DOT Covered Employees
Lots of questions about DOT covered employees every day. Let us try and sort it out. The Department of Transportation does provide a great tool to help employees and employers determine if they are subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation drug and alcohol testing regulations. This interactive tool is called Am I Covered?
DOT Agency Specific Covered Employees
It is important to understand that covered employees are defined differently under each agency. Each DOT agency is a specific mode of transportation, certainly differences between truck drivers and employees of airlines. DOT drug and alcohol testing should always be performed only on DOT covered employees. If the employee is not DOT covered and/or not performing DOT safety sensitive functions, then the testing should be Non-DOT. Mixing up DOT and Non-DOT testing can cause serious compliance programs and potential exposure to liability.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin (FMCSA) Covered Employees
Employees working on public roads meeting the following criteria are FMCSA covered employees. These are employees who:
- hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), or similar license issued by Mexico or Canada, and
- operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) in any state
A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is then defined as a vehicle:
- with a gross vehicle weight rating/gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight rating/gross combination weight of 26,001 or more lbs., or
- designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or
- of any size that is used to transport hazardous materials which require the vehicle to be placarded
With FMCSA there is only one category of covered employee which is Driver.
Federal Aviation Admin (FAA) Covered Employees
There are nine categories of covered employees that perform safety-sensitive functions under FAA regulations, and these include subcontractors at any tier. These are:
- Flight crewmember (pilot or flight engineer)
- Flight Attendant
- Flight Instruction
- Aircraft Dispatcher
- Aircraft Maintenance or Preventive Maintenance
- Ground Security Coordinator
- Aviation Screening
- Air Traffic Control
- Operations Control Specialist
When employees in these categories perform safety-sensitive functions, directly or by contract, for an air carrier or operator certificated under Part 119 to conduct Part 121 or 135 operations; a sightseeing operator as defined in 14 CFR section 91.147; or an air traffic control facility not operated by the FAA or under contract with the U.S. Military; they are FAA covered employees.