FMCSA Grants 90 Day Waiver from Certain Pre-Employment Testing Requirements

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FMCSA has issued a three-month waiver for conducting certain pre-employment testing requirements applicable to employers of commercial drivers subject to 49 CFR part 382. This waiver is effective June 5, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

Prior to this notice, pursuant to section 382.301(b), employers could always forego pre-employment drug testing for drivers who have participated in a controlled substances testing program that meets the requirements of 49 CFR part 382 within the previous 30 days of hire or rehire, and, if while participating in that program, the driver either was tested for controlled substances within the past 6 months or participated in the random controlled substances testing program for the previous 12 months.  In addition, under that 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.  To meet that exception, the company would need documented proof of the above prior to allowing the employee to start performing safety sensitive duties.

This waiver extends that period of time from 30 days to 90 days.  All provisions are still in play to meet that exception; the only thing that has changed is the length of time.  This waiver is primarily useful for employers bringing back furloughed drivers that have been removed from duty for a period of less than 90 days. Since these employers will have records of both the drivers tests and random program participation, a simple verification of no violation allows them to forego pre-employment testing providing them relief from the administrative burdens and costs associated with administering these tests.  Leveraging it in a compliant manner will also allow them to return drivers to the workforce in a more efficient manner, thus promoting job creation and economic growth.

In addition employers must comply with the Clearinghouse pre-employment query requirement and must not allow a driver to perform safety-sensitive functions if the results of a query demonstrates that the driver is prohibited from doing so in accordance with 49 CFR 382.701(d).

Please check here for the full terms, conditions and restrictions of the waiver:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/three-month-waiver-response-economic-consequences-covid-19-public-health-emergency

Dr. Todd Simo

Dr. Simo is the Chief Medical Officer and the Managing Director of Transportation at HireRight. He served as HireRight’s medical director starting in 2009 and was promoted to chief medical officer in 2015. Dr. Simo was also appointed to the role of managing director of transportation and drug & health screening in 2018. Dr. Simo came to HireRight with a decade of experience in the medical consulting arena. Before that he was the medical director for an occupational health clinic in Virginia and owned a consulting firm providing medical director services to employers across the United States

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