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FMCSA Clearinghouse

Submitted on Sep 26, 2019

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is still on schedule to be ready for January 2020. We have been keeping in close contact with all resources to keep everyone informed of this great new tool for tracking past drug and alcohol violations of FMCSA covered employees. Below is a brief review of the Clearinghouse as well as the most recent information.

The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. The Clearinghouse will contain records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver completes the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, this information will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse.

The Clearinghouse offers employers a centralized location to report drug and alcohol program violations and check that no current or prospective employee is prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), due to an unresolved drug and alcohol program violation—that is, a violation for which the driver has not completed the return-to-duty (RTD) process. This query must be conducted as part of a pre-employment driver investigation, and at least annually for current employees. In addition, employers may designate a C/TPA(s) who can report violations and perform queries on their behalf. An owner-operator is an employer that employs himself or herself as a CDL driver and must designate the C/TPA in the Clearinghouse. To complete the actions outlined above, employers and C/TPAs will be required to register with the Clearinghouse.

We will be keeping everyone notified on the procedures, how to register, and when to register. Currently, FMCSA has noted that registration will begin in "Fall 2019". As soon as we have an exact date and all of the information we will be notifying everyone. All employers and owner operators will be required to register. There will also be a section to link Mobile Occupational Services as your consortia/third-party administrator. This will povide proof of enrollment in a random program.

Your drivers/employees will not be required to enroll in the Clearinghouse. If a driver is never required to provide consent to a pre-employment or other full query, and never incurs a drug and alcohol program violation, then the driver will not need to register for the Clearinghouse. However, a driver will need to be registered to provide electronic consent in the Clearinghouse for a prospective or current employer to conduct a full query of his or her driver record. A full query releases detailed violation information contained in a driver’s Clearinghouse record to the querying employer. Beginning January 6, 2020, a full query will be required during a pre-employment driver investigation for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder who will perform safety-sensitive functions, including operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Early registration will allow drivers to respond quickly to a query request. A driver must also be registered to view the information electronically in his or her own Clearinghouse record.

KEY POINTS TO NOTE:

  • If a driver had a drug and alcohol violation in one state it will follow them to all other states.
  • As of January 6, 2020, State Driver Licensing Agencies will be able to query the Clearinghouse prior to completing licensing transactions, such as the issuance, renewal, transfer, and upgrade of a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
  • Once the Clearinghouse is implemented will still need to conduct 3 year drug and alcohol searches. On January 6, 2023, once three years of violation data is stored in the Clearinghouse, prospective employers will no longer be required to conduct manual inquiries with a CDL driver’s previous employers; the prospective employer’s query of the Clearinghouse will satisfy that requirement. However, if a prospective employee was subject to drug and alcohol testing by a Department of Transportation (DOT) mode other than the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), prospective employers must continue to request drug and alcohol violation information from those DOT-regulated employers, since that information will not be reported to the Clearinghouse.
  • The Clearinghouse will contain only violations that occurred on or after January 6, 2020. If a driver’s violation occurred prior to January 6, 2020, and is in the return-to-duty (RTD) process when the Clearinghouse is implemented, the violation and any related RTD activity will not be entered into the Clearinghouse.
  • Driver violation records will be available in the Clearinghouse for five years from the date of the violation determination, or until the violation is resolved through the successful completion of the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, whichever is later.
  • An employer must conduct a pre-employment query for a prospective employee in the Clearinghouse prior to hiring the employee for a position requiring him or her to perform safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The employer must also query the Clearinghouse annually for all currently employed CDL drivers.
  • Employees must be queried at least once within a 365-day period based on their hire date, or another 12-month period determined by the employer, as long as the requirements of § 382.701(b) are met. PLEASE NOTE: This will be part of the services we will provide for you.
  • Employers may designate a C/TPA or C/TPAs to conduct queries and/or report violations on their behalf. The C/TPA must be registered in the Clearinghouse before an employer can select the C/TPA, and C/TPAs must be designated by the employer before reporting drug and alcohol program violations or querying the Clearinghouse on their behalf.
  • An owner-operator (an employer that employs himself or herself as a commercial driver’s license (CDL) driver) must designate their C/TPA(s) as part of their Clearinghouse registration process.
  • An owner-operator (an employer who employs himself or herself as a CDL driver) is subject to the requirements pertaining to employers as well as those pertaining to drivers. Under the Clearinghouse final rule, an employer who employs himself or herself as a CDL driver must designate a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) to comply with the employer’s Clearinghouse reporting requirements (§ 382.705(b)(6)).
  • Anyone who employs a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder must query the Clearinghouse (§ 382.701). This requirement includes owner-operators, who must comply with all Clearinghouse requirements imposed on both employers and employees. An owner-operator’s designated consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) may conduct queries on their behalf. However, the C/TPA is responsible for reporting drug and alcohol program violations to the Clearinghouse for the owner-operator.

