Testing Guidance for Returning Furloughed/Laid-off Employees: FTA
A returning safety sensitive employee subject to Part 655 drug and alcohol testing does not have to have a DOT pre-employment test so long as the employee has remained in the employer’s random selection pool while laid-off or furloughed .
Part 655.41(d) states: “When a covered employee has not performed a safety-sensitive function for 90 consecutive calendar days regardless of the reason, and the employee has not been in the employer’s random selection pool during that time, the employer shall ensure that the employee takes a pre-employment drug test with a verified negative result .”
Any furloughed or laid-off employee 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 an employee returns from furlough or lay-off after the period in which his/her 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: Employee selected for random testing April 1, 2020 for QTR 2. Employee was furloughed/laid off in March, but was not removed from the random pool. Employee returns June 10, 2020, employee must be tested after his return before the QTR 3 random selection list is produced.
Example 2: employee selected for random testing In January for QTR 1. Employee furloughed March 20, 2020 and had not been randomly tested. Company does QTR 2 random selection April 6, 2020 and the employee is not selected for QTR 2 testing. Employee returns to work June 15, 2020, the employee should not be random tested. His QTR 1 random test should be documented as uncompleted due to COVID-19 furlough Mar 20, 2020.
Any random tests that are not completed because of COVID-19 pandemic issues (e.g. employee on furlough, collection/testing services not available, etc.) must be documented and the record retained for at least three years.