- Published: Mar, 26 2020
- Updated: Mar, 26 2020
Motor vehicles are an everyday aspect of American life, but for some lines of work, it’s not just a convenient form of transportation, it’s a living. Passenger industries, like buses, and logistics businesses, like trucking goods around cities and states, are important facets of modern life that, because of their professional status, fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation.
This means that companies that work in these areas must answer to a set of federal guidelines that include drug testing, and it is up to each company to remain compliant with these laws. The Designated Employer Representative responsibility is an important part of this equation.
Not Just A Convenience
The designated employee representative, or DER, is a member of a company that takes on a special role. The DOT has rules in place that require drug testing under certain conditions. Employment applications may be one, regular, periodic, randomly selected testing may be another. When there is suspicion that drug or alcohol use may be at play, confirming or denying that suspicion is another instance.
When drug testing is required or occurs, it is up to the DER to handle all DOT drug-test related matters. This includes fielding inquiries and questions from staff within the business related to DOT and drug matters. DERs also deal with the DOT-certified drug test collectors that come to collect samples for testing when testing is required. DERs also liaise with the drug testing labs when results come in, or additional testing is required for double confirmation.
Every Industry Is Different
While all professional transportation businesses fall under the purview of the DOT, different agencies within the DOT administrate different specific interests. For example, truckers who haul freight, and the associated businesses answer to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA while pilots and aircraft that carry passengers or cargo answer to the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA.
This means DERs must be trained in the regulations and protocols that are relevant to the agencies their business falls under. The requirements are different enough that there is no one “universal” DOT compliance training system that everyone can take.
Noncompliance Is Risky
The FMCSA, for example, has recently instituted new a new clearinghouse with data on drug and alcohol violations. Employers are required to both add violations when they encounter them, as well as query the clearinghouse when expanding hiring.
The new clearinghouse regulations also toughen up the rules for compliance, and there are less tolerance and more penalties involved for those who fail to follow regulations. It is the Designated Employer Representative responsibility to remain compliant but is important in ensuring that there is knowledge within the business of what regulations must be observed to remain compliant and taking steps to make sure a business remains safely in compliance.
If you need DER training for your FMCSA business or any other related transportation industry, make sure to get your people educated from experienced, verified, and licensed organizations. Stay compliant with your agency’s regulations, and you and your employees stay safe.
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