The Department of Transportation recently published a notice granting a three-month waiver from certain pre-employment testing requirements applicable to employers of drivers subject to 49 CFR part 382. Read more about the regulations and noted issue below.
FMCSA COVID-19 Pre-Employment Testing Waiver
The Department of Transportation recently published a notice granting a three-month waiver from certain pre-employment testing requirements applicable to employers of drivers subject to 49 CFR part 382. This action responds to the President’s Executive Order No. 13924, Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery, issued on May 19, 2020, related to the economic consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. This waiver will be effective June 5, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
Currently, regulation states prior to the first time a driver performs safety sensitive functions for an employer, the driver must undergo pre-employment testing for controlled substances and the employer must receive a verified negative controlled substances test result for that driver from a medical review officer or a consortium/third party administrator. This requirement also applies each time a driver returns to work after a furlough, lay-off, or other period of unemployment when the driver does not continue to be subject to random controlled substances testing in accordance with 49 CFR 382.305.
Section 382.301(b) provides an exception allowing an employer to forgo administration of a pre-employment test if the driver has participated in a controlled substances testing program that meets the requirements of 49 CFR part 382 within the previous 30 days; and, if while participating in that program, the driver either: (i) was tested for controlled substances within the past 6 months or (ii) participated in the random controlled substances testing program for the previous 12 months. In addition, under the exception, the employer would be required to ensure that no prior employer of the driver has records of a violation of 49 CFR part 382 or the controlled substances use rule of another DOT agency within the previous six months.
“As employers recall drivers that were furloughed or laid-off for more than 30 days, the waiver will extend the traditional 30-day period to 90-days. Allowing employers to forego pre-employment testing for drivers who were in a testing program within the previous 90 days will provide relief from the burdens and costs associated with administering tests, and allow them to return drivers to the work in a more efficient manner.”
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