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Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations on drug testing are well known in the industry. Some states tap into these regulations and add additional state requirements for those employers that are required to follow them. One additional requirement in particular comes in the form of results reporting to state departments of transportation or DMVs. This means that companies that employ certain types of drivers (usually in line with the federal regulations) in the states of Arkansas, California, North Carolina, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington must report drug testing results to the state. Here are some key elements to take note of.
It is clear to whom employers report their results (federal and/or state), but the question of who does the reporting is a little trickier. Some states require just the employer to make the report, while others require it of the medical review officer (MRO), breath alcohol technician (BAT), third party administrator (TPA), the laboratory, or some combination of some or all of these parties. The following breaks it down by state:
Arkansas – Employer and TPA
California – Employer
North Carolina – Employer
New Mexico – Employer and TPA
South Carolina – Employer must report to state; MRO and BAT must report to employer
Texas – Employer (required); MRO, BAT, TPA, or laboratory (optional)
Washington – Employer, MRO, and BAT
What is reported?
Requirements on what is reported are very similar from state to state. In each state, alcohol positives and drug positives are reported. However, in some states, alcohol refusals (AR, NC, NM, SC, & WA), alcohol adulterations (SC), drug refusals (AR, NC, NM, SC, & WA), and drug adulterations (AR & SC) must also be reported.
What types of tests?
Depending on the state, employee testing results, applicant test results, or both may be required. Arkansas, Texas, and Washington only require employee results. New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina require all results, which would include employee and applicant testing, except that an applicant’s refusal in New Mexico and North Carolina is not considered a violation requiring a report at the state level.
California makes no mention of which types of tests are required, meaning both are probably a good idea to include, if not required.
When to report?
Again, the timeframe in which to report depends on the state. New Mexico makes no mention of when reporting should be done, while the others range from 3 to 10 days. As well, some states specify business days and others do not. Washington is unusual in that it requires MROs and BATs to report results within 3 business days, but only requires that employers report results when the driver’s employment has been terminated, any grievance process has concluded, and the driver has not been cleared to return to safety sensitive functions. The following is a breakdown of each state:
Arkansas – Within 3 business days
California – Within 5 days
North Carolina – Within 5 business days
South Carolina – Within 3 business days
Texas – Within 10 days
Although these are state requirements, they do not seem to stray too far from the U.S. DOT reporting requirements with which employers in these states would already be familiar. And with only a short list to keep track of, state DOT reporting is relatively manageable. In all cases though, it is always advised to seek expert advice before implementing or modifying a drug testing program.
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