For many employers it can be a stressful and confusing time when an employee tests positive on a DOT drug test or alcohol test. Does the employer now have to “DO” anything? Must the employee be fired? How long will the driver be out? Can the driver be re-hired? The key is to precisely follow the DOT regulations in order to handle the situation correctly and maintain regulatory compliance.
Once an employer has received a verified positive drug test result, the employer must immediately remove the employee from DOT safety sensitive duties. The employer should not wait for a written report from the Medical Review Officer or the results of a split specimen test (if one has been requested by the employee). A verified positive DOT drug test is a direct violation of the federal drug and alcohol testing regulations.
Employers who are required to comply with DOT regulations must provide an individual who failed a DOT drug test at pre-employment (including an applicant or new employee), random, reasonable suspicion or post-accident test with information about qualified DOT Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs). Employers are not required to pay for the employee’s evaluation or treatment; however, they must provide a list of locally available qualified DOT SAPs, including name, address, and phone number. Employers may provide the list of DOT SAP referrals through a Third Party Administrator (TPA) or other service agents such as American Substance Abuse Professionals.
For an employee to be eligible to perform safety sensitive duties, the employee in violation must successfully complete the DOT Return to Duty Process (RTD). This process involves being evaluated by a qualified DOT SAP, completing treatment and/or education as recommended by the SAP, and a follow-up evaluation by the SAP. The time it takes to complete the DOT SAP process varies and depends upon the level of treatment and education recommended for the employee, as well as the employee’s dedication to the process. The SAP is not an advocate for the employee or the employer. Rather the SAPs function is to protect the public’s interest in safety.
It is important to note that only a qualified DOT SAP may provide the required evaluation, recommendations and determination of successful compliance required to become eligible for consideration for return to duty by an employer. To act as a qualified DOT SAP, the SAP is required by federal regulations to have specialized training, maintain specific professional credentials and undergo continuing education. They are also required to adhere to specific rules and regulations regarding facilities in which they recommend for treatment and education.
Once the employer has been notified by the qualified DOT SAP in writing that an employee has successfully completed the recommendations, the employer may choose to return the employee to safety sensitive duty pending a negative observed return to duty test. The employer must also ensure that the employee is in follow-up testing as recommended by the SAP. In addition, the employer must also ensure the date of the RTD DOT drug test is entered into the FMCSA Clearinghouse along with the first date for the follow-up testing schedule and the last date once the process is successfully completed.
American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc. (ASAP), has a network of more than 5,000 qualified DOT SAPs throughout the United States and its territories. We match employees with a DOT SAP near them so they can return to work as quickly as they can comply with the process. Our clients have an 85% success rate in successfully completing the SAP process to be eligible to return to safety sensitive work with our guidance. The enrollment process is quick and easy. Call 888-792-2727 x177 to enroll today. #worksafely
ASAP has a nationwide reach in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Our trained and knowledgeable team will assist you in understanding the process and signing up. It’s fast and easy to enroll with ASAP! 888.792.2727 x607