DOT Urine Specimen Collection Rules Still in Place

Employers covered by the U.S. Department of Transportation drug and alcohol testing rules don't have to obey the final rule DOT issued June 25, 2008 -- at least, not yet. Although DOT's change required direct observation of all return-to-duty and follow-up urine tests, a stay issued Nov. 12 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit leaves in place the old drug testing regulation, according to a notice signed by Jim L. Swart, director of DOT's Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance, in today's Federal Register.

The change would have taken effect Nov. 1, 2008. Employers have the option now to use direct observation, but it isn't required.

The Association of American Railroads, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, the Air Transport Association, and the Regional Airline Association had urged DOT to reconsider, delay the effective date, and accept more comments, all of which were done. But DOT said it remained convinced "that conducting all return-to-duty and follow-up tests under DO is the most prudent course from the viewpoint of safety."

So those organizations filed a motion for a stay, which was granted by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of in BNSF Railway Company v. Department of Transportation, No. 08-1265, on Nov. 12.

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