When is an employer in the transportation industry permitted to conduct employee drug and alcohol tests?

Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, XpertHR Legal Editor

Under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (Act), an employer in the transportation industry, i.e., trucking, airline and railroad industries (among others), is permitted to conduct drug and alcohol testing of employees whose duties include responsibilities for safety-sensitive functions, such as piloting an airplane or driving a tractor-trailer. The Act requires drug and alcohol testing at the following times:

  • Pre-hire;
  • Reasonable suspicion;
  • Post-accident;
  • Random; and
  • Return to duty.

Under the Act, drug testing is conducted by urinalysis and alcohol testing is performed through a breath testing device by a trained technician.