Why Not DOT Drug Test for All?

Why Not DOT Drug Test for All?

As employers and transportation companies, it is crucial to ensure that drivers are sober and fit to drive, particularly in the transportation industry. DOT drug testing has been an effective tool in identifying drug abusers and reducing accidents. However, as the transportation industry evolves, so do the federal regulations and drug testing requirements. The FMCSA Clearinghouse recently updated its testing requirements, and many employers are facing the challenge of whether drug testing all employees is necessary. In this blog post, we will discuss why not to DOT drug test for all employees, the limitations of 5-panel drug tests, and how the FMCSA Clearinghouse can improve compliance.

1. Increased Compliance Costs

Drug testing all DOT employees is a mandatory process for employers and transportation companies. The 5 panel drug test is the most common type of drug screening used by employers, and it only detects five commonly abused drugs (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and PCP). Why not use a DOT Drug Test for all employees?  Yes DOT 5 Panel Drug Screen is the Gold Standard.  The real issue, however, is that testing an employee who is not DOT on a DOT form can lead to costly penalties – $10,000 per occurrence.

2. DOT-5 for NON DOT Employees.

Knowing that the DOT 5-panel drug test is the gold standard, how can employers get around using the same.  All you need to do is request the DOT-5 like drug screen.  It will be done the same way as a DOT Drug Screen at the collection site, laboratory and reviewed by MRO.  The only difference is it is done on a DOT like form.  This minor difference will alleviate possible costly fines.

3. Safety Sensitive vs Non Safety Sensitive

The requirement of drug testing for all employees regardless of their responsibilities or position within the company can be seen as intrusive by employees or labor.  It is important for you to vet your testing decisions with a lawyer with experience in Human Resources and testing processes.

4. Improved Compliance with the FMCSA Clearinghouse

If you are a DOT employer, tracking the last three years of Drivers Drug and Alcohol use just became easier.  The FMCSA Clearinghouse is a new tool provided by the FMCSA that gives employers better insight into an employee’s drug testing history. Employers who utilize this tool can identify problem employees more effectively while reducing costs and risks associated with drug testing all employees. The Clearinghouse allows employers to query pre-employment drivers as well as annual queries on their current drivers to weed out known abusers.

Utilizing a DOT Like Process can bring the Gold Standard of DOT Testing to the Non DOT population.  Best practices is to utilize a lawyer to discuss testing practices within your organization.  DOT employers utilizing the mandated FMCSA Clearinghouse will save much time with the new easier process to find out instantly if their perspective or current employee has a past report drug or alcohol positive, refusal or if employee is eligible after passing a return to duty drug test. Workplace Screening Intelligence can assist employers in utilizing the FMCSA Clearinghouse and ensure they are compliant with drug testing regulations.  If you need assistance with your drug free workplace, drug testing laws or the FMCSA Clearinghouse, contact our Knowledgeable Support Staff at 844-573-8378 or Support@workplacescreening.com