We have a number of seasonal employers who lay off some or all of their employees during the “offseason.”

How does that work with a random drug testing program?

For non-regulated employers, you have some discretion. We have a couple of employers who simply do their random testing in 3 of the 4 quarters of the year. A couple of contractors test in Q2, Q3 and Q4. Another employer, whose employees have the summer off, tests in Q1, Q2 and Q4.

But if you have DOT- regulated employees, you need to abide by the federal regulations.

If a covered employee is not available and not in the consortium pool for 30+ days, s/he will need pre-employment tests when re-hired.  Some of our seasonal employers keep their drivers in the pool and get them tested if selected. Others take them out and test on re-hire. The first quarter ends 3/31, so if they are back on 3/1, you still have till the end of the month to test them.

Here is the rule:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/382.301

Question 4: Must all drivers who do not work for an extended period of time (such as layoffs over the winter or summer months) be pre-employment drug tested each season when they return to work?

Guidance: If the driver is considered to be an employee of the company during the extended (layoff) period, a pre-employment test would not be required so long as the driver has been included in the company’s random testing program during the layoff period. However, if the driver was not considered to be an employee of the company at any point during the layoff period, or was not covered by a program, or was not covered for more than 30 days, then a pre-employment test would be required.

Please let us know if you have questions.