On May 1, 2010, revisions to the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs take effect, including reduced cutoff levels for amphetamine and cocaine. Although the Guidelines apply to federal employer drug testing, many private sector employers opt to follow the Guidelines' procedures for how testing is conducted and for the cutoff levels. The revised Guidelines also change other administrative aspects of the procedures. 

Specifically, with respect to amphetamines, the initial test cutoff has been lowered to 500 ng/ml, and the confirmatory test cutoff has been lowered to 250 ng/ml. The confirmatory test cutoff for methamphetamines also is 250 ng/ml. The requirement for amphetamine presence to report methamphetamines has been lowered to 100 ng/ml. With respect to cocaine, the initial test cutoff has been lowered to 150 ng/ml, and the confirmatory test cutoff has been lowered to 100 ng/ml.  Moreover, the Guidelines now allow for testing for MDMA (Ecstasy) and provide for an initial test cutoff of 500 ng/ml and a confirmatory test cut-off of 250 ng/ml. 

With these changes about to take effect, now is the time for employers with substance abuse programs modeled on the DHHS Guidelines to review and update their programs. The attorneys in Ballard Spahr's Labor and Employment Group are prepared to assist you. 

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