DOT Oral Fluid Testing Rules: Key Updates & Insights

DOT Oral Fluid Testing Rules Key Updates Insights

Details on the approval of oral fluid testing by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on June 1, 2023, emphasizing the reliability of oral fluid testing when faced with common challenges like shy bladder, transgender or non-binary individuals, or collector observed testing. Also covered are the necessary preparations for employers, including updating policies, implementing robust training, required testing materials, and other key considerations.

Patrice M. Kelly, JD, Senior Policy Executive Adviser for NDASA (the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association) and a current employee of the Department of Transportation (DOT) recently presented at Day with DISA. In a comprehensive session, Patrice detailed the upcoming changes in DOT-regulated oral fluid testing, including the current status, planning for the future, and the readiness of organizations for these changes. Her insights were focused on the impact and implementation of oral fluid testing in DOT companies.

If you didn’t get the opportunity to attend the Day with DISA conference, or if you would like to review this presentation again, you can download or watch it using the link below.
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Key Takeaways:

  • HHS Approval and Implementation Timeline: The HHS approved oral fluid testing, with DOT's final rule effective from June 1, 2023, however employers cannot use oral fluid testing for DOT regulated tests until laboratories and collection devices are certified. If you want to implement oral fluid testing, you must prepare for this change by updating company policies and training your staff accordingly.
  • Reliability of Oral Fluid Testing: Oral fluid testing is as reliable as urine testing, with advancements ensuring it can be used with the same confidence level. This development is crucial for maintaining the integrity of drug testing programs and ensuring workplace safety.
  • Direct Observation and Privacy Concerns: All oral fluid tests will be directly observed, addressing privacy concerns and reducing the chances of adulteration or substitution. This method is particularly beneficial in sensitive situations involving transgender or non-binary individuals, ensuring dignity and compliance with civil rights.
  • Employer Responsibilities and Choices: Employers are responsible for choosing between oral fluid and urine testing based on their specific needs and the nature of the testing (random, post-accident, return-to-duty). This choice must be communicated through standing orders to collection sites, emphasizing the employer's control over the testing process.
  • Transgender and Non-Binary Considerations: In cases requiring directly observed collections, oral fluid testing becomes mandatory for transgender and non-binary individuals, aligning with civil rights protections and ensuring a respectful and non-discriminatory testing process.
  • Preparation for Implementation: Employers need to act now to prepare for the introduction of oral fluid testing. This preparation includes updating policies, training designated employer representatives, and establishing clear protocols for when and how different types of tests should be conducted.

About Day with DISA

This year's Day with DISA was a landmark event, bringing together over 4,000 attendees from the HR and safety sectors. The conference transitioned back to in-person attendance with a "Keynotes and Networking" event, alongside three days of virtual presentations on the latest employee screening trends. Reflecting on the success, it's evident that Day with DISA remains the essential conference for those responsible for employee screening, offering insights into compliance, safety, and smart hiring practices. Attendees are encouraged to look forward to next year's event for more invaluable insights and networking opportunities.

Related Articles:

Why the DOT Approved Oral Fluid testing, but You Can't Use It Yet

An Employer’s Guide to Drug Testing Types

SAMHSA Updates Mandatory Urine and Oral Fluid Guidelines

About DISA

Founded in 1986, DISA stands as the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. With its headquarters in Houston and over 35 offices across North America and Europe, DISA offers a comprehensive range of services including background checks, drug and alcohol testing, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA's mission is to assist employers in making informed staffing decisions while fostering a culture of safety in the workplace.

DISA Global Solutions aims to provide accurate and informative content for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The reader retains full responsibility for the use of the information contained herein. Always consult with a professional or legal expert.