Providing Guaranteed Compliance with the coast guard's drug
testing regulation, with over 9000 members

DOT/USCG regulations do not allow service agents such as Maritime to serve in certain capacities for employers.  Please read the definitions below and the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions that follow for clarification.

49CFR §40.3 Definitions

Consortium/ Third-party administrator (C/TPA). A service agent that provides or coordinates the provision of a variety of drug and alcohol testing services to employers. C/TPAs typically perform administrative tasks concerning the operation of the employers' drug and alcohol testing programs. This term includes, but is not limited to, groups of employers who join together to administer, as a single entity, the DOT drug and alcohol testing programs of its members. C/TPAs are not "employers" for purposes of this part.

Designated employer representative (DER). An employee authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties or cause employees to be removed from these covered duties and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes. The DER also receives test results and other communications for the employer, consistent with the requirements of this part. Service agents cannot act as DERs.

A person or entity employing one or more employees (including an individual who is self-employed) subject to DOT agency regulations requiring compliance with this part. The term includes an employer’s officers, representatives, and management personnel. Service agents are not employers for the purposes of this part.

49CFR §40.15 May an employer use a service agent to meet DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements?
(c) You remain responsible for compliance with all applicable requirements of this part and other DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations, even when you use a service agent. If you violate this part or other DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations because a service agent has not provided services as our rules require, a DOT agency can subject you to sanctions. Your good faith use of a service agent is not a defense in an enforcement action initiated by a DOT agency in which your alleged noncompliance with this part or a DOT agency drug and alcohol regulation may have resulted from the service agent's conduct.
(d) As an employer, you must not permit a service agent to act as your DER.

49CFR §40.351 What confidentiality requirements apply to service agents?
(c) You may not provide individual test results or other confidential information to another employer without a specific, written consent from the employee. For example, suppose you are a C/TPA that has employers X and Y as clients. Employee Jones works for X, and you maintain Jones’ drug and alcohol test for X. Jones wants to change jobs and work for Y. You may not inform Y of the result of a test conducted for X without having a specific, written consent from Jones. Likewise, you may not provide this information to employer Z, who is not a C/TPA member, without this consent. (d) You must not use blanket consent forms authorizing the release of employee testing information.


"We believe that it is essential that someone employed by the actual transportation employer act as the DER. The DER’s function is to receive information about certain kinds of test results and take required action, such as removing an employee from the performance of safety-sensitive functions. Someone who is an employee of a C/TPA, rather than of the actual transportation employer, is less well situated to perform these functions, especially since a C/TPA representative generally does not have line authority over a transportation employer’s employees.

The one exception the final rule makes concerns owner-operators. Under the FMCSA rule, owner-operators are, in effect, required to get at least random testing services through a C/TPA. In an owner-operator, the driver is his or her own boss, so there is no one else in his or her own organization to direct him or her to stop performing safety-sensitive functions. In this situation, we think it is probably better to permit the C/TPA to perform what otherwise would be a DER function."

46 CFR §16.115 Penalties.
Violation of this part is subject to the civil penalties set forth in 46 U.S.C. 2115. Any person who fails to implement or conduct, or who otherwise fails to comply with the requirements for chemical testing for dangerous drugs as prescribed under this part, is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation. Each day of a continuing violation will constitute a separate violation.

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