Each DOT Authority has its own specific requirements regarding what must be addressed in an employer’s written substance abuse policy. Testing is required for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and phencyclidine (PCP). Some agencies also require random testing for alcohol.
All agencies require testing for the following reasons: Pre-employment, Random, Post-accident, Reasonable Suspicion, Return-to-duty and Follow-up.
Employers’ written policies must satisfy specific requirements described by the DOT as well as those prescribed by the agency under with the employees operate. But the employers may (and should) describe the employer’s policy on consequences violations of the policy, and for certain types of events, like shy bladder, refusals to test, second chance agreements and negative-dilute results.
FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)
The primary focus is on ensuring that commercial drivers do not operate vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Employers are required to conduct pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and return-to-duty drug and alcohol testing.
FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)
The FAA regulates drug testing for aviation employees, including pilots, air traffic controllers, and aviation maintenance technicians.
The FAA has specific procedures for conducting drug tests, including post-accident and reasonable suspicion testing.
PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration)
PHMSA oversees drug testing for employees in the pipeline and hazardous materials industries.
A PHMSA drug and alcohol policy is called a Drug Plan and an Alcohol Plan, which may be combined. Random testing for alcohol is not permitted under PHMSA but is may be for conducted reasonable suspicion and post-accident.
FRA (Federal Railroad Administration)
FRA is responsible for regulating drug and alcohol testing for railroad employees.
FRA mandates pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and return-to-duty drug testing and has different testing rates for Maintenance of Way, Hours of Service and Mechanical Workers.
FTA (Federal Transit Administration)
The FTA oversees drug and alcohol testing for employees in the public transit industry, including bus and subway operators.
Testing includes pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and return-to-duty testing.