Positive Drug Test Results


(Out of the DOT Employer Handbook)


What must I do when an employee test positive, or refuses a test, or has some other violation of DOT Agency or USCG regulations? 

You must immediately remove the employee from safety-sensitive functions and give the employee a list of qualified SAP's. This list must have SAP's who are suitable to you and readily available to the Employee. Instead of a list of SAP's, you may provide the name and phone number of a SAP network that will offer qualified SAP's to the employee when they contact the employee or the employee calls them.

  • Double-check to make sure your SAP meets all the DOT's Part 40 qualification requirements. These include checking for credentials, training and examination.

  • NOTE: When an applicant fails or refuses a pre-employment DOT test, you cannot let the applicant perform safety-sensitive duties for you, and you must provide a SAP listing to the applicant.

  • You cannot charge an applicant or an employee for the SAP list, and you may have your TPA or another service agent provide the list.



Can I fire an employee who tests positive or refuses a test? 

That's your decision, subject to your policies and applicable legal or collective bargaining requirements. DOT rules don't decide this for you. The same goes for other personnel decisions - like other disciplinary action, hiring, suspensions or leaves of absence. What DOT rules require is that no one who violates a rule can perform safety-sensitive functions again until successfully completing the SAP return-to-duty process.


Other than giving the SAP listing, am I required to provide SAP and treatment services to employees? 

No. The DOT does not require you to provide SAP evaluation or any of the SAP's recommended education or treatment for an employee who has violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation. However, if you offer that employee an opportunity to return to a safety-sensitive duty following a violation, you must, before the employee again performs that duty, ensure that the employee received a SAP evaluation and the employee successfully complied with the SAP's evaluation recommendations.


For More Information Refer to Employer Handbook page 22

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