Opioid Testing by Employers is Becoming More Common

The opioid epidemic has resulted in more employers testing for these painkillers in the workplace. Effective Jan. 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires employers regulated by the department to conduct opioid testing, which applies to commercial motor vehicle drivers, flight crew and other aviation-related workers, railroad employees, transit workers, certain pipeline employees and marine employees regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard. But employees other than those not regulated by the DOT are questioning whether it is legal to implement drug testing. According to the executive director of the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association, employees can test specifically for opioids as long as they are following state drug testing laws, a medical officer reviews positive results, and drug-free workplaces clarify which substances are prohibited.

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