Beginning January 6, 2020, employers are required to report positive drug results, alcohol test results over 0.04, refusals to test, “actual knowledge” violations, and negative return-to-duty test results to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for employees whose position requires them to possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

In addition, employers or third-party administrators will be required to query the Clearinghouse for violations that would prohibit an employee or prospective employee from performing safety-sensitive functions. Employers will be required to search the database at least once a year for current employees. A limited query may be done to start, but if records are found during that query, a full query must be conducted immediately. Employee consent is required to perform a query. Drivers who have not completed a return-to-duty test for a previous violation or who refuse to provide consent for a query must be removed from safety-sensitive functions and may face discipline, up to and including termination.

Employers must also amend their policies to reflect that violations will be collected and reported to the Clearinghouse. Employers should be advised that certain changes to drug and alcohol policies, including disciplinary sanctions, may trigger an impact bargaining obligation. Contact your NMP attorney with any questions.