Subpart O - Substance Abuse Professionals and the Return-to-Duty Process
§ 40.293 What is the SAP's function in conducting the initial evaluation of an employee?
As a SAP, for every employee who comes to you following a DOT drug and alcohol regulation violation, you must accomplish the following:
(a) Provide a comprehensive assessment and clinical evaluation meeting the requirements of §40.291(a)(1)
(b) Recommend a course of education and/or treatment with which the employee must demonstrate successful compliance prior to returning to DOT safety-sensitive duty.
- You must make such a recommendation for every individual who has violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation.
- You must make a recommendation for education and/or treatment that will, to the greatest extent possible, protect public safety in the event that the employee returns to the performance of safety-sensitive functions.
(c) Appropriate education may include, but is not limited to, self-help groups (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous) and community lectures, where attendance can be independently verified, and bona fide drug and alcohol education courses.
(d) Appropriate treatment may include, but is not limited to, in-patient hospitalization, partial in-patient treatment, out-patient counseling programs, and aftercare.
(e) You must assess and clinically evaluate each employee on an individual basis and use your professional judgment to determine education and/or treatment, as well as a follow-up testing plan unique to the needs of the individual employee. For example, do not require the same and/or substantially similar education, treatment, and/or follow-up testing plan for most of the employees you assess.
(f) You must provide a written report directly to the DER highlighting your specific recommendations for assistance (see §40.311(c)
(g) For purposes of your role in the evaluation process, you must assume that a verified positive test result has conclusively established that the employee
committed a DOT drug and alcohol regulation violation. You must not take into consideration in any way, as a factor in determining what your recommendation will be, any of the following:
- A claim by the employee that the test was unjustified or inaccurate;
- Statements by the employee that attempt to mitigate the seriousness of a violation of a DOT drug or alcohol regulation (e.g., related to assertions of use of hemp oil, “medical marijuana” use, “contact positives,” poppy seed ingestion, job stress); or
- Personal opinions you may have about the justification or rationale for drug and alcohol testing.
(h) In the course of gathering information for purposes of your evaluation in the case of a drug-related violation, you may consult with the MRO. As the MRO, you are required to cooperate with the SAP and provide available information the SAP requests. It is not necessary to obtain the consent of the employee to provide this information.
[65 FR 79526, Dec. 19, 2000, as amended at 88 FR 27650, May 2, 2023]
Last updated: Monday, June 26, 2023