The Department of Transportation (DOT) has a strict set of drug screening rules and guidelines that employers and employees must follow to continue safety-sensitive functions. In the event of a positive test, there is a protocol in place that both parties must follow if the employee in question is going to ‘return-to-duty.’ We outline this protocol for you below:
Scenario 1: An Employee Tests Positive for Drugs
With the safety-sensitive nature of the business, positive drug tests are to be dealt with swiftly. An employer must remove an employee if he/she tested positive even before receiving the written report. Once confirmation is received, the employee is no longer permitted to continue their work.
Scenario 2: An Employee’s Specimen is Adulterated
Similar to scenario one, an employee must be removed immediately if an employer is given confirmation of a doctored specimen. They should not wait for the written test report. The Department of Transportation will then request a direct observation test for the employee in question so they can return to work. A collector will observe them while they produce a specimen to ensure there is no further tampering.
Scenario 3: An Employee Tests Positive for Alcohol
If an employer receives a test result of .04 or higher, the employee in question must be removed from safety-sensitive functions. If an employee yields a test result of .02-.039, that employee must be temporarily removed until further notice.
Scenario 4: An Employee Completes the Return-To-Duty Process
If an employer agrees to allow the employee to return to safety-sensitive functions, he/she must pass a return-to-duty test. This test can not take place until the employee in question has received treatment or education for the problem at hand. Again, this is not required but it is permitted if the employer chooses to allow it.