Designated Employer Representative

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Definition - What does Designated Employer Representative mean?

A Designated Employer Representative (DER) refers to an individual employed by a company who is responsible for overseeing alcohol and drug testing programs per the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulatory guidelines. Non-DOT employers with established alcohol and drug testing policies are also subject to appointing a DER; usually, the DER is an employee who operates in-house from the human resources department or upper management personnel.

SureHire explains Designated Employer Representative

The Designated Employer Representative is a multifaceted role that contributes to mediating the efficacy of alcohol and drug testing parameters for all DOT-based employers, serving as a preliminary to hiring or reinstating individuals to safety-sensitive positions. The DER helps streamline drug testing programs through an interconnected hierarchy of service agents including laboratory technicians, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP), and third-party administrators (TPA), facilitating the drug testing process to receive clearance. A Designated Employer Representative must acquire the credentials necessary to learn U.S. DOT-based regulations when coordinating, implementing, and managing drug testing procedures, staying abreast with statutory laws applicable to federal, state, and provincial jurisdictions. Since the Canadian legislature presents nuanced loopholes between upholding human privacy rights and promoting workplace safety, a Designated Employer Representative is beneficial in noting positive test findings to validate impairment claims. The Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace is the equivalent of the U.S.-based article 49 CFR Part 40 clause, advocating the utility of drug and alcohol testing procedures translating to candidacy for individuals appointed to safety-sensitive positions. Hence, Designated Employer Representatives can modulate the drug testing process inside the transportation industry sectors, for example, commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators requiring drug clearance for the public transit of freight between international borders.

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