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The Role Of The Designated Employer Representative

  • Published: Jun, 9 2020
  • Updated: Jun, 9 2020

The idea of a drug-free workplace is always a good one. A place that manages to eliminate substance abuse from the environment is a safer, more productive place that protects its employees and provides them with peace of mind. In some cases, a drug-free workplace may not even be just a good idea, but a legal mandate, such as any businesses that answer to the US Department of Transportation, and must comply with Federal regulations.

However, there’s more to maintaining a drug-free workplace than just deciding to do so. Proper implementation is one of the key components of effectiveness, and one of the people central to this is the Designated Employer Representative or DER. But what does a DER do?

The Right Person For The Job

A proper drug-free workplace is a comprehensive effort that requires a lot of planning, knowledge, and in some cases, awareness of regulations from a relevant government agency. This isn’t something that can be casually implemented by whoever has free time. In the same way that a company benefits from a dedicated IT or finance department, someone focused on maintaining a drug-free workplace is the most effective way to create that environment.

That person should get designated employer representative training to officially take on the duties of the Designated Employer Representative, or DER. It is the DER’s responsibility to be aware of and enforce compliance with DoT regulations, for example.

A Liaison & Decision Maker

It is also the DER’s responsibility to coordinate with the personnel responsible for drug testing. When a specimen collector arrives at a workplace to collect samples, whether that is urine, hair, or others, the collector works with the DER. Once the collection takes place, specimens are sent to the laboratory for analysis. When the results are in, whether positive or negative, it is the DER who first gets the results from the lab, and the DER decides what to do with the results and has discretion bringing this to the attention of management.

The DER also works within the company to deal with drug-free workplace-related concerns. In addition to complying with drug tests that may be mandated by government agencies, the DER works with staff to monitor workplace situations. If one of the managers, for example, suspects an employee of using drugs and brings both concern and credible evidence to the DER, the DER, can decide to request testing.

Proper Training

The position of the DER requires designated employer representative training. A combination of instruction, orientation with relevant Federal agency protocol, if needed, and testing ensure that proper DER protocol is observed. This means going to an organization with both the experience and the appropriate connections with different government agencies so that the DER is appropriately trained in FAA, FMCSA, FRA, or other agency regulations.

Do not take the chance with assuming that a self-instructed designated employer representative training will be sufficient to the task when it comes to administrating. If you need guidance, we can help. Contact us and ask about our specific DER training programs, like for the FMCSA.

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.