07/08/2016 - (This article first appeared in the July-August issue of The American Postal Worker Magazine)
Department of Transportation
Applicability of its Regulations to USPS Employees
A letter [PDF] from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to the APWU dated July 31, 1996, outlines which of its regulations apply to USPS employees. It stipulates that anyone who operates safety-sensitive equipment must have a DOT physical. Furthermore, these operators will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing, as well as drug and alcohol testing under certain conditions.
According to Department of Transportation regulations, beginning in September 2005, every state will be required to enforce rules governing the disqualification of drivers, without exception. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has posted the rules and table of disqualifications [PDF]. The decision is significant because states are required, for the first time, to disqualify CDL holders for offenses committed in non-commercial vehicles.
A letter [PDF] from the DOT to the APWU dated April 27, 2004, indicates that USPS employees are exempt from the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations of the DOT. USPS employees are not exempt from provisions pertaining to CDLs and drug and alcohol testing, however.
A USPS Vehicle Maintenance Bulletin [PDF] dated Sept. 25, 1998, prohibits insulin-dependent diabetics from operating two-ton trucks, citing DOT regulations.
A national-level agreement [PDF] between the APWU and USPS dated Feb. 19, 1992, outlines which employees are required to hold CDLs.
A memo [PDF] from USPS management to managers dated May 24, 1995, summarizes its policy on CDLs.
USPS employees who hold safety-sensitive positions are required to undergo Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exams, in accordance with regulations, enacted in 1995. The physicals have been a frequent subject of discussion between the union and management.
DOT Physicals Are ‘On the Clock,' Paid for and Scheduled by USPS
June 19, 1998 , Memo [PDF] to USPS Managers. USPS employees who hold Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) are required to have standard DOT CDL physicals at least every two years. The exams will be scheduled by postal management, occur on the clock at a USPS Medical Unit or Contract Medical Facility, and be paid for by the USPS. PS Form 2485 is no longer used.
USPS Responsible for Initial Treatment by Substance Abuse Professional
The APWU and the Postal Service agreed that the USPS is responsible for the cost of the initial treatment by a substance abuse professional of an employee who fail drug and alcohol tests, where management decides to retain the employee. A pre-arbitration settlement [PDF] dated April 18, 2006, resolved a dispute over the issue.
Cost of Additional Testing
March 21, 2003, letter [PDF] from USPS to APWU. Additional medical tests required, scheduled, and approved by the USPS in connection with a DOT physical will be paid for by the Postal Service.
Resolution of Medical Conflicts
Dec. 10, 1997, letter [PDF] from USPS to APWU. Drivers who are not certified for renewal of their licenses due to a medical condition may appeal the results of the physical to the next higher ranking Postal Service physician.
Medical Examination Report Form
Commercial Driver Fitness Determination [PDF] DOT medical form (2003).
Use of PS Form 2485
The use of PS Form 2485 for DOT medical exams, which the union considered invasive, is no longer required.
June 19, 1998, letter [PDF] to APWU. PS Form 2485 is no longer used for CDL medical cards.
July 10, 1997, letter [PDF] from USPS to APWU. Cover letter attached to American Trucking Association form, which is to be used for DOT physical exams.
April 7, 1997, letter [PDF] from USPS to APWU. PS Form 2485 will not be used for DOT physicals; American Trucking Association form should be used instead.
Oct. 4, 1996, letter [PDF] from USPS to APWU. New form to be created to meet DOT requirements; PS Form 2485 or American Trucking Association form will be used in the meantime.
Big Win for MVS
Hundreds Who Spoke Out Made the Difference
03/17/2016 - The APWU won an important victory on March 15 – one that will save lives and help protect the jobs of Postal Service drivers.
01/10/2015 - The APWU has received clarification from the Postal Service regarding who qualifies as a “medical officer” with authority to sign Department of Transportation health cards for postal employees with Commercial Driver’s Licenses. The APWU sought clarification of management’s policy in an Oct. 23, 2014, letter, which noted, “It seems practice varies by location.”