What is the Return To Duty SAP Process?

Return to duty process


When a Department of Transportation (DOT) regulated safety-sensitive employee has a positive DOT drug test and/or positive DOT alcohol test, the employee is required to go through the DOT return to duty (RTD) process. It is important to note that a refusal to test or even a failure to appear for one (excluding pre-employment testing) also results in a positive DOT test violation. Once an employee fails a DOT drug test, the employer must immediately remove the employee from all safety-sensitive functions and the employee is required to successfully complete the RTD process in order to regain eligibility to return to safety-sensitive duty with their current or any future employer.

When there is a violation of the DOT drug and alcohol testing rules, employers are required to provide each employee (including applicants and new employees) in violation with a listing of readily available qualified DOT SAPs in their area. This list should include names, addresses and telephone numbers as noted in DOT 49 CFR Part 40.287. The list needs to meet the SAP requirements of §40.281, which can be challenging and time consuming for employers to validate all these criteria including licensures/certifications. The DOT allows employers to provide this listing through a C/TPA or other service agent.

For the employee, the RTD process begins with a face-to-face substance abuse evaluation conducted by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). These professionals are required to complete additional specialized training requirements set forth by the DOT 49 CFR Part 40 to become qualified DOT SAPs. Following the evaluation, the SAP makes treatment and/or educational recommendations that the employee is required to complete. Once the employee has successfully complied with the recommendations, a follow-up face-to-face evaluation is scheduled with the same qualified DOT SAP. Based upon the follow-up evaluation, the SAP issues a written determination of the employee’s eligibility (or ineligibility) to perform a safety sensitive job.

If the SAP recommends the employee to be able to return to safety-sensitive duty, it is the employer’s responsibility to schedule an observed RTD DOT drug test for the employee. The employee’s eligibility status is contingent upon a negative result for this DOT drug test. The decision to hire or return the eligible employee to work is at the discretion of the employer.

American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc. (ASAP), is a service agent with a network of more than 5,000 qualified DOT SAPs throughout the United States. 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 RTD 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


Do you need Substance Abuse Professional Services?

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

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