Category Archives: Questions & Answers

When records are stored and transferred electronically, how should they be made available to DOT representatives?

Question – When records are stored and transferred electronically, how should they be made available to DOT representatives?

Answer – The obligations of employers and service agents to make records available expeditiously to DOT representatives apply regardless of how the records are maintained.

  • All records must be easily and quickly accessible, legible, and formatted and stored in a well-organized and orderly way.
  • If electronic records do not meet these criteria, then the employer or service agent must convert them to printed documentation in a rapid and readily auditable way by the MRO’s receipt of a confirmed laboratory test result, would not require a §40.21 waiver.
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May an employer conduct follow-up testing under company authority that goes beyond the follow-up testing which the SAP determines necessary?

Question – May an employer conduct follow-up testing under company authority that goes beyond the follow-up testing which the SAP determines necessary?

Answer – No. The regulation (at 40.307(d)(4)) and SAP guidelines state that employers must not impose additional testing requirements that go beyond the SAP’s follow-up testing plan. This includes additional testing requirements under company authority.

In addition to follow-up testing and random testing, an employer has other means available to ascertain an employee’s alcohol- and drug-free performance and functions.

  • The employer can choose to monitor the employee’s compliance with the SAP’s recommendations for continuing treatment and/or education as part of a return-to-duty agreement with the employee.
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If an employee requests his/her records from the MRO, do these records include the MRO’s notes and comments or only copies of the CCF and laboratory result?

Question – If an employee requests his/her records from the MRO, do these records include the MRO’s notes and comments or only copies of the CCF and laboratory result?

Answer – In general, the MRO should provide all records that are available related to that employee, to include written notes, checklists, or comments. All of this information was obtained from the employee or from appropriate individuals or organizations (with the employee’s authorization) or from documentation provided by the employee.

Consistent with appropriate medical record constraints, the MRO may need to withhold or interpret sensitive medical, psychiatric, and mental health record information

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Employer’s responsibilty after positive Breath Alcohol Test (BAT) of .02 or greater ?

Question –  We received a call from the collection site that one of our DOT drivers had a confirmed Breath Alcohol Test (BAT) level of 0.02 and that someone needed to come and pick him up. What is the employer’s responsibility?

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What does an MRO do when a drug test result is invalid due to “color discrepancy”?

Question: What does an MRO do when a drug test result is invalid due to “color discrepancy”?

Answer: If “Invalid – Color difference” is the only result reported to you, you must follow the guidance of Part 40, section 40.159 by contacting the laboratory to obtain more specific information about the color difference between the specimens, and contacting the donor to obtain a legitimate explanation for the color difference. While there is no legitimate medical reason for anyone being able to provide a specimen that separates into two different colors when placed in two different bottles, the interview is necessary to determine appropriate follow-on action.

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What to do with Pre-Employment Drug Test Results for Non-Hire ?

Question – Our Company’s HR representative interviewed an individual for a DOT commercial driving position and sent them for a DOT pre-employment drug test. Once we received the Negative test result, we contacted the individual and told them they had the job. The individual decided that they did not want to take the job after all and is now requesting the results of the drug test to be sent to them. Since we paid for the testing, do we have to give them this information?

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DER instructed a Driver to test, the driver said they had used drugs at home, so he was probably going to come up positive. Driver was told to test anyway, which he did, and received a negative result. So what do we do now?

First, when you instructed the employee/driver to test and they admitted to using a controlled substance. At that time, it is considered the same as a “refusal to test or positive”. An employee/driver can voluntarily admit to using alcohol or controlled substance and not be subjected to the DOT return-to-duty requirements providing the driver does not self-identify in order to avoid testing. There are other restrictions that apply in order to exercise this exclusion; refer to §382.121.

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Can an employer wishing to conduct pre-employment alcohol testing, do so?

A DOT-regulated employer (except under USCG and RSPA rules) wishing to conduct pre-employment alcohol testing under DOT authority may do so if certain conditions are met.

  • The testing must be accomplished for all applicants (i.e., the employer cannot select for testing some applicants and not others) and the testing must be conducted as a post-offer requirement 
    (i.e., the employer needs to inform the applicant that he or she has the job if he or she passes a DOT alcohol test). 
  • In addition, the testing and its consequences must comply with requirements of Part 40.
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What form must an employer use to report MIS data to a DOT agency?

As an employer, when you are required to report MIS data to a DOT agency, you must use the form and instructions at appendix H to part 40. You must submit the MIS report in accordance with rule requirements (e.g., dates for submission; selection of companies required to submit, and method of reporting) established by the DOT agency regulating your operation. [68 FR 43952, July 25, 2003]

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Have a BIT & Carrier Inspection and Do You Need Your MIS Report?

The specific regulations in 49 CFR Parts 382 & 40 state the following:

§382.403 Reporting of results in a MIS.

(a) An employer shall prepare and maintain a summary of the results of its alcohol and controlled substances testing programs performed under this part during the previous calendar year, when requested by the Secretary of Transportation, any DOT agency, or any State or local officials with regulatory authority over the employer or any of its drivers.

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