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Total Articles: 27

FMCSA Waives Certain License Renewals, Medical Card Renewals, and Requires Reporting of Accidents For Drivers Operating Under Waiver

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a “Waiver in Response to COVID-19 Emergency” on March 24, 2020 concerning renewals of licenses and medical certifications for holders of commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL), commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders, and other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles. The waiver took effect on March 20, 2020 and expires on June 30, 2020. It was initiated in response to the President’s declaration of a national emergency related to COVID-19.

FMCSA Addresses Potential Disruptions To Drug And Alcohol Testing During COVID-19 Crisis

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued guidance on March 24, 2020 to address potential disruptions to mandated drug and alcohol testing during the COVID-19 crisis. The FMCSA guidance, which will remain in effect until June 30, 2020, states in pertinent part:

DOT Guidance on Drug/Alcohol Testing During Pandemic is Not What Regulated Transportation Employers Had Hoped For

On March 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued Guidance on compliance with DOT drug/alcohol testing regulations for employers concerned about their ability to meet regulatory testing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Guidance acknowledges the unprecedented public health emergency facing the United States, and the vital role the transportation industry is playing in responding to COVID-19 effects, there is little of the kind of enforcement flexibility most motor carriers had hoped to see. A summary of the agency’s interpretation of the status quo requirements follows.

U.S. DOT Issues Guidance Regarding Drug And Alcohol Testing During COVID-19 Crisis

The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance issued guidance on March 23, 2020 to provide clarity with respect to existing requirements for DOT-mandated drug and alcohol testing during the COVID-19 crisis. DOT agencies include the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration. In short, DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements remain in effect. The ODAPC guidance states, in pertinent part:

FMCSA Expands Emergency COVID-19 Relief Efforts Declaration

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an Expanded Emergency Declaration broadening federal exemptions from compliance with certain driver safety regulations for interstate commerce, including the federal Hours of Service regulations. The FMCSA made two key changes to its prior Emergency Declaration issued on March 13: (a) expanded the definition of what products and services are covered by the Declaration; and (b) relaxed the definition of what constitutes a “mixed” load.

DOT-FMCSA Issues Federal Emergency Declaration Establishing Limited Reprieve from Driver Safety Regulations for COVID-10 Relief Efforts

On March 13, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) announced and issued a national emergency declaration (Emergency Declaration) establishing a limited exemption from driver safety regulatory requirements set forth in 49 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 390-399.

FMCSA Suspends Certain Safety Rules In Response To COVID-19 Outbreak, Excluding Drug and Alcohol Testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on March 13, 2020 that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, an emergency exists that warrants an exemption from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for certain motor carriers and their drivers.

Department of Transportation Issues Notice on Use of CBD Products by Safety-Sensitive Employees

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) recent notice on the use of cannabidiol (CBD) products serves as a warning to employees in DOT-defined safety-sensitive positions.

U.S. DOT Issues Warning Regarding Use Of CBD Products By DOT-Regulated Employees

The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance published a notice on February 18, 2020 concerning the use of hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products by safety-sensitive employees regulated by DOT’s agencies (including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard). Among other things, ODAPC stated the following

DOT Proposal Restricts Service Animals on Planes: So Long to the Emotional Support Peacock?

On January 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed new amendments to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulations. These amendments would further restrict the type and use of service animals on airplanes.

FMCSA Raises Random Drug Testing Rate to 50% For 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on December 27, 2019 that beginning on January 1, 2020, the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 50% of the average number of driver positions. The minimum annual percentage rate for random alcohol testing will remain at 10%.

FMCSA-Regulated Employers Take Note: Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Implementation Quickly Approaching

In 2012, Congress passed and President Obama signed the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act,” a transportation reauthorization bill referred to as “MAP-21.” That law directed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to create a means of identifying and tracking commercial drivers who violate the agency’s drug and alcohol testing program, to ensure that drivers with a history of violating the drug and alcohol regulations are taken off the road until they demonstrate compliance with those rules.

FMCSA Clearinghouse Opened, Transportation Department Announces

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse registration, which is the electronic database that will contain information about commercial motor vehicle drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations, is open, the agency has announced.

