Screening News Network Blog

Compliance Horror Stories 3: The DOT Drug Testing Nightmare

Drug Testing, DOT Compliance, Videos

We hope you have enjoyed our month of Halloween Compliance Horror Stories with our friend Larry Henry, attorney at Rhodes Hieronymus. But all kidding aside, there's a reason we are calling them horror stories. Too many of them have truly horrific endings, and it's more than a business' bottom line that is at stake. Too often, people's lives are destroyed...

Big News for DOT Regulated Industries

Drug Testing, DOT Compliance

You can do practically anything electronically these days… read the newspaper, pay your bills or even sign a legal document. Our industry has changed dramatically because of the digital revolution, and I’m sure yours has too. In our work, though, we see some industries being held back, forced to stay in the dark ages of paper records. They are employers who have to follow DOT regulations for drug and alcohol testing. But now the curtain is lifting.

The Department of Transportation Stands Firm on Marijuana Drug Testing Compliance

Background Checks, Legislative Alerts, Drug Testing, DOT Compliance, Legalizing Marijuana

This election year included the passage of state legislation relating to the recreational use of marijuana.  As many of you know, Washington and Colorado have passed laws that permit the “recreational” use of the drug.  It is still unclear how state legislation in these two states will affect the enforcement of employer drug testing policies.  Employers operating in Washington and Colorado should consult their legal counsel for further guidance on these specific state law changes and how they relate to their drug testing policies.  EBI will continue to monitor these changes and provide additional information as it becomes available.  For an additional reference, you can visit Procon.org for information regarding specific states laws pertaining to recreational and medical marijuana use.

DOT Cracking Down On Bus Companies For Public Safety Violations

Background Checks, Drug Testing, DOT Compliance

In the largest single safety crackdown in the history of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 26 bus operations have been shut down, declaring them imminent hazards to the public’s safety.  In addition, FMCSA ceased all passenger transportation operations of 10 individual bus company owners, managers and employees.  These bus companies transported over 1,800 passengers a day along the Interstate-95 corridor, from New York to Florida.

DOT Extends The Use Of Old Chain of Custody Forms Until November 30th

Background Checks, Legislative Alerts, Drug Testing, DOT Compliance

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued its Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued by The DOT in September of 2010.  The intended effect of this final rule is to finalize the authority for use of the new Chain of Custody Form (CCF) and to make a technical amendment to its drug testing procedures by amending a provision of the rule which was inadvertently omitted.  The complete text of the amendments can be found at the Federal Register Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form; Technical Amendment".  Among amendments to the Interim ruling; employers that fall under the DOT drug testing regulations, 49 CFR Part 40, can continue to use old CCF forms until November 30, 2011.  This extension will provide the DOT and employers more time to implement the use of the new forms.

Inadequate Background Checks Cause Public Safety Risks And Negligent Hiring Liability For Employers

Background Checks, DOT Compliance

A New York grand jury has finally indicted Ophadell Williams on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, for the fatal bus crash that left 15 dead as the result of an accident on Interstate 95 near the Westchester County-Bronx border this past March.  This accident has certainly spurred a great deal of concern regarding the vetting requirements of commercial bus driver’s in the state of New York and across the country.  Bus drivers have the ultimate responsibility for safety and security of their passengers and should be held to a much higher standard than currently required by law.  Drivers that hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) must undergo a driver’s record check, medical screen, pre-employment and random drug test as required by the Department Of Transportation (DOT).  In addition, a driver’s current and past employment record is verified, which includes confirming incidents of safety violations, accidents, and prior drug testing violations. 

Could Random Drug Testing Prevent A Nuclear Disaster?

Drug Testing, DOT Compliance

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s random drug testing policy was put to the test last week at the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant outside of Frenchtown, MI as one of the plant’s employees failed a random drug test.  According to a plant spokesman, “The individual tested positive for illegal drugs during a random fitness-for-duty test and the employee’s access to the plant was immediately revoked.”  According to Viktoria Mitlyng, an NRC spokeswoman, the licensed operator’s access to the plant is suspended for at least 14 days, under federal rules for nuclear plants.  During that period, the utility has to decide whether to fire the operator or refer him to an employee assistance program for substance abuse treatment and evaluation.

The Trucking Industry Is On Alert For Terrorism

Background Checks, Drug Testing, DOT Compliance

Last week, terrorist experts from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and Transportation Security Administration alerted over a hundred members of the trucking industry in Concord, NC to be on the lookout for terrorism.  The FBI alerted the trucking industry that the potential of a terrorist attack may be carried out by an individual and not a group of terrorists to appear less suspicious.  The FBI's Craig Moringiello said terrorism is changing.  Future attacks are more likely to be conducted by one person, "a lone wolf," he said, such as the Fort Hood shooter, the Christmas underwear bomber and the Times Square bomber.

Ongoing Background Investigation Continues With New York Bus Accident

Background Checks, Drug Testing, DOT Compliance

The fatal bus crash that left 15 dead during last Saturday's accident on Interstate 95 near the Westchester County-Bronx border has spurred further investigation into the background of the driver.  "Given Ophadell Williams' criminal record and driving history, I have directed the New York state inspector general to commence an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding how Mr. Williams was able to obtain and retain a commercial driver's license," according to New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo.