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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:

CDC Offers Guidance for Truckers, Delivery Personnel Traveling To/From Greater New York City Area

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for truck drivers and delivery personnel who make deliveries from outside or live in the Greater New York City area.

DOL Issues FFCRA Poster

The Department of Labor published today the required poster for employers under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. We, like many of you, noticed that the DOL’s poster appears to have an error in it as it leaves off the pay requirement with respect to paid sick leave for reason 5 (school closings) and then claims the additional 10 weeks of pay under the expanded FMLA is capped at $12,000 instead of $10,000. We believe this is just an oversight and likely will be fixed. In the meantime, the poster can be found here.

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.

IRS, DOL Announce Plan for Employers to “Swiftly” Recover the Cost of Providing Coronavirus-Related Leave to Employees

After passage last week of the Emergency paid sick leave and paid FMLA law, employers have been clamoring for guidance on the timing of reimbursement by the federal government for any paid leave they provide their employees after the law goes into effect on April 2, 2020.

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:

EEOC Updates Its 2009 Guidance Concerning Pandemic Preparedness

On March 19, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its 2009 pandemic preparedness guidance: Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act. It includes the following note:

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.

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.

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.
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