FMCSA Clearinghouse Registration Is Now Open; Clearinghouse Goes Live on January 6, 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on October 1, 2019 that Clearinghouse registration is now open. The FMCSA Clearinghouse is an electronic database that will contain information about commercial motor vehicle drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations. The Clearinghouse will become operational on January 6, 2020, and FMCSA-regulated employers must be ready to comply with the Clearinghouse requirements on that date. Authorized users may now visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/register to create a user account and become familiar with the site.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Agency Proposes Changes to Hours of Service Rules for Truck Drivers

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on changes to the hours of service (HOS) rules.

Youth Movement: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Seeks Younger Drivers

Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) unveiled plans to lower the minimum legal age required to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. The FMCSA began the Under-21 Military Pilot Program and has requested public comment on another proposal to allow drivers ages 18-20 to operate commercial motor vehicles. Both these initiatives will address a dearth of drivers in today’s economy and comply with Section 5404 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

FMCSA Clearinghouse Rules Take Effect On January 6, 2020: Are You Ready?

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Clearinghouse will become operational on January 6, 2020, and FMCSA-regulated employers must be ready to comply with the Clearinghouse requirements on that date. The FMCSA Clearinghouse is an electronic database that will contain information about commercial motor vehicle drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations. Although the Clearinghouse rule actually took effect on January 4, 2017, the implementation date for FMCSA-regulated employers is January 6, 2020. See 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart G, among others.

End of the Year Updates from the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration

Executive Summary: The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a flurry of announcements to close out 2017. In addition to recapping several previous publications, the FAA released a new Advisory Circular on its voluntary disclosure reporting program.

DOT Tackles the Opioid Crisis: Agency Issues Guidance on Regulations Adding Semi-Synthetic Opioids to Testing Panel

Effective January 1, 2018, employers with employees subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s drug-testing regulations will face new and broader testing obligations based on a Final Rule issued in November 2017.1 This month, in various web-based guidance, DOT clarified what changes, if any, covered employers must make to their DOT testing program policies. This article will discuss DOT’s new requirements and what transportation employers can do to prepare for these new obligations.

PHMSA Raises Random Drug Testing Rate to 50% for 2018

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration announced December 8, 2017 that during calendar year 2018, the minimum random drug testing rate will be increased to 50%.

U.S. Department of Transportation Publishes Guidance For Updating Drug and Alcohol Testing Policies

The drug testing panel utilized by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s operating agencies will change on January 1, 2018. (Click here to read our blog post on that change). DOT published guidance on December 1, 2017 to assist employers with regard to updating their drug and alcohol testing policies. The guidance states as follows:

Department of Transportation Publishes Final Rule on Drug Testing

On November 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule making significant changes to 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 40, which affects employers administering drug tests in the transportation industry. The final rule states that its purpose is to remain current with the changes made to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs, which were announced in early 2017.

Department of Transportation Adds Four New Drugs to Testing Panel

Executive Summary: On November 13, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it is amending its drug-testing program to require testing for synthetic opioids. The new DOT regulations now harmonize with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Urine (HHS Mandatory Guidelines), published January 23, 2017.

Transportation Department Expands Drug Testing Panel to Include Certain ‘Semi-Synthetic’ Opioids

Employers regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) should revise their drug and alcohol testing policies to conform to new DOT regulations that added four “semi-synthetic” opioid drugs to the DOT drug testing panel. The new regulations go into effect on January 1, 2018.

FMCSA Expands Its Drug Testing Panel Effective January 1, 2018

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in a rule to be published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2017, that it will expand its drug testing panel to include four synthetic opioid drugs: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone and oxymorphone.

DOT Creates CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, Imposing Employer Reporting and Query Obligations

On December 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a final rule establishing a new “Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.” The Clearinghouse will provide a central database identifying violations of DOT’s drug and alcohol testing program by drivers who operate vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and information about whether such a driver has successfully completed the DOT-mandated return-to-duty rehabilitation processes. Creation of the Clearinghouse was mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, a 2012 Congressional transportation funding initiative.

Federal Railroad Administration Expands Drug and Alcohol Testing For Maintenance-Of-Way Workers

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”) recently announced a final rule expanding drug and alcohol testing applicable to maintenance-of-way (“MOW”) employees, effective one year from the date of the rule’s publication (which has yet to be announced).
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