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Subpart B - Employer Responsibilities

§40.11 What are the general responsibilities of employers under this regulation?
(a) As an employer, you are responsible for meeting all applicable requirements and procedures of this part.
(b) You are responsible for all actions of your officials, representatives, and agents (including service agents) in carrying out the requirements of the DOT agency regulations.
(c) All agreements and arrangements, written or unwritten, between and among employers and service agents concerning the implementation of DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements are deemed, as a matter of law, to require compliance with all applicable provisions of this part and DOT agency drug and alcohol testing regulations. Compliance with these provisions is a material term of all such agreements and arrangements.

§40.13 How do DOT drug and alcohol tests relate to non-DOT tests?
(a) DOT tests must be completely separate from non-DOT tests in all respects.
(b) DOT tests must take priority and must be conducted and completed before a non-DOT test is begun. For example, you must discard any excess urine left over from a DOT test and collect a separate void for the subsequent non-DOT test.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, you must not perform any tests on DOT urine or breath specimens other than those specifically authorized by this part or DOT agency regulations. For example, you may not test a DOT urine specimen for additional drugs, and a laboratory is prohibited from making a DOT urine specimen available for a DNA test or other types of specimen identity testing.
(d) The single exception to paragraph (c) of this section is when a DOT drug test collection is conducted as part of a physical examination required by DOT agency regulations. It is permissible to conduct required medical tests related to this physical examination (e.g., for glucose) on any urine remaining in the collection container after the drug test urine specimens have been sealed into the specimen bottles.
(e) No one is permitted to change or disregard the results of DOT tests based on the results of non-DOT tests. For example, as an employer you must not disregard a verified positive DOT drug test result because the employee presents a negative test result from a blood or urine specimen collected by the employee's physician or a DNA test result purporting to question the identity of the DOT specimen.
(f) As an employer, you must not use the CCF or the ATF in your non-DOT drug and alcohol testing programs. This prohibition includes the use of the DOT forms with references to DOT programs and agencies crossed out. You also must always use the CCF and ATF for all your DOT-mandated drug and alcohol tests.

§40.15 May an employer use a service agent to meet DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements?
(a) As an employer, you may use a service agent to perform the tasks needed to comply with this part and DOT agency drug and alcohol testing regulations, consistent with the requirements of Subpart Q and other applicable provisions of this part.
(b) As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that the service agents you use meet the qualifications set forth in this part (e.g., §40.121 for MROs). You may require service agents to show you documentation that they meet the requirements of this part (e.g., documentation of MRO qualifications required by §40.121(e)).
(c) You remain responsible for compliance with all applicable requirements of this part and other DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations, even when you use a service agent. If you violate this part or other DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations because a service agent has not provided services as our rules require, a DOT agency can subject you to sanctions. Your good faith use of a service agent is not a defense in an enforcement action initiated by a DOT agency in which your alleged noncompliance with this part or a DOT agency drug and alcohol regulation may have resulted from the service agent's conduct.
(d) As an employer, you must not permit a service agent to act as your DER.

§40.17 Is an employer responsible for obtaining information from its service agents?
Yes, as an employer, you are responsible for obtaining information required by this part from your service agents. This is true whether or not you choose to use a C/TPA as an intermediary in transmitting information to you. For example, suppose an applicant for a safety-sensitive job takes a pre-employment drug test, but there is a significant delay in your receipt of the test result from an MRO or C/TPA. You must not assume that "no news is good news" and permit the applicant to perform safety-sensitive duties before receiving the result. This is a violation of the Department's regulations.

