The Department of Transportation recently announced that it will not penalize employers who are unable to complete random drug testing of their employees with CDLs because of COVID-19.
As we have discussed, employers must drug test employees with CDLs upon their hiring, after an accident, and randomly. These random drug tests must be spaced throughout the year. If an employee tests positive for cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, phencyclidine, or cannabis (this is still true even though cannabis is legal in Illinois), then the employer cannot allow the employee to continue to operate the vehicle requiring the CDL.
The DOT’s announcement states that if an employer is unable to conduct the number of random drug tests required by law or cannot conduct them for a period of time due to COVID-19, the Department will not penalize the employer. The employer just needs to document the reasons it was unable to comply. The DOT provides examples of some reasons, like lack of available testing facilities or driver furloughs.