Maintenance of Way (MOW) Drug Testing Rules
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is going to require subcontractors who perform Maintenance of Way (MOW) functions to comply with the U S Department of Transportation (DOT) Drug and Alcohol Rules. The date the compliance will begin is June 12, 2017.
The DOT rules will require MOW employees to be tested at a random rate of 50% for drugs 25% for alcohol. Pre-employment testing will be required for any new employees after June 12, 2017 and current employees will not be required to take a pre-employment test.
MOW sub-contractors will need to become aware of the U. S. DOT rules governing alcohol and drug testing. The following are situations that require testing: (1) pre-employment, (2) random testing necessary to comply with prescribed rates, (3) reasonable suspicion testing, (4) post-accident testing, (5) random follow-up testing.
Each employer will need to have a designated employee representative (DER). This individual will maintain the records of employee testing, violations and substance abuse evaluations. This function can be carried out by a third-party administrator (TPA). Employees who fail the drug and alcohol testing must be referred to a substance abuse professional (SAP). The SAP will conduct an evaluation and determine when the employee can return to safety sensitive duty and what follow-up testing will be required.
There is considerable confusion about these new alcohol and drug testing rules. The best way to get clarification is to contact a substance abuse professional who can advise you on the proper procedures.
The U.S. Department of Transportation does conduct field audits and will levy fines in instances where they find non-compliance.
When an individual tests positive for drugs or alcohol the Coast Guard files a complaint which must be responded to in 20 days. The individual has the choice of a hearing or he can enter into a settlement agreement. At his time the individuals Coast Guard issued credentials are revoked until the matter is resolved. The individual must then submit to a substance abuse evaluation (SAE) and comply with the recommendations. The SAE must be conducted by a DOT approved evaluator. After the SAE process the individual must complete 12 random drug tests and attend at least 2 AA/A meeting a month for twelve months. The final step is obtaining a MRO report stating that the individual is drug free and eligible to return to work.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has created a regulation (49CFR part 40) which defines the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) as a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug or alcohol regulation. The SAP makes recommendations regarding education, treatment, follow-up testing and after care. To qualify to be a SAP the individual must posses certain credentials, receive specific training and achieve a passing score on a nationally validated test.
A employee who refuses to submit to a required drug test or who receives a verified adulterated or substituted drug test must be immediately removed from performing safety-sensitive functions.The employee may not return to the performance of safety-sensitive duties until the employee successfully completes the return-to-duty process.
substance abuse evaluations
I tested positive so what should I do?Keep in mind that any employer doing a backgound check is likely to discover it. Hire Right has a drug and alcohol data base which has access to most testing labs. It is reported that Hire Right maintains records for 2500 motor carriers. It is important that individuals keep in mind that D.O.T. rules require that employers check with previous employers for drug and alcohol violations. Also keep in mind that employees can be fined for not telling or for falsifying information on an application. For non-DOT employers it is grounds for termination.The best policy is to be honest with your new employer and get a substance abuse evaluation asap.For additional information contact Robert W Harelson PsyD,SAP at http://www.dot-substanceabuseevaluations.com.
He or she is a licensed physican who is responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results generated by a drug testing program to evaluate laboratory test results to assure proper interpretation of those results. The MRO contacts the employee to advise when the test is postive and provides an opportunity for the employee to present a medical explanation.
The Dept of Transportation has issued a notice about medical marijuana use. In their 12/3/12 release they state that regardless of new state laws the Dept continues to clasify marijana as a sch 1 drug. MRO’s can not accept physican recommendations as grounds for a negative finding.