§40.19 [Reserved]

§40.21 May an employer stand down an employee before the MRO has completed the verification process?
(a) As an employer, you are prohibited from standing employees down, except consistent with a waiver a DOT agency grants under this section.
(b) You may make a request to the concerned DOT agency for a waiver from the prohibition of paragraph (a) of this section. Such a waiver, if granted, permits you to stand an employee down following the MRO’s receipt of a laboratory report of a confirmed positive test for a drug or drug metabolite, an adulterated test, or a substituted test pertaining to the employee.
(1) For this purpose, the concerned DOT agency is the one whose drug and alcohol testing rules apply to the majority of the covered employees in your organization. The concerned DOT agency uses its applicable procedures for considering requests for waivers.
(2) Before taking action on a waiver request, the concerned DOT agency coordinates with other DOT agencies that regulate the employer’s other covered employees.
(3) The concerned DOT agency provides a written response to each employer that petitions for a waiver, setting forth the reasons for the agency’s decision on the waiver request.
(c) Your request for a waiver must include, as a minimum, the following elements:
(1) Information about your organization:
(i) Your determination that standing employees down is necessary for safety in your organization and a statement of your basis for it, including any data on safety problems or incidents that could have been prevented if a stand-down procedure had been in place;
(ii) Data showing the number of confirmed laboratory positive, adulterated, and substituted test results for your employees over the two calendar years preceding your waiver request, and the number and percentage of those test results that were verified positive, adulterated, or substituted by the MRO;
(iii) Information about the work situation of the employees subject to stand-down, including a description of the size and organization of the unit(s) in which the employees work, the process through which employees will be informed of the stand-down, whether there is an in-house MRO, and whether your organization has a medical disqualification or stand-down policy for employees in situations other than drug and alcohol testing; and
(iv) A statement of which DOT agencies regulate your employees.
(2) Your proposed written company policy concerning stand-down, which must include the following elements:
(i) Your assurance that you will distribute copies of your written policy to all employees that it covers;
(ii) Your means of ensuring that no information about the confirmed positive, adulterated, or substituted test result or the reason for the employee's temporary removal from performance of safety-sensitive functions becomes available, directly or indirectly, to anyone in your organization (or subsequently to another employer) other than the employee, the MRO and the DER;
(iii) Your means of ensuring that all covered employees in a particular job category in your organization are treated the same way with respect to stand-down;
(iv) Your means of ensuring that a covered employee will be subject to stand-down only with respect to the actual performance of safety-sensitive duties;
(v) Your means of ensuring that you will not take any action adversely affecting the employee’s pay and benefits pending the completion of the MRO’s verification process. This includes continuing to pay the employee during the period of the stand-down in the same way you would have paid him or her had he or she not been stood down;
(vi) Your means of ensuring that the verification process will commence no later than the time an employee is temporarily removed from the performance of safety-sensitive functions and that the period of stand-down for any employee will not exceed five days, unless you are informed in writing by the MRO that a longer period is needed to complete the verification process; and
(vii) Your means of ensuring that, in the event that the MRO verifies the test negative or cancels it --
(A) You return the employee immediately to the performance of safety-sensitive duties;
(B) The employee suffers no adverse personnel or financial consequences as a result; and
(C) You maintain no individually identifiable record that the employee had a confirmed laboratory positive, adulterated, or substituted test result (i.e., you maintain a record of the test only as a negative or cancelled test).
(d) The Administrator of the concerned DOT agency, or his or her designee, may grant a waiver request only if he or she determines that, in the context of your organization, there is a high probability that the procedures you propose will effectively enhance safety and protect the interests of employees in fairness and confidentiality.
(1) The Administrator, or his or her designee, may impose any conditions he or she deems appropriate on the grant of a waiver.
(2) The Administrator, or his or her designee, may immediately suspend or revoke the waiver if he or she determines that you have failed to protect effectively the interests of employees in fairness and confidentiality, that you have failed to comply with the requirements of this section, or that you have failed to comply with any other conditions the DOT agency has attached to the waiver.
(e) You must not stand employees down in the absence of a waiver, or inconsistent with the terms of your waiver. If you do, you are in violation of this part and DOT agency drug testing regulations, and you are subject to enforcement action by the DOT agency just as you are for other violations of this part and DOT agency rules.

