DER - Designated Employer Representative
Every company covered by Department of Transportation regulations that employs safety-sensitive employees must have one (or more) Designated Employer Representative (DER). A DER is also necessary for any non-DOT employer who has someone managing their drug testing program. This person is typically from the human resources or safety department. It can also be the owner of the company or a vice president.
What is a Designated Employer Representative?
The answer lies in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program and regulation 49 CFR Part 40. The DER is the person responsible within the workplace for the drug and alcohol testing program. The DER is the employee at the company authorized by the employer to take immediate action to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties, to make decisions required in the testing process, and to receive test results. The DER typically runs the DOT drug and alcohol testing program at the company.
The DER's overall responsibilities include:
- Managing the company's drug and alcohol testing program
- Acting as the liaison for drug and alcohol testing service agents (TPA, C/TPA, collection sites, labs, MROs, SAPs, EAP program)
- Staying informed of every test and its result
- Performing the functions necessary according to the results of the tests and taking immediate action, including:
- Removing employees from safety-sensitive duties
- Making necessary decisions in the testing and evaluation process
- Receiving test results and other communications for the employer
- Report test results to the agency and/or state local authorities, if necessary
- Following company policy regarding the consequences of a positive test result or refusal to test
- Maintain compliance with 49 CFR Part 40 and agency compliance
The role of the DER cannot be outsourced. DOT states the employer may not delegate the DER role to a service agent. Only the employer or an actual employee of the employer may perform this function. DOT will also not authorize a "DER-for-hire" concept (e.g., a person under contract by several companies to serve as their DER).
Why Should an Employer Have a DER?
This is an important position. First off, it's required by DOT. It's also critical to have a responsible person to manage the drug testing program. Employers are responsible for developing and implementing successful workplace drug and alcohol programs with the following components:
- Clear policies
- Provisions for education and training
- Drug and alcohol testing
- When needed, referral for evaluation and treatment
US Drug Test Centers offers training programs for DERs to learn how to do their jobs. This is a unique responsibility and training is critical. Live training can be arranged. Webinar training can also be set up for groups of DERs. A computer-based online training program is available so you can receive training from the comfort of your office. A computer with internet access is all that's needed.
The training courses for DERs provide the DER with a thorough education of his or her duties as outlined in the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations for drug and alcohol testing (49 CFR Part 40). The course helps you understand drug testing terminology, specific modal regulations, and their procedures for workplace testing programs.
Call (XXX) XXX-XXXX today to discuss your options for DER training.
DERs for DOT-Regulated Agencies
In each of the DOT-regulated agencies or modes of transportation, there must be a Designated Employer Representative or DER. The regulated modes listed below all require DOT drug and alcohol testing programs.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – 49 CFR Part 382
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – 14 CFR Part 120
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) – 49 CFR Part 219
- Federal Transit Administration (FTA) – 49 CFR Part 655
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) – 49 CFR Part 199
- U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) – 46 CFR Parts 4 and 16
DERs are responsible for selecting service providers for their drug-free workplace programs. A service agent is any person or vendor used outside your company to help implement the DOT requirements for a drug and alcohol testing program. These service agents in the program include:
- Policy consultant
- Collection site
- Urine collector
- BAT or STT
- Medical Review Officer (MRO)