Drug & Alcohol Testing

Employee I.D. Numbers, Not Social Security Numbers, Should be Used on Drug-and-Alcohol Testing Forms

(02/10/12) Employee Identification Numbers (EINs) — not Social Security numbers — should be used on postal forms whenever possible, in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding on the Removal of Social Security Number References in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

However, MVS officers have learned that some managers are using Social Security numbers in connection with the drug and alcohol testing program. 

USPS Publishes New Drug And Alcohol Testing Policy

(09/01/10) In July, the Postal Service finally published a new Drug and Alcohol Testing policy that requires management to offer a Last Chance Agreement to employees who fail a drug test for the first time. The new policy became effective Dec. 31, 2009. We announced in early spring that the Postal Service had agreed to change the rules on drug and alcohol testing to include the benefit of a Last Chance Agreement. It seems like forever and a day, as management dragged their feet, but the new policy, Alcohol and Drug Testing of Employees with a Commercial Drivers License (PO 720-2010-1), is finally official. [read more]

Management Publishes New Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

(07/21/10) The Postal Service has finally published a new Drug and Alcohol Testing policy, Management Instruction PO-720-2010-1, which became effective Dec. 31, 2009. We first announced an agreement with management on a new drug testing policy in March, but, not surprisingly, our counterparts in management dragged their feet and delayed publishing the policy. The revised policy requires management to offer a Last Chance Agreement to employees who fail a drug test for the first time. The Last Chance Agreement will stipulate that the employee must complete a rehabilitation program and pass another drug test before returning to duty. [read more]

(03/01/10) After a long and arduous struggle, the USPS has published “Drug and Alcohol Testing of Employees With a Commercial Driver’s License,” a revised version of a Management Instruction. We consider the publication of this new MI (PO-720-95-3) a real victory for the MVS division, as the revisions include many changes we sought. It required years of debate with the USPS.

The new MI reflects a revised policy that requires the Postal Service to give motor vehicle drivers and tractor-trailer operators who fail a drug test an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and return to their duties. [read more]

USPS employees who operate tractor-trailers and 7-ton and 9-ton trucks, as well as mechanics who repair them, fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding drug and alcohol testing, in accordance with regulations enacted in 1995.

Management Instruction, PO-720-2 [PDF], issued on Sept. 29, 1995, outlines USPS procedures for alcohol and drug testing. Minor changes have been made since then, and many clarifications have been made.

In a Step 4 settlement dated July 19, 2006, the APWU and USPS agreed that the Postal Service will not require employees to participate in DOT drug-and-alcohol-testing pools when the employees are unable to perform safety-sensitive functions. To be excused from the testing pool, the CDL holder must be unable to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle on even an occasional or temporary basis.

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.

In a letter [PDF] dated July 30, 2001, the USPS notified the APWU of revisions to the rules governing drug and alcohol testing procedures. The APWU filed a grievance protesting the new drug testing rules.

An article [PDF] published by BNA, dated Jan. 4, 2001, summarizes changes issued by the DOT on Dec. 19, 2000.

A letter [PDF] from the USPS to the APWU dated March 9, 1998, describes when employees may be required to undergo drug testing.

A letter [PDF] from the USPS to the APWU dated Feb. 25, 1999, addresses the scheduling of drug tests during an employee’s tour.

Subpart G of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) [PDF] describes the role of the Medical Review Officer, who is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the drug testing process.

News: Drug & Alcohol Testing

FMCSA Revises its Regulations on Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus

01/16/2019 - (This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By MVS Division Director Michael O. Foster

In a significant change to Department of Transportation (DOT) rules, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a revision to the policy on insulin dependent diabetics operating Commercial Motor Vehicles, 49 CFR Part 391 [Docket No. FMCSA -2005-23151].

The Postal Service & the DOT Physical

01/01/2018 - (This article first appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Motor Vehicle Service Craft Directors 

On Feb. 26, 1995, the Postal Service informed the APWU that to be consistent with the trucking industry and its own contract drivers, USPS would voluntarily mirror DOT requirements covering physicals for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) employees, including the issuance of a medical card and drug and alcohol testing. The federal government is exempt from Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, under 49 CFR 390.3(f)(2).