FMCSA Issues Waiver to Certain Pre-Employment Testing Requirements

June 12, 2020

On June 5, 2020, in an effort to provide relief to employers of CMV drivers during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) granted a three-month waiver from certain pre-employment testing requirements.

Due to the decrease in demand for motor carrier services resulting from various measures imposed to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many employers have imposed layoffs, furloughs and/or otherwise temporarily removed employees from performing safety-sensitive functions, resulting in their removal from the random pool for controlled substances and alcohol testing for a period greater than 30 days.

As employers begin calling these drivers back to work, they will incur the cost of conducting pre-employment controlled substances testing before using these drivers to perform safety-sensitive functions. The requirement for this testing applies not only upon hire, but also each time a driver returns to work after a furlough, lay-off, or other period of unemployment when the driver does not continue to be subject to random controlled substances testing in accordance with 49 CFR 382.305.

The three-month wavier, effective June 5, 2020 – September 30, 2020, extends the allowable period of time the driver is not subject to random controlled substances testing from 30 days to 90 days before being required to undergo pre-employment testing again. 

All other criteria for a driver to be excepted from pre-employment testing pursuant to 49 CFR 382.301(b) remain unchanged, as follows:

While participating in a random selection program within the past 90 days (pursuant to the new waiver), the employee was either:

  • Tested for controlled substances within the past 6 months (from the date of application with the employer)
  • OR
  • Participated in the random controlled substances testing program for the previous 12 months (from the date of application with the employer)
  • AND
  • The employer ensures that no prior employer of the driver of whom the employer has knowledge has records of a violation of [part 382] or the controlled substances use rule of another DOT agency within the previous six months.

A full transcript of the FMCSA Grant of Waiver can be found at here.

If you have any questions or concerns about your regulated or non-regulated substance abuse testing program, do not hesitate to contact us at (800) 820-9209. Additionally, be sure to follow us on social media for regular FMCSA and other compliance related updates.

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