DOT To Require Direct-observation Drug Testing
The Department of Transportation has issued a final rule, Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs, that requires direct-observation drug testing for return-to-duty, safety-sensitive transportation industry employees who have already failed or refused to take a urine drug test. The rule takes effect August 31. The DOT remains convinced that “conducting all return-to-duty and follow-up tests under direct observation is the most prudent course from the viewpoint of safety.” The amendment reinstates the requirement that was stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last November and lifted on July 1. As a result, employees submitting to return-to-duty and follow-up tests must raise their shirt, blouse or dress above the waist and lower clothing and underwear to prove they are not wearing a prosthetic device. The observer must then watch the actual filling of the cup.