On April 30, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services changed the effective date of the revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs from May 1, 2010, to October 1, 2010.

Participants in federal and federally regulated workplace drug testing programs thus are not required to implement the revisions until that date. Private sector employers that opt voluntarily to utilize the Guidelines' testing procedures and cutoff levels also should be aware of the change in date.

As Ballard Spahr reported in an earlier legal alert, revisions to the Guidelines include reduced cutoff levels for amphetamine and cocaine, as well as revisions to administrative aspects of testing procedures.

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