A Reminder - 2019 Labor Day Weekend Impaired Driving Prevention Campaign Materials

Submitted on Jul 11, 2019

2019 "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" National Enforcement Mobilization

Drive Sober or Get Pulled OverPlease join thousands of law enforcement officers, State and local safety advocates, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in this year's nationwide Labor Day Weekend impaired driving prevention mobilization.

  • August 14 - September 2, 2019 [paid media advertisement]
  • August 16 - September 2, 2019 [national enforcement mobilization]

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20%. This is why you are being given the 2019 Products for Enforcement Action Kit (PEAK) so you can maximize your participation in this year's high-visibility enforcement campaign.

arrow-10x10 Click here to get your PEAK materials now.
arrow-10x10 Click here to get additional enforcement marketing campaign materials.

A Reminder - 2019 Labor Day Weekend Impaired Driving Prevention Campaign Materials

Submitted on Jul 11, 2019

2019 "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" National Enforcement Mobilization

Drive Sober or Get Pulled OverPlease join thousands of law enforcement officers, State and local safety advocates, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in this year's nationwide Labor Day Weekend impaired driving prevention mobilization.

  • August 14 - September 2, 2019 [paid media advertisement]
  • August 16 - September 2, 2019 [national enforcement mobilization]

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20%. This is why you are being given the 2019 Products for Enforcement Action Kit (PEAK) so you can maximize your participation in this year's high-visibility enforcement campaign.

arrow-10x10 Click here to get your PEAK materials now.
arrow-10x10 Click here to get additional enforcement marketing campaign materials.

Marijuana industry is heavily lobbying Congress to pass H.R. 1595

Submitted on Jun 06, 2019

Message from our Friends at SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

The marijuana industry is heavily lobbying Congress to pass H.R. 1595, the SAFE Banking Act to give the marijuana industry a massive infusion of money from Wall Street by granting access to the federal banking system.

Time is short, and we need you to Write Congress and tell them to Oppose the SAFE Banking Act.

Marijuana banking:

  • Sets a dangerous legal precedent to allow banking access for a Schedule 1 drug, giving money laundering access to international drug cartels who are already using the cover of legalization
  • Provides a precedent for giving banking access to other criminal activity. 
  • Is a slippery slope: Denver just legalized magic mushrooms and Oregon is next. 
  • Access to banks would radically increase investment in the marijuana industry, accelerating its transformation into the next Big Tobacco and allowing marketing of candies, gummies and sodas.

 

Please click here to be connected to your Representative and Senators:

 

  Write Congress 

 

Sincerely,

Kevin Sabet

President of SAM Action

 

P.S., You can find the full text of the bill here.

California Marijuana Legislation Will Not Change Employer Drug & Alcohol Programs

Submitted on Nov 23, 2016

California Marijuana Legislation Will Not Change Employer Drug & Alcohol Programs

The passage of recreational usage of marijuana by California voters on November 8, 2016 will not force employers to change there drug free testing programs. The new law specifically creates protection for employers to continue with or create new drug free workplace programs without having to accommodate for recreational or medical use of marijuana.

The new law stipulates in two sections that it will “Allow public and private employers to enact and enforce workplace policies pertaining to marijuana.” One of the sections is specifically dedicated to the rights of employers. Even without this stipulation, Federal Law still defines marijuana an illegal schedule I drug. Federal Drug Testing Programs, along with any State, County, or City employee will continue to be required to follow Federal Requirements.

