Drug screenings are a common practice as a condition of employment and for a variety of other circumstances for many companies across the country. Companies with drug testing protocols in place report decreased absenteeism, improved productivity and performance, reduced healthcare costs and a safe workplace for employees and customers.
But there are different types of drug screenings depending on where you work and your job duties, including U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug screenings and non-DOT drug tests. Keep reading to learn more about the different policies and processes associated with the two types of drug screenings.
For all of your company’s background screening needs, contact the professionals at Barada Associates.
What Are the Differences Between a DOT Drug Test and a Non-DOT Drug Test?
A DOT drug screen is regulated by the federal government and is for “safety-sensitive” employees who hold jobs that can impact their own safety as well as the public’s. Whether you hold a federal government job or not, safety-sensitive employees are considered those who drive buses and trucks and operate or oversee trains, subways and ships, among many positions which fall under DOT drug testing practices.
Anyone who is considered a safety-sensitive employee is subject to DOT drug and alcohol screening, which is administered through a urine test. Some of these positions include:
- Flight crews, flight attendants, aircraft dispatchers and ground security coordinators
- People who operate vehicles that carry 16 passengers or more, such as drivers of school and public transportation buses
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders who operate Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs)
- Drivers of hazardous materials
- Engine and train workers, train dispatchers and signal service workers
- Vehicle operators, controllers, mechanics and armed security for the Federal Transit Administration
DOT drug screenings include five-panel tests that test for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine. Drug and alcohol testing can be administered for any number of reasons, including:
- Pre-employment testing
- Random testing
- Post-accident testing
- Reasonable suspicion/cause
- Follow-up testing
- Return-to-duty testing
Non-DOT Drug Testing
Non-DOT testing simply refers to drug screenings given to workers whose jobs are not regulated by the federal government. Non-DOT companies have a broader range of employee drug testing options to choose from. Companies can test employees on the five drugs the DOT tests for or opt for a 10-panel urinalysis, hair testing or Breathalyzer drug test.
Companies can decide whether to administer drug screenings or not, as long as they follow applicable state and local laws, as well as workers’ comp and unemployment laws. Like DOT background checks, non-DOT screenings can also occur for conditions of employment or for the other aforementioned reasons the DOT tests for.
Companies should have a policy in place in writing about when and why drug testing might occur, and include disciplinary consequences for refusing to take a test or for testing positive. This should be shared with all employees so they are clear on the policies and rules.
Contact Barada Associates for Drug Screening Services
Substance abuse can wreak havoc on companies, leading to poor performance, absenteeism and an unsafe working environment. The professionals at Barada Associates are pleased to administer non-DOT drug screenings to help keep companies across the country safe. For more information about our drug screening services, contact Barada Associates today.