FMCSA Announces Limited Waiver from Pre-Employment Testing

Back to Blog
On June 5th, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a limited three-month waiver from pre-employment testing requirements. The waiver was announced in response to continued COVID-19 economic impacts, with a particular focus on employers calling back furloughed or otherwise temporarily removed drivers back into duty. The FMCSA noted the waiver, effective until September 30, 2020, balances an appropriate level of safety with these economic concerns.
Currently, a driver must undergo pre-employment drug and alcohol testing prior to performing safety-sensitive functions, in addition to each time the driver returns to work after a furlough, lay-off or other period of unemployment where the individual is not subject to random testing. Employers may forgo pre-employment testing if the driver participated in a controlled substances testing program within the previous thirty (30) days. During this time, the driver also must either have been tested for controlled substances within the past six (6) months or participated in the random testing program for the previous twelve (12) months. The employer must also ensure no prior employer has records of a 49 CFR part 382 violation or the controlled substances use rule of another DOT agency within the previous six (6) months.
What exactly does this limited waiver do for employers? The waiver extends the time period for the above-referenced exception to pre-employment drug and alcohol testing from thirty (30) days to ninety (90) days. According to the FMCSA, this limited extension will “provide relief from the administrative burdens and costs associated with administering tests and allow [employers] to return drivers to the workforce in a more efficient manner.”
Before taking action, employers should review the limited waiver in full as it contains specific terms, conditions and restrictions.

Share Post