Updated DOT Drug Testing Option for Employers
As part of a final rule effective June 1, 2023, employers will now have the option to have their employees drug tested using an oral test method under the DOT’s new regulation. Permitting an oral test method will make it more convenient to administer a DOT drug test as it is typically difficult to directly observe a urine collection due to privacy concerns. With the addition of an approved oral specimen collection, it will now be easier to observe employees completing a drug test with fewer privacy concerns. Direct observation of sample collection will also make it more difficult for employees to cheat as may occur on urine drug tests.
Although the rule is effective June 1, it cannot yet be implemented by employers as there must be two Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-certified labs for oral fluid testing – and currently, there are no HHS-certified labs for the testing. Two labs are needed as one lab would conduct the screening and confirmation on the primary specimen, while the other lab would test a second specimen in the event an employee requests a verification test for a positive result. Until two HHS-certified labs are available, employers will not be able to conduct oral fluid testing.
Amerisafe Group expects there to be at least two HHS-certified testing labs within the next six to eighteen months. Once there are two accredited labs in place, we will begin working with those labs to procure the appropriate test-taking media. Continue to follow Amerisafe Group’s blog for additional information and updates.