Pitfalls to Creating a SAP List
As an employer with employees working in a Department of Transportation (DOT) safety sensitive capacity, it’s important to know what to do when an employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol, has a refusal to test or another type of violation. First, you must immediately remove that employee from safety sensitive duty and then provide the employee a local list of Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) so the employee can start the return-to-duty process. This may seem simple enough, but there are hidden pitfalls that can impact your applicant, employee and your business if not handled correctly.
What is a SAP List?
Employers often ask questions about how to stay compliant under DOT 49 CFR 40.287, the obligation of providing a list of local, qualified DOT SAPs to any employee suspended, terminated, or denied employment as a result of a DOT drug or alcohol violation, such as a positive drug/alcohol test, refusal to test, acknowledge knowledge, etc. This obligation applies to applicants as well, even if you haven’t employed that person yet. A list is defined as more than one qualified SAP, which can be as few as two, and must contain the name, address, and phone numbers of local SAPs. Furthermore, you cannot charge the employee a fee for compiling or providing this SAP list. You may provide this list yourself or through a C/TPA or other service agent. When ASAP functions as your service agent, we take all the challenges out of the process.
How do I know if a SAP is DOT qualified?
The short answer is that you don’t know unless you do your due diligence. However, it is federally required for employers to provide your applicants/employees a list of qualified DOT SAPs. SAPs play an important role in maintaining public safety by helping those in safety-sensitive positions to navigate the return-to-duty process when an employee has a DOT violation to clear. A SAP is required to have credentials, such as a medical doctor, licensed counselor, licensed psychologist, or licensed social worker. In addition, he/she must have basic knowledge of how DOT regulations relate to employers’ interests in safety sensitive duties, be knowledgeable on the DOT regulations including individual agency regulations and maintain continued education credits (CEUs). Additionally, they must have clinical experience in treating and diagnosing substance use disorders and related conditions. When you provide a list of SAPs to an applicant/employee, you must verify the SAPs credentials and ensure they comply with the listed requirements.
ASAP maintains a network of over 5,000 DOT SAP locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The ASAP credentialing team ensures documentation of updated licensure/certification, qualification training and continuing education for all ASAP SAP providers. When ASAP is your service provider, we commit to providing you a list of SAPs that are guaranteed to be DOT qualified and provide any documentation in the event of an audit. With ASAP as your DOT service agent, we can provide your SAP list and ensure your compliance.
Benefits of a DOT Service Agent
With a service agent such as ASAP on your side, we take on the responsibility of providing the SAP list for you and provide you with a sample Violation Letter which includes our contact information as your Service Agent. You can provide this violation letter to the employee that has a DOT drug & alcohol violation and they can call ASAP. We will walk him/her through the SAP process. In addition, we maintain a record of the unique list for each employee and the SAP’s credentials for compliance purposes.
As an employer, you know that a drug-free workplace increases productivity and decreases liability. ASAP has helped employers and employees get back to work for over 23 years. Employees who participate in ASAP program successfully complete treatment/education and return to work safely with an 85% success rate. Call 888-792-2727 to learn more about our employer and employee SAP services from our knowledgeable advisors.