- By: Andrew David Easler, Esq.
- Published: May, 15 2023
- Updated: Nov, 4 2023
In response to the recent change in the Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing regulations, WorkTraining.com is excited to announce the launch of a comprehensive training program focused on oral fluid specimen collection under DOT protocols. This innovative training course is designed to equip collectors with the tools and knowledge necessary to implement effective oral fluid specimen collections, fostering safer and drug-free work environments.
The DOT's final rule, recently published in the Federal Register (88 FR 27596), marks a significant shift in drug testing policy. This change encompasses all DOT sectors, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The new rule authorizes oral fluid, also known as saliva, for collection and subsequent drug testing as an alternative to the traditional urine modality for DOT-regulated employers.
Adopting oral fluid testing, also known as saliva testing, introduces a non-invasive, reliable, and practical solution to workplace drug testing. Particularly beneficial for mobile workforce settings, this technique simplifies sample collection, reducing logistical challenges associated with urine testing without compromising accuracy or reliability.
"With the introduction of the DOT's oral fluid drug testing rule, we are offering extensive training to help employers navigate this change," says James White, co-founder of WorkTraining.com. "Our courses cover everything from legal aspects of drug testing to administering oral fluid testing and mock collections. To ensure accessibility, we offer both online and in-person training options tailored to meet the unique needs of every employer."
Andrew Easler, Esq., a renowned authority in drug testing laws and co-founder of WorkTraining.com, highlights the significance of this new rule. "Oral fluid collections simplify drug testing, making it less invasive and more practical for many employers, who had no other choice but to collect urine samples under DOT covered drug and alcohol testing programs to test for the presence of drugs. This procedurally and substantively less invasive method will help defend the continued constitutionality of federally regulated mandatory drug testing programs in the transportation sector.” Attorney Easler explains that “not only is the collection process less invasive, the shorter average detection window helps to protect the program from future challenges upon claims of unreasonable search and seizure, governmental overreach, and regulation of legal off-duty conduct that have been raised in many Non-DOT program challenges since the Supreme Court’s critical decision defending these programs in Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives’ Association in 1989; this is truly a step in the right direction by the Department [of Transportation] and Congress in walking the fine line of keeping the American people safe while balancing that interest with the protection of Fourth Amendment privacy rights.”
While this change may appear to be a huge step forward, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) implemented similar rules for Oral Fluid testing back in 2019 titled “The Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid (OFMG)” which set rules for testing and collection and essentially authorized certain federal testing programs to adopt oral fluid as a testing modality as long as certain conditions, such as the use of approved devices, were met. However, no such DHHS regulated agency has adopted oral fluid yet.
Oral Fluid Collection Training will involve three critical components, similar to DOT Urine Specimen Collection Training under 49 C.F.R. § 40.33, Basic Information, Qualification Training, and Initial Proficiency Demonstrations. These demonstrations, similar to alcohol screening and confirmation under DOT protocols under 49 C.F.R. § 40.213, require training on the specific device used in the process. This means that collectors desiring qualification for DOT Oral Fluid Collection will be required to use an approved oral fluid collection device.
WorkTraining.com is committed to empowering employers to establish successful drug testing programs using oral fluid testing. Our training programs are meticulously designed to provide a thorough understanding of this new testing method, ensuring compliance and promoting a safer, drug-free workplace.
Pre-registration for the DOT Oral Fluid Collector Training is now open on WorkTraining.com. Be among the first to get trained and stay ahead in maintaining a drug-free workplace.
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