Updated: Monday, April 11, 2016
Subpart G - Medical Review Officers and the Verification Process
§ 40.131 How does the MRO or DER notify an employee of the verification process after receiving laboratory confirmed non-negative drug test results?
(a) When, as the MRO, you receive a confirmed positive, adulterated, substituted, or invalid test result from the laboratory, you must contact the employee directly (i.e., actually talk to the employee), on a confidential basis, to determine whether the employee wants to discuss the test result. In making this contact, you must explain to the employee that, if he or she declines to discuss the result, you will verify the test as positive or as a refusal to test because of adulteration or substitution, as applicable.
(b) As the MRO, staff under your personal supervision may conduct this initial contact for you.
(1) This staff contact must be limited to scheduling the discussion between you and the employee and explaining the consequences of the employee's declining to speak with you (i.e., that the MRO will verify the test without input from the employee). If the employee declines to speak with you, the staff person must document the employee's decision, including the date and time.
(2) A staff person must not gather any medical information or information concerning possible explanations for the test result.
(3) A staff person may advise an employee to have medical information (e.g., prescriptions, information forming the basis of a legitimate medical explanation for a confirmed positive test result) ready to present at the interview with the MRO.
(4) Since you are required to speak personally with the employee, face-to-face or on the phone, your staff must not inquire if the employee wishes to speak with you.
(c) As the MRO, you or your staff must make reasonable efforts to reach the employee at the day and evening telephone numbers listed on the CCF. Reasonable efforts include, as a minimum, three attempts, spaced reasonably over a 24-hour period, to reach the employee at the day and evening telephone numbers listed on the CCF. If you or your staff cannot reach the employee directly after making these efforts, you or your staff must take the following steps:
(1) Document the efforts you made to contact the employee, including dates and times. If both phone numbers are incorrect (e.g., disconnected, wrong number), you may take the actions listed in paragraph (c)(2) of this section without waiting the full 24-hour period.
(2) Contact the DER, instructing the DER to contact the employee.
(i) You must simply direct the DER to inform the employee to contact you.
(ii) You must not inform the DER that the employee has a confirmed positive, adulterated, substituted, or invalid test result.
(iii) You must document the dates and times of your attempts to contact the DER, and you must document the name of the DER you contacted and the date and time of the contact.
(d) As the DER, you must attempt to contact the employee immediately, using procedures that protect, as much as possible, the confidentiality of the MRO's request that the employee contact the MRO. If you successfully contact the employee (i.e., actually talk to the employee), you must document the date and time of the contact, and inform the MRO. You must inform the employee that he or she should contact the MRO immediately. You must also inform the employee of the consequences of failing to contact the MRO within the next 72 hours (see §40.133(a)(2)).
(1) As the DER, you must not inform anyone else working for the employer that you are seeking to contact the employee on behalf of the MRO.
(2) If, as the DER, you have made all reasonable efforts to contact the employee but failed to do so, you may place the employee on temporary medically unqualified status or medical leave. Reasonable efforts include, as a minimum, three attempts, spaced reasonably over a 24-hour period, to reach the employee at the day and evening telephone numbers listed on the CCF.
(i) As the DER, you must document the dates and times of these efforts.
(ii) If, as the DER, you are unable to contact the employee within this 24-hour period, you must leave a message for the employee by any practicable means (e.g., voice mail, e-mail, letter) to contact the MRO and inform the MRO of the date and time of this attempted contact.
[65 FR 79526, Dec. 19, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 41952, Aug. 9, 2001; 68 FR 31626, May 28, 2003; 69 FR 64867, Nov.9, 2004; 73 FR 35971, June 25, 2008]