Many of the voters that were in favor of the legislation have no idea what is in the new law. This confusion by voters has left employers with employees making assumptions about what they can and cannot do in the workplace. Employers are quickly making sure they are pro-active with awareness information that the passage of the California Law will NOT CHANGE the requirements of there Drug Free Workplaces. We are encouraging employers to distribute notices and include information in Safety Meetings as soon as possible. The law will not change your programs and you are not required to change or accommodate any marijuana usage, possession, sale, or other association as stipulated in your policy.

The two key portions for employers to note are in Section 3(r) and Section 4 – 11362.45(f). Section 3 specifically acknowledges that employers are allowed to enact and enforce workplace policies, while Section 4 gives a full explanation of the rights of employers and addresses any changes made to the California Health Safety Code. The section, in summary, says the new law will not affect the rights of employers.

Section 4 – 11362.45(f) states that the law will NOT amend, repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt: “The rights and obligations of public and private employers to maintain a drug and alcohol free workplace or require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growth of marijuana in the workplace, or affect the ability of employers to have policies prohibiting the use of marijuana by employees and prospective employees, or prevent employers from complying with state or federal law.”

Despite the confusion of many voters in favor of the law, employers are not required to accommodate any misinterpretation of the new law. However, in an effort to promote safety and a quality workforce, we are encouraging employers to continue to educate employees on the dangers of use and help employees to understand that conduct outside the workplace can have adverse consequences in the workplace based on their employers’ workplace policies.

A complete copy of California’s Marijuana Law can be found HERE. If you are interested in scheduling an employee awareness class as part of your next safety meeting or if you have any other questions, please contact us at 760-244-6886.

 

 

Employers are not required to accommodate marijuana use

Submitted on Jul 09, 2015

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2015 that Colorado employers do not have to accommodate marijuana use in there company policies. This gives employers the ability to terminate based on use. This ends any debate over employer enforcement of no marijuana use in Drug Free Workplace Programs and sends a message nationally that employers should have the right to enforce policies regardless of any recreational or medical marijuana legislation because of the requirements of Federal Government. Marijuana is not a Federally legal drug, therefore employers can establish policies that follow Federal Guidelines.

The ruling was based on Coats v. Dish Network. Brandon Coasts argued that his employer violated state law after terminating his employment for using medical marijuana after work, because he was with in the guidelines of Colorado State Law. After an appeals court upheld a decision that Coat's claim against his employer be dismissed the Colorado Supreme Court reaffirmed the lower courts. The court explained that marijuana use can't be considered lawful because it violates Federal Law.

SAM President Kevin Sabet explained; "This is a victory for every community that does not want to accommodate pot shops and every business owner that cares about safety and health".

Despite the fact this was not a Federal Supreme Court Ruling, this does send a clear message and should help in future employer battles against opposition to drug testing policies and the use of marijuana.

Three Synthetic Cannabinoids Temporarily Placed as Schedule I Drugs

Submitted on Feb 23, 2015

Effective Jan. 30, 2015, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued its final order to temporarily schedule three synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The substances are:

  1. N-(1-amino-3-methyl-1- oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)- 1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (‘‘AB– CHMINACA’’)
  2. N-(1-amino-3-methyl- 1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole- 3-carboxamide (‘‘AB–PINACA’’)
  3. [1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazol-3- yl](naphthalen-1-yl)methanone (‘‘THJ–2201’’)

This action is based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of these synthetic cannabinoids and their optical, positional, and geometric isomers, salts, and salts of isomers into schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As a result of this order, the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances will be imposed on persons who handle (manufacture, distribute, import, export, engage in research, or possess), or propose to handle these SCs.

Read the full Federal Register.

The Need for confirmation Tests When Using Point of Collection Testing Kits

Submitted on Feb 20, 2015

The Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) recently published an article explaining the importance of confirming all testing with a laboratory. Mobile Occupational Services has always believed in LABORATORY TESTING ONLY. Other industry members use instant or point of collection testing kits (we call them quick kits or shake up kits). These instant kits provide an "instant" result without a laboratory. We have found that despite claims by the manufactures they are not as reliable as a laboratory and are easily compromised by simple things like storage temperature prior to use, expiration dates, adulterant use, and even over the counter medication use. For these reasons we have ALWAYS believed in the use of a laboratory for complete testing. These standards protect the employer and the employee.