§40.23 What actions do employers take after receiving verified test results?
(a) As an employer who receives a verified positive drug test result, you must immediately remove the employee involved from performing safety-sensitive functions. You must take this action upon receiving the initial report of the verified positive test result. Do not wait to receive the written report or the result of a split specimen test.
(b) As an employer who receives a verified adulterated or substituted drug test result, you must consider this a refusal to test and immediately remove the employee involved from performing safety-sensitive functions. You must take this action on receiving the initial report of the verified adulterated or substituted test result. Do not wait to receive the written report or the result of a split specimen test.
(c) As an employer who receives an alcohol test result of 0.04 or higher, you must immediately remove the employee involved from performing safety-sensitive functions. If you receive an alcohol test result of 0.02 – 0.39, you must temporarily remove the employee involved from performing safety-sensitive functions, as provided in applicable DOT agency regulations. Do not wait to receive the written report of the result of the test.
(d) As an employer, when an employee has a verified positive, adulterated, or substituted test result, or has otherwise violated a DOT agency drug and alcohol regulation, you must not return the employee to the performance of safety-sensitive functions until or unless the employee successfully completes the return-to-duty process of Subpart O of this part.
(e) As an employer who receives a drug test result indicating that the employee’s specimen was dilute, take action as provided in §40.197.
(f) As an employer who receives a drug test result indicating that the employee’s specimen was invalid and that a second collection must take place under direct observation –
(1) You must immediately direct the employee to provide a new specimen under direct observation.
(2) You must not attach consequences to the finding that the test was invalid other than collecting a new specimen under direct observation.
(3) You must not give any advance notice of this test requirement to the employee.
(4) You must instruct the collector to note on the CCF the same reason (e.g. random test, post-accident test) as for the original collection.
(g) As an employer who receives a cancelled test result when a negative result is required (e.g., pre-employment, return-to-duty, or follow-up test), you must direct the employee to provide another specimen immediately.
(h) As an employer, you may also be required to take additional actions required by DOT agency regulations (e.g., FAA rules require some positive drug tests to be reported to the Federal Air Surgeon).
(i) As an employer, you must not alter a drug or alcohol test result transmitted to you by an MRO, BAT, or C/TPA.

§40.25 Must an employer check on the drug and alcohol testing record of employees it is intending to use to perform safety-sensitive duties?
(a) Yes, as an employer, you must, after obtaining an employee's written consent, request the information about the employee listed in paragraph (b) of this section. This requirement applies only to employees seeking to begin performing safety-sensitive duties for you for the first time (i.e., a new hire, an employee transfers into a safety-sensitive position). If the employee refuses to provide this written consent, you must not permit the employee to perform safety-sensitive functions.
(b) You must request the information listed in this paragraph (b) from DOT-regulated employers who have employed the employee during any period during the two years before the date of the employee's application or transfer:
(1) Alcohol tests with a result of 0.04 or higher alcohol concentration;
(2) Verified positive drug tests;
(3) Refusals to be tested (including verified adulterated or substituted drug test results);
(4) Other violations of DOT agency drug and alcohol testing regulations; and
(5) With respect to any employee who violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation, documentation of the employee's successful completion of DOT return-to-duty requirements (including follow-up tests). If the previous employer does not have information about the return-do-duty process (e.g., an employer who did not hire an employee who tested positive on a pre-employment test), you must seek to obtain this information from the employee.
(c) The information obtained from a previous employer includes any drug or alcohol test information obtained from previous employers under this section or other applicable DOT agency regulations.
(d) If feasible, you must obtain and review this information before the employee first performs safety-sensitive functions. If this is not feasible, you must obtain and review the information as soon as possible. However, you must not permit the employee to perform safety-sensitive functions after 30 days from the date on which the employee first performed safety-sensitive functions, unless you have obtained or made and documented a good faith effort to obtain this information.
(e) If you obtain information that the employee has violated a DOT agency drug and alcohol regulation, you must not use the employee to perform safety-sensitive functions unless you also obtain information that the employee has subsequently complied with the return-to-duty requirements of Subpart O of this part and DOT agency drug and alcohol regulations.
(f) You must provide to each of the employers from whom you request information under paragraph (b) of this section written consent for the release of the information cited in paragraph (a) of this section.
(g) The release of information under this section must be in any written form (e.g., fax, e-mail, letter) that ensures confidentiality. As the previous employer, you must maintain a written record of the information released, including the date, the party to whom it was released, and a summary of the information provided.
(h) If you are an employer from whom information is requested under paragraph (b) of this section, you must, after reviewing the employee's specific, written consent, immediately release the requested information to the employer making the inquiry.
(i) As the employer requesting the information required under this section, you must maintain a written, confidential record of the information you obtain or of the good faith efforts you made to obtain the information. You must retain this information for three years from the date of the employee's first performance of safety-sensitive duties for you.
(j) As the employer, you must also ask the employee whether he or she has tested positive, or refused to test, on any pre-employment drug or alcohol test administered by an employer to which the employee applied for, but did not obtain, safety-sensitive transportation work covered by DOT agency drug and alcohol testing rules during the past two years. If the employee admits that he or she had a positive test or a refusal to test, you must not use the employee to perform safety-sensitive functions for you, until and unless the employee documents successful completion of the return-to-duty process (see paragraphs (b)(5) and (e) of this section).

