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Total Articles: 10

EEOC Releases Draft Strategic Plans for FY 2018-2022

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will focus on aligning its resources to improve discrimination prevention and public education about the discrimination laws, according to a draft of its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2022. The strategic plan is open for public comment until January 8, 2018.

PHMSA Raises Random Drug Testing Rate to 50% for 2018

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration announced December 8, 2017 that during calendar year 2018, the minimum random drug testing rate will be increased to 50%.

Beltway Buzz, December 1, 2017

The 12 Days (or so) of Congress. Congress has returned to D.C. after a weeklong Thanksgiving break, and the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers are determined to complete an extensive holiday wish list. For starters, government funding runs out in just one week (on December 8), and the risk of a shutdown looms. The most likely outcome is that Congress will buy itself some much-needed time by kicking the can down the road with another continuing resolution. Then a week after that, Congress is scheduled to adjourn until the new year, though this date could be extended. So besides funding the government, what else is on that wish list? Just some minor issues like comprehensive tax reform, hurricane disaster relief, health insurance market stabilization, reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Iran sanctions, and nominations. Oh, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) fix. Clearly, this is a lot to accomplish in a short period of time.

U.S. Department of Transportation Publishes Guidance For Updating Drug and Alcohol Testing Policies

The drug testing panel utilized by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s operating agencies will change on January 1, 2018. (Click here to read our blog post on that change). DOT published guidance on December 1, 2017 to assist employers with regard to updating their drug and alcohol testing policies. The guidance states as follows:

Department of Transportation Publishes Final Rule on Drug Testing

On November 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule making significant changes to 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 40, which affects employers administering drug tests in the transportation industry. The final rule states that its purpose is to remain current with the changes made to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs, which were announced in early 2017.

Department of Transportation Adds Four New Drugs to Testing Panel

Executive Summary: On November 13, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it is amending its drug-testing program to require testing for synthetic opioids. The new DOT regulations now harmonize with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Urine (HHS Mandatory Guidelines), published January 23, 2017.

Transportation Department Expands Drug Testing Panel to Include Certain ‘Semi-Synthetic’ Opioids

Employers regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) should revise their drug and alcohol testing policies to conform to new DOT regulations that added four “semi-synthetic” opioid drugs to the DOT drug testing panel. The new regulations go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Agency Heads Discuss Changes in Regulatory Direction During Federalist Society Panel

The current leaders of the Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and National Labor Relations Board addressed transitions and regulatory plans at their respective agencies at a November 16 forum. The Federalist Society, a conservative think-tank, sponsored the panel discussion during which the speakers advocated a more common-sense approach to rulemaking, and supported the Trump administration's efforts to rescind or scale back some of the prior administration's more onerous rules.

Labor Secretary Discusses DOL Priorities During House Committee Hearing

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta fielded a range of questions on the DOL's priorities during a November 15 hearing before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Although members of the Committee inquired about past, current, and future rulemaking and other Department initiatives, the limited duration of Wednesday's hearing allowed Secretary Acosta to deliver only brief responses. The hearing did, however, provide some insight into the DOL's stance on health care, OSHA enforcement, overtime rulemaking authority, apprenticeship, and other workplace concerns.

FMCSA Expands Its Drug Testing Panel Effective January 1, 2018

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in a rule to be published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2017, that it will expand its drug testing panel to include four synthetic opioid drugs: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone and oxymorphone.