Return-to-Duty Process

The return-to-duty process requires 6 steps to get you back to work safely. ASAP provides support to employees, employers and Substance Abuse Professionals throughout the entire process.


If you are an employee in violation of the DOT regulations for drug or alcohol testing, you must be removed from safety-sensitive duty immediately. In this event, ASAP can provide you with a dedicated case manager to support you throughout the process. The following process must be completed in order to return to DOT safety-sensitive work as required by DOT regulation 49 CFR Part 40. DOT has provided temporary procedures for virtual evaluations until December 31 2021 due to COVID-19.


To begin the process, the employer is required to provide all employees/applicants in violation with a list of qualified DOT Substance Abuse Professional (SAPs). The list may be provided by a dedicated service agent such as ASAP. ASAP has a nationwide reach in all 50 states and U.S. territories, so that you can choose a SAP nearest to your location.


The next step is for you to meet with a qualified DOT SAP for an evaluation and assessment. The SAP will make recommendations to you for treatment and/or education. The SAP provides documentation of the recommendations to the employer’s assigned in-house Designated Employer Representative (DER).


It is critical that you comply with the treatment(s) and/or educational recommendations that are given to you to be able to return to work. The SAP will serve as a referral source to assist you in finding the education and/or treatment program(s) needed. Upon completion of these processes, the SAP will conduct a follow-up evaluation with you to determine your eligibility to be considered for return to safety-sensitive duty. It is at the employer’s discretion to decide if you are ready to return to safety-sensitive work.


The SAP provides documentation of your eligibility for a return-to-duty test in a follow-up report to the DER or to you if you are seeking employment. You MUST have a negative return-to-duty drug/alcohol test result before returning to safety-sensitive duty and then it is still at the employer’s discretion.


Be advised that you are subject to unannounced and observed follow-up testing for a period of 1 to 5 years according to the plan determined by the SAP and provided to the DER.

If you have a positive drug and/or alcohol test, refusal to test, or another violation, start the return to duty process so you can get back to work safely.
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