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The U.S Department of Transportation strictly monitors the compliance of DOT-regulated employers regarding drug testing service. This is to ensure that those operating the vehicles have no disqualifying criminal record and are not abusing a dangerous substance.

However, due to a health crisis that the world is facing right now, many drug testing providers struggle to carry out the required drug testing service. In response, the DOT issued guidance on drug and alcohol testing for DOT-regulated employers, employees, and service agents during this period of national emergency.

For DOT-Regulated Employers

  • Employers must follow with appropriate DOT training and requirements. If due to unavailability of program resources such as collection sites, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT), and Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP), employers should make a reasonable effort to locate the necessary resources. Employers are also suggested to consider mobile collection services for required testing in the absence of fixed-collection facilities.
  • Employers who are unable to administer required testing or training must continually abide by the existing DOT requirements to document the reason for unfulfilled tests or training.

The possible reasons are COVID-19-related supply shortages, facility closures, State or locally imposed quarantine requirements, or other impediments. Employers can conduct the testing or training later under applicable modal regulations.

  • Examples of tests and training that can be done later are supervisor reasonable suspicion training at the next available opportunity, follow-up testing later in the month, and random testing later in the selection period or by end of year.     
  • Employers must comply with underlying modal regulations given that the employers cannot conduct DOT drug and alcohol testing due to the unavailability of resources. For example, employers should not allow the prospective or current employee to perform any DOT safety-sensitive functions or cannot hire the prospect individual for any DOT agency tasks, without a negative pre-employment drug result.
  • Employers must review the DOT agency requirements for testing for purposes of collection and testing at a later date since people are concerned about potential public health risks.
  • It is the responsibility of the employers to evaluate whether the employee’s refusal to test during a pandemic is considered a refusal as per 49 CFR § 40.355(i). DOT advises employers to verify if the clinic or collection site has taken the necessary precaution to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure.  
  • Employers should revisit back-up plans to ensure its effectiveness for the current outbreak conditions.

For DOT-Regulated Employees

Employees should contact the medical provider and, if necessary, let your employer know about your availability to return to work if you are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms.

Discuss with your employer if you have COVID-19-related testing concerns.

For Service Agents

As drug testing providers, continue to offer services to DOT-regulated employers under State or local mandates related to COVID-19. For any COVID-19-related concerns about testing, service agents are required to fully comply with:

  • Company policy
  • The mandate of the State and local governments
  • Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For fully compliant pre-employment drug testing service in Florida, contact today!

Drug Testing

Author Drug Testing

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