These are strange times, right? COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. We’re living in uncertainty and there don’t seem to be a lot of clear answers right now. It’s our job to stay on top of rules and regulations. We want to provide some answers for your mandated drug and alcohol testing questions.
But first, we want to take a minute and say a big THANK YOU to you truckers and other industries still working during these times. You are literally keeping us and our economy alive and we appreciate all of you!
We know you have questions and concerns about drug and alcohol testing during this time. We have, too and we’ve been asking them for you. We’re relieved to see that the U.S. Department of Transportation released a memo yesterday giving some guidance on compliance.
You are still required to follow DOT training and testing requirements to the best of your ability.
As DOT-regulated employers, you are still required to follow DOT training and testing requirements to the best of your ability. However, because resources and testing locations may not be available right now, there is some flexibility.
DOT states at this time, best practice is to consider mobile collection services for required testing if fixed-site collection facilities are not available.
Lobdock Impairment Detection, centrally located in Oklahoma City, offers testing in our industry-specific drug testing facility OR we can send collectors to you.
If you can’t test, then document well and keep in your files.
If you are unable to find a collection and lab-based testing service because of COVID-19-related supply shortages, facility closures, state or locally imposed quarantine requirements, or other impediments, you are required to document why a test was not completed. Your documentation has to comply with existing applicable DOT agency requirements.
If DOT-required training or testing can/must be done at a later date, you still have to follow your modal regulations. We recommend you document why training and testing had to be delayed.
We also encourage you to try our online training courses. They can be accessed even if you’re working from home. Call us at 405-822-0553 and we’ll set you up.
What if someone refuses to test because of COVID-19?
If an employee refuses to test, DOT allows you to use your judgement and have grace and flexibility. If you truly believe the reason an employee refuses to test is due to COVID-19 concerns, then document it that way and keep that documentation in your own files. We don’t believe you are required to report that to the Clearinghouse because it is not a typical refusal (If you aren’t familiar with the Clearinghouse, call us at 405-822-0553 so we can help you).
Summary of DOT Testing Guidelines during COVID-19 Pandemic:
- Remind employees that if they’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they should call their medical professional and let you know.
- If they have concerns about testing facilities, they should let you know so you can take appropriate action. Reiterate that we’re in a difficult situation and they should not be afraid of being reported for that reason. Letting you know their fears is far better than just not showing up to test.
- You are responsible for determining if an employee’s refusal to test is for reasons related to COVID-19 or not, and documenting so. If you believe refusal is not COVID-19 related, proper reporting to the Clearinghouse is required.
- Monitor guidance from your public health officials and refer to official government channels for additional information related to COVID-19.
- No other testing can be substituted for lab-based DOT tests.
These are difficult times and we know your job is hard, even on a good day. Lobdock Impairment Detection is here to help you get through this unprecedented pandemic. We’re staying on top of regulations, our OKC testing facility is still open for now, and we can still send our collectors to you. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have questions or concerns.
We’ll get through this together and Lobdock Impairment Detection believes we’ll all be stronger in the end. We appreciate you!
Call Lobdock Impairment Detection at
405-822-0553 if you have questions or concerns.
Or stop by at 2000 N. Drexel Blvd. in OKC for all your drug and alcohol testing needs. We’re open 8am-5pm M-F
Are you prepared to confront an employee you suspect is using drugs or alcohol? Get our FREE Reasonable Suspicion Planner to document and plan for that conversation.