Is Your Company Compliant With the DOT Drug Test Requirements?
Do you have employees with commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) that operate the following vehicles? If you answer yes, you need to update your DOT drug test and alcohol test to be compliant with the newest requirements.
- a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds
- a vehicle that is capable of transporting 16 or more occupants
- any size vehicle that is transporting hazardous materials that require a placard
Effective January 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug test requirements have changed to include 4 semi-synthetic opioids: hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone in addition to the existing DOT drug test panel that screens for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP) and opiates. Some common drug brand names for these newly required tests are: OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, and Exalgo®.
Employer responsibilities for DOT drug test
Employer responsibilities include prohibiting all employees from operating a commercial vehicle during any time period where the employee is deemed to not be in compliance with all regulations concerning drug or alcohol use. This would include the following:
- Driver has received a positive drug test
- Driver adulterated or substituted a sample during a drug test or refused to be tested
- Employer has knowledge that a driver has used drugs or alcohol while performing safety-sensitive functions or within 4 hours
- Employer has knowledge that employee used a controlled substance
In addition, the employer must provide educational material that explains the regulatory requirements for drugs and alcohol. It is mandatory for the employer to provide the employer’s policies and procedures to meet those requirements.
Are you making compliance mistakes with your DOT drug test?
If you are making mistakes in complying with federal testing regulations, it could result in both fines and penalties. Accordingly, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does compliance reviews (audits) to make sure regulations are followed. What are some of the mistakes that employers make that get them in trouble?
- Failure to have or implement a program that complies with DOT regulations
- Using a driver before getting results of the pre-employment screen
- Mismanaging random testing
- “Looking the other way” when there is a violation
- Post-accident testing that does not follow the guidelines
- Poor documentation and record-keeping
- And more…
Need help to make sure you are in compliance?
You can consult with an experienced CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) that has the services you need to fill in your HR gaps. The right partner can help you recruit, integrate your system, perform background screening, drug testing at convenient locations, and provide support throughout the process. Not only can you feel confident that you are bringing the best hire into your company, but you will know that you have done due diligence both legally and ethically for your employees and customers. In addition to accomplishing this at a price that fits your budget, a professional CRA partner pays for itself by avoiding costly hiring mistakes. For a free consultation or more information, contact Genesis Background Screening Services at 866 944-0041 ext 101, email or visit http://www.genesisbackgroundscreening.com/
Genesis Background Screening is not a law firm and provides our blogs for informational purposes only. Therefore, the blog is not a substitute for experienced legal advice. Research any laws or regulations mentioned here, check with your legal counsel if you have questions and to confirm your organization is within the law regarding compliance.
Dave Katzenmeyer, President, Genesis Background Screening Services