Testing Guidance for Returning Furloughed/Laid-off Employees: FMCSA
A returning CDL employee does not have to have a DOT pre-employment test so long as the driver has remained in the employer’s random selection pool while laid-off or furloughed . There is deemed to be no break in employment if the driver was expected to return.
If the driver is taken out of the DOT random pool for more than 30 days, a DOT pre-employment drug test would have to be administered and a negative result reported before the driver can resume safety-sensitive duties for the employer.
Example 1: The company does quarterly random selections. The driver was in the random testing pool when the Jan 2020 selections were made. The driver was furloughed March 28 and was not in the random pool for the selections conducted April 1, 2020. If the driver returns from furlough any date after May 1. 2020, he/she must have a pre-employment drug test because he/she was removed from the random pool for more than 30 days.
Example 2: The company does monthly random selections. The driver was furloughed March 28, however he/she was not removed from the random pool when selections were made April 1, 2020 and again May 1, 2020. The driver returns from furlough in June, however his/her name had not been removed from the random pool until June 1. He/she does not need a pre-employment test because he/she was not “out of the random pool for more than 30 days.
Any furloughed or laid-off driver whose name remained in the random pool and who was selected for random testing should be required to report for a random test if he/she returns before a subsequent random selection list was produced. If a driver returns from furlough or lay-off after the period in which his selection took place, he/she should not be tested and the employer should retain a record stating that he/she was not available for testing during the selection period due to COVID-19 furlough or lay-off.
Example 1: Driver selected for random testing April 1, 2020 for QTR 2. Driver was furloughed/laid off. Driver returns June 10, 2020, driver must be tested after his return before the QTR 3 random selection list is produced.
Example 2: Driver selected for random testing In January for QTR 1. Driver furloughed March 20, 2020 and had not been randomly tested. Company does QTR 2 random selection April 6, 2020 and driver is not selected for QTR 2 testing. Driver returns to work June 15, 2020, the driver should not be random tested. His QTR 1 random test should be documented as uncompleted due to COVID-19 furlough Mar 20, 2020.
Example 3: Employer does monthly random list selections. Driver is selected for April random testing, but is furloughed before the testing is complete. The driver returns June 1, 2020 ; the driver is not random tested, provided May and/or June random selection lists were produced by the Company and the driver was not selected on the last random selection list conducted. The driver’s “missed random test” should be documented as uncompleted due to COVID-19 furlough.
If a driver was removed from the random testing pool for more than 30 days, and thus a pre-employment drug test is required upon his/her return to work, the driver is placed in the random pool for future selections effective the date of his/her return.