 

DATIA's article explains that those that have been using instant kits and not confirming results with a laboratory, are running into legal issues. Issues so large that it is compromising their liability insurance. This points to issues of the instant kits showing false positives or other issues of invalidity for a donor....ANOTHER REASON TO ALWAYS ONLY USE A LABORATORY. Below is the news bulletin by DATIA for reference.

The Need for Confirmation Tests When Using Point of Collection Testing Kits


When performing laboratory drug testing, the standard practice is and has always been to perform a screening test and then perform a confirmation test (using GC/MS or a similar technology) on all specimens that screen non-negative. When point of collection drug testing (POCT) kits first entered the market, there was much debate on their accuracy. At that time, DATIA issued a policy statement indicating that it endorsed the use of POCT devices provided that all specimens with non-negative results are sent to the laboratory for confirmation testing. The reason being is that the technology used in POCT devices is much like that used for laboratory screening tests. As such, negative POCT results can quickly and easily be reported out allowing employers to quickly put people to work.

While POCT devices do show a “positive” result, it is important to note that that finding is based on technology using much higher threshold levels. Only with a more precise, laboratory confirmation method such as GC/MS can one be confident in the positive result. Furthermore, should the laboratory confirmation result be positive, the result should be filtered through an MRO for final verification.

These industry standard/best practices are set to protect the employer, the employee, and the service provider. DATIA worked in its early years to develop a professional liability insurance program to help protect and support industry service providers in the case of legal actions against them due to services offered. Over the past year, the number of insurance claims made and paid out has increased substantially. What’s troubling is that the vast majority of cases are due to results being reported out based solely on screening/POCT device results. Clearly, these practices do not represent industry best or even standard practice.

DATIA’s professional liability insurance program for the drug testing industry serves a great benefit to those members who utilize it. Unfortunately, due to the high number of claims for reporting results based solely on screening results, DATIA’s policy and many others are in jeopardy and as such are now including in the policy that only results reported after being confirmed are covered under the insurance policy. This requirement is needed to continue these insurance programs and to continue to support and protect those that are following industry best/standard policies.

DATIA continues to completely endorse the use of POCT devices as they provide a great benefit in so far as reporting out negatives quickly and efficiently. DATIA does, however, continue to stand by its best and standard practice that all specimens with non-negative results need to be sent to a laboratory for confirmation testing.

 

Lessons After Two Years of Marijuana Legislation - SAM Report

Submitted on Feb 20, 2015

Lessons After Two Years of Legalization

A report by (SAM) Smart Approaches to Marijuana, released a report recently that reviews the effects of legalization of Marijuana in both Washington and Colorado. The report outlines the facts and statistics related to legalization and issues related.

"Lessons After Two Years of Marijuana Legalization" shows large increases in youth use, adult use, and an increase in overall US use. It also outlines several other health and safety issues.

 

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT).

§ 40.111 When and how must a laboratory disclose statistical summaries and other information it maintains?

Submitted on Jan 20, 2015

§ 40.111 When and how must a laboratory disclose statistical summaries and other information it maintains?

(a) As a laboratory, you must transmit an aggregate statistical summary, by employer, of the data listed in Appendix B to this part to the employer on a semi-annual basis.

(1) The summary must not reveal the identity of any employee.

(2) In order to avoid sending data from which it is likely that information about an employee's test result can be readily inferred, you must not send a summary if the employer has fewer than five aggregate tests results.

(3) The summary must be sent by January 20 of each year for July 1 through December 31 of the prior year.

(4) The summary must also be sent by July 20 of each year for January 1 through June 30 of the current year.

(b) When the employer requests a summary in response to an inspection, audit, or review by a DOT agency, you must provide it unless the employer had fewer than five aggregate test results. In that case, you must send the employer a report indicating that not enough testing was conducted to warrant a summary. You may transmit the summary or report by hard copy, fax, or other electronic means.

(c) You must also release information to appropriate parties as provided in §§40.329 and 40.331.

(d) As a laboratory, you must transmit an aggregate statistical summary of the data listed in Appendix C to this part to DOT on a semi-annual basis. The summary must be sent by January 31 of each year for July 1 through December 31 of the prior year; it must be sent by July 31 of each year for January 1 through June 30 of the current year.

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