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Becoming A Designated Employer Representative: A Detailed Guide

  • Published: Jan, 2 2020
  • Updated: Jan, 2 2020

A designated employer representative (DER) is an employee authorized by the company to determine whether another employee, often a driver, should be removed from duty in accordance with the federal transportation guidelines and laws. DERs are trained to recognize unsafe work conditions, as a result of suspected use and abuse of dangerous or illegal substances. 

As a company-designated representative, the DER is also expected to perform other related duties as required by the company’s drugs and alcohol safety and prevention programs.

Who Can Be a DER?

Anyone in the company can be a DER, whether he or she is an employee or the employer. The DER’s authority to take action when required is defined by the U.S. 49 CFR Part 40. Following the rules of the Department of Transportation (DOT) on drug and alcohol use, the DER can immediately relieve an employee from duty or order the employee’s supervisor to do so. 

The DER is also responsible for monitoring the company’s compliance with DOT’s regulations on drug and alcohol use. He or she will also supervise or conduct the implementation of drug and alcohol testing. It is also the DER’s responsibility to educate employees regarding the company and the government’s rules related to drugs and alcohol.

Furthermore, when drug and alcohol test results of an employee are already available, they will be sent to the DER who will then decide what action to take next.

It is important to note that a company’s DER should be an employee, one who is in the payroll. A company cannot subcontract a DER or delegate the task to a non-employee. 

DERs play a crucial role in keeping a company or employer compliant with the DOT’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Program. Thus, a DER should be a figure of authority. 

The Responsibilities of a DER

A designated employer representative has a number of responsibilities, including the following:

  • Administering, facilitating, and implementing the company’s drug and alcohol program
  • Liaising with drug and alcohol testing service agents
  • Handling and interpreting drug and alcohol test results
  • Performing actions as necessary based on the results of drug tests, and as authorized by the employer
  • Relieving employees who are suspected of alcohol or drug abuse from their safety-sensitive job
  • Making crucial decisions throughout the testing and evaluating process

If your company has not yet delegated a DER, now is the time to do so.

How to Become a DER

A DER has the responsibility of keeping track of regulations, employees, drug tests, service providers, among others. Aside from having the affinity for the job, an employee must undergo training that will allow him or her to acquire sufficient knowledge and hone the needed skills.

Private testing organizations such as MyDrugTestTraining offers comprehensive DER training courses. These courses cover DOT regulations, roles, compliance, responsibilities, and repercussions for violating rules and regulations.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our comprehensive drug testing and DER courses!

We are an education company, not a law firm. The information and content we provide is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make no representations, warranties, or guarantees regarding the accuracy, completeness, or applicability of the content. It is important to always consult with a qualified attorney for specific legal counsel pertaining to your individual circumstances.