§40.27 May an employer require an employee to sign a consent or release in connection with the DOT drug and alcohol testing program?

No. As an employer, you must not require an employee to sign a consent, release, waiver of liability, or indemnification agreement with respect to any part of the drug or alcohol testing process covered by this part (including, but not limited to, collections, laboratory testing, MRO and SAP services).

§40.29 Where is other information on employer responsibilities found in this regulation?
You can find other information on the responsibilities of employers in the following sections of this part:
§40.3 – definition.
§40.35 - information about DERs that employers must provide collectors.
§40.45 – modifying CCFs, use of foreign-language CCFs.
§40.47 - use of non-Federal forms for DOT tests or Federal CCFs for non-DOT tests.
§40.67 - requirements for direct observation.
§§40.103 - 40.105 - blind specimen requirements.
§40. 173 - responsibility to ensure test of split specimen.
§40.193 - action in "shy bladder" situations.
§40.197 - actions following report of a dilute specimen.
§40.207 - actions following a report of a cancelled drug test.
§40.209 - actions following and consequences of non-fatal flaws in drug tests.
§40.215 - information about DERs that employers must provide BATs and STTs.
§40.225 - modifying ATFs; use of foreign-language ATFs.
§40.227 - use of non-DOT forms for DOT tests or DOT ATFs for non-DOT tests.
§40.235 (c) and (d) - responsibility to follow instructions for ASDs.
§40.255 (b) - receipt and storage of alcohol test information.
§40.265 (c) - (e) - actions in "shy lung" situations.
§40.267 - cancellation of alcohol tests.
§40.271 - actions in "correctable flaw" situations in alcohol tests.
§40.273 - actions following cancelled tests in alcohol tests.
§40.275 - actions in "non-fatal flaw" situations in alcohol tests.
§§40.287 - 40.289 - responsibilities concerning SAP services.
§§40.295 - 40.297 prohibition on seeking second SAP evaluation or changing SAP recommendation.
§40.303 - responsibilities concerning aftercare recommendations.
§40.305 - responsibilities concerning return-to-duty decision.
§40.309 - responsibilities concerning follow-up tests.
§40.321 - general confidentiality requirement.
§40.323 - release of confidential information in litigation.
§40.331 - other circumstances for the release of confidential information.
§40.333 - record retention requirements.
§40.345 - choice of who reports drug testing information to employers.

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