The Transportation Department will require direct observation collections for all return-to-duty and follow-up drug tests for transportation workers in safety-sensitive jobs.
The provision has been on-again, off-again since 2008.
Recently, a federal court ruled that transportation safety was a compelling reason to mandate observation when employees who previously failed or refused to take a drug test are retested.
The rule requires observers to check people producing urine samples for prosthetic or other cheating devices. This provision takes effect Aug. 31, 2009.
The court took into account the recent development of a wide array of available cheating devices (see our previous article here). It also said the rule didn’t violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. The judges on the court stated unanimously that employees who had failed or refused a previous drug test had diminished expectation of privacy.
Transportation Department (DOT) data show that the violation rate for return-to-duty and follow-up testing is two to four times higher than that of random testing.
DOT’s rule negates any collective bargaining agreements that prohibit or limit the use of direct observation collections for return-to-work and follow-up testing.
(Click here for the Federal Register notice on the new regulation.)
Do you support DOT’s decision to require observed collections in these circumstances? Let us know in the Comments Box below.