Know the Role of Your MRO

Q: Our MRO suspects that some of our drug test specimens are being tampered with. How do we deal with this?

I’d consider asking your MRO-medical review offer-to report any specimens that have been found to be tampered with as a “refusal to test.” Some MROs simply aren’t clear as how to advise the transport companies’ supervisors in how to deal with this matter. They need a clear direction on how to handle these situations.

If you’re a crossborder hauler who must provide drug tests in order to comply with American law, U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater may use a regulatory change to clarify how your MRO or laboratory should handle what it says is an increasing number of adulterated and substituted specimens. Proposed new rules would require laboratories to test all specimens for adulterants and substitution attempts. Indeed, those found to be tampered with would be reported to the employer as a refusal to test.

DOT has also proposed that third parties be held accountable for providing appropriate service to employers. A “Public Interest Exclusion” procedure would prohibit employers from using service agents for testing who don’t provide appropriate services and refuse to correct identified problems.

The agency is also proposing a procedure to permit confirmed positive test results to be reported by the MRO to all DOT-regulated employers for whom the employee currently works, not just to the employer who ordered the test. However, many MROs feel that there may be problems with human rights, as it is the new employer who ordered the testing not the employee’s current employer. Copies of the U.S DOT proposal are online at

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