The Department of Administrative Services recently informed the union of two separate issues, one having to do with end of year sick leave accruals and another regarding the federal expansion of drug testing for the U.S. Department of Transportation and subsequent changes to the state drug testing process.
Sick leave accrual fix
An administrative error meant that OCSEA Bargaining Unit employee received .6 hours more of sick leave accrual for the final accrual of the year on their most recent paystubs. DAS made the correction in OAKS, which means OCSEA state employees have .6 hours less sick leave on their OAKS record than appeared on their paystub last Friday, Dec. 8. Employees should consider their OAKS record the correct one. Going forward, employees now have the correct leave totals. DAS is looking into a permanent fix for the problem in the future.
Expanded drug test panel
On November 13, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation finalized a rule that expands the drug testing panel utilized by DOT. Because of the opioid crisis across the country, the new rule expands the drug testing panel to include certain semi-synthetic opioids including hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone.
The Ohio Dept. of Administrative Services (DAS) uses the DOT drug testing panel for all drug tests performed by the state, per Appendix M of the OCSEA collective bargaining agreement. That means DAS will incorporate this expansion into all non-DOT drug tests as well including pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion and return to duty and follow up, according to a recent letter sent to the union from DAS.
To see the new rule, go HERE. The changes take effect January 1, 2018.