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FAQs About Failed DOT Drug Tests

DOT drug tests are part of doing business, but when one of your drivers fails, it can cause a significant amount of chaos. Many transportation company owners aren’t sure what to do when a failed DOT drug test happens, and whether they will ever be able to put that driver behind the wheel again. Fortunately, if you work with a compliance consulting company, they can help you make a plan for managing the process that lies ahead. Here are the answers to some of the questions people frequently have after a failed DOT drug test.

Does an employee have to stop working immediately after a failed drug test?

When an employee fails a drug test, the employer is obligated to remove him or her from safety-sensitive functions, as defined by the DOT. Employers are not permitted to wait for a written test review from a medical review officer or the results of additional testing to remove the employee from duty. According to federal law, the employee must be taken off safety-sensitive duties right away. They can continue to do jobs that are not considered to be safety-sensitive.

What do employers have to do after a failed drug test?

If an employee fails a drug test, it is the responsibility of the employer to give the employee information about Substance Abuse Professionals—or SAPs—that have been approved by the DOT. Although the employer does not have to pay for treatment, he or she must give this information about SAPs, so that the employee knows what he or she must do to regain his or her job.

When can an employee begin working again after a failed drug test?

Before returning to safety-sensitive duties, employees who fail drug tests must be evaluated by a DOT-sanctioned SAP. The SAP will notify the employer when the employee is eligible to return to work. He or she must also have a negative drug test and should undergo follow-up testing.

HDS Safety Services provides a range of compliance solutions, including driver qualifications, to ensure your fleet stays within DOT regulations. Keep your drivers and your business on track with help from our compliance service in Tucson by calling (520) 622-0419.