DOT Drug Testing: Part 40 – Employee Notice

“This is a reminder that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing program will soon require testing for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone). The change is effective January 1, 2018.

What does this mean for the employees?

Beginning January 1, 2018, in addition to the existing DOT drug testing panel (that includes marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opiates), you will also be tested for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone). Some common names for these semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, Exalgo®.”

DOT Starts Forces to Flyers to Ease Pilot Shortage

“U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao recently announced Forces to Flyers, a new research initiative that will encourage military veterans who are interested in becoming commercial pilots. Spearheaded by DOT and its Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, the three-year program will examine strategies for employing military veterans as pilots in order to address the nation’s current and future pilot shortage.

“There is a commercial pilot shortage due to the increased demand for air travel,” she said. “The Forces to Flyers research initiative is a new strategy to address the pilot shortage by offering interested military veterans a path to becoming commercial pilots.”

DOT cited Boeing’s 2016 Pilot Outlook, North America, as saying the industry needs to hire 112,000 pilots by 2035 in order to meet demand. “In order for America to continue to be a world leader in aviation, we must search for ways to address our country’s pilot shortage, invest in our nation’s workforce, and ensure that our veterans have the support they need as they transition to the next phase of their careers,” Chao continued.”

DOT Publishes Drug Testing Rule

“Yesterday, November 13, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule that, among other items, expands the Department’s current drug testing panel to include certain semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone).

“The opioid crisis is a threat to public safety when it involves safety-sensitive employees involved in the operation of any kind of vehicle or transport,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “The ability to test for a broader range of opioids will advance transportation safety significantly and provide another deterrence to opioid abuse, which will better protect the public and ultimately save lives.”

To learn more about this final rule, visit our web page at or view the rule at .”

DOT Reports on Rulemakings’ Status

“The U.S. Department of Transportation has resumed its monthly public Significant Rulemaking Report, saying it demonstrates a commitment to transparency in DOT’s rulemaking process. The new report for August 2017 is available here.

It lists the status of dozens of pending rulemakings, including some the agency has halted and many others it has delayed during the Trump administration’s initial months.”
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