Temporary Changes to Pre-Employment Exemption Window

Scott Mogensen

DOT Drug Testing Remains in Effect

The FMCSA announced yesterday that the need to conduct a pre-employment drug test on furloughed CDL drivers will be waived if they were enrolled in a DOT-compliant drug and alcohol testing program within the prior 90 days.  The decision was made to ease the economic burden on motor carriers – many of whom are hiring and rehiring drivers after the COVID-19 pandemic brought the nation to a halt for the past few months. “In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, many employers have imposed layoffs, furloughs, or otherwise temporarily removed employees from performing safety-sensitive functions, as defined in 49 CFR 382.107, resulting in their removal from the random pool for controlled substances and alcohol testing for a period greater than 30 days,” the FMCSA stated.

Free Webinar: Are You Prepared for a COVID-19 Reopening?

It’s important to emphasize that while the FMCSA has temporarily waived the need to complete a pre-employment drug test on some CDL drivers, that the pre-employment drug testing requirement – as well as all other aspects of the DOT drug and alcohol testing regulation – are still in effect.  

Despite the waiver, we still strongly encourage employers to send all new or rehired drivers for a drug test prior to allowing them behind the wheel, as it is a simple, yet effective way to ensure you’re maintaining a safe workforce.

Related: COVID Resources Center

In the first few months of 2020 alone, over 12,000 drug and alcohol violations were reported in the DOT Clearinghouse – a statistic that highlights the prevalence of drug and alcohol testing violations in the industry. With many drivers out of work and experiencing higher stress levels during this time, those numbers are likely even higher now.

This waiver is in effect from June 5, 2020 to September 30, 2020.

1 thought on “Temporary Changes to Pre-Employment Exemption Window”

  1. I am contracted with Foley for DOT D/A testing. Since the federal government has waived testing for furloughed drivers I plan to not send the remainder of
    drivers that have yet to complete their random for the 2nd quarter 2020.

    We have school bus drivers that were laid off on March 16, 2020 and won’t return to work until the school resumes for regular session, whenever that may be. However, we are still testing for pre-employment.

    Robinson Transport Inc
    Lab Code RTRI
    Joyce Robinson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *