 2010.

DOT Publishes Final Rule: Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs

November 13, 2017 - www.transportation.gov

DOT Publishes Drug Testing Rule

Today, November 13, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule that, among other items, expands the Department’s current drug testing panel to include certain semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone).

“The opioid crisis is a threat to public safety when it involves safety-sensitive employees involved in the operation of any kind of vehicle or transport,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “The 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.”

To learn more about this final rule, visit https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/Part_40_Final_Rule_Summary_of_Changes or view the rule at https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/frpubs.

Rule to build database of truckers who have failed drug tests set for publication

Matt Cole – November 2, 2016 – www.overdriveonline.com

A final rule to establish a drug and alcohol clearinghouse for CDL holders has cleared its final hurdle before publication.

The CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse final rule would establish a database of CDL holders who have failed or refused to take a drug test. Having cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget on Monday, Oct. 31, the rule should be published soon.

The OMB gave the rule a “consistent with change” ruling, which means the rule is cleared to be published with changes recommended by OMB. Those recommendations were not published, and the final text of the rule won’t be known until it’s published in the Federal Register.

The clearinghouse would require carriers to submit positive tests and refusals to the database, and owner-operators must also report to FMCSA the consortium or third-party drug test administrator it uses and authorize it to submit information on any of its drivers, including themselves, to the database.

In its latest rulemaking update, the Department of Transportation estimated the rule would be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 23.

Now, not later: Group wants FMCSA to allow drug testing of truckers via hair sample

October 28, 2016 – www.overdriveonline.com

A coalition of major carriers has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to immediately allow hair sample tests to satisfy federal rules requiring trucking companies to drug test truck drivers pre-employment. Currently, the agency only recognizes urine sample tests.

The Trucking Alliance, a carrier advocacy group that includes fleets like Maverick Transportation, Knight Transportation, J.B. Hunt and Dupre Logistics, submitted the petition.

The FAST Act highway bill passed last year opens the door for the agency to recognize hair tests in lieu of urine samples, but not until the Department of Health and Human Services creates guidelines for hair sample testing. The FAST Act requires HHS to finalize guidelines within a year of the law’s enactment, which would be Dec. 5, 2016 of this year.

The guidelines have not yet been finalized, however, and the Alliance says HHS likely will request more time to do so, further delaying carriers’ ability to test driver via hair sample, the Alliance argues.

“On this issue, the private sector is already far ahead of the public sector in utilizing the latest methods to detect drug users,” said Lane Kidd, managing director of the Trucking Alliance. “While we wait on HHS and FMCSA, we can possibly save lives with this exemption by keeping many hard drug users out of our trucks and off our highways.”

Some carriers like J.B. Hunt already test drivers via hair sample, but such carriers must still spend the money to test drivers via urine sample too, a practice that could be ended if the agency accepted drug screening via hair analysis, the Alliance members argue.

DOT advances rule to build database of truckers who have failed drug tests

Matt Cole – May 23, 2016 – www.overdriveonline.com

A Final Rule that would create a database CDL holders has been sent by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, its last stop before being published as a legally binding rule.

The Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will require carriers to report to FMCSA failed drug tests and test refusals of CDL holders.

Owner-operators, who are required by law to participate in random drug testing via a consortium, must report to FMCSA the consortium or third-party drug test administrator it uses and authorize it to submit information on any of its drivers, including themselves, to the database.

Carriers would also be required to query the database when making new hires and once a year for existing drivers, according to the proposed rule published in 2014 by FMCSA. When querying the database, however, carriers would be required to obtain written consent from a driver before doing so and for access to information in the clearinghouse. If a driver refuses to allow the query, he or she would be barred from driving.

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