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Does Your Company Have A DER?

  • Published: Mar, 31 2020
  • Updated: Mar, 31 2020

America has a major reliance on motorized transportation for many different aspects of life. Whether it’s children being picked up by bus to get to school, or trains hauling freight by rail across the country, powered vehicles are crucial for American prosperity. As a result, the Department of Transportation is the federal agency that oversees the safe use and maintenance of vehicles. It also requires that groups and businesses in transportation have a designated employer representative or DER, to handle DOT drug test compliance.

What Is A DER?

A designated employer representative is a staff member of a business who has been chosen to act as a knowledge base and decision-maker for DOT drug testing regulations. It is the DER, for example, who answers questions from supervisors about whether an employee’s behavior warrants enough suspicion to call for a drug test.

It is also the DER’s job to act as “watchdog” for staying compliant with DOT requirements. New potential hires may need to be tested, so the DER works with drug test specimen collectors, as well as the lab to organize and allocate results. It is the DER’s job to know when drug testing is required and works with DOT representatives if a company is selected to periodic, random drug testing.

Different Requirements For Different Groups

However, transportation plays many different roles and needs within America, so a DER must be trained to the specific agencies within the DOT that a business falls under the jurisdiction of. Professional truck drivers, for example, would follow the DOT protocols laid out by the FMCSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association. Meanwhile, a DER who works in public transportation for a city’s buses, streetcars or subways, would need the training to follow the protocol for the Federal Transit Administration or FTA. If your company is in transportation, or transportation adjacent, look at your DER situation.

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