Title 49 Part 219 → Subpart K → §219.1003

Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter II → Part 219 → Subpart K → §219.1003

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 219 → Subpart K → §219.1003

e-CFR data is current as of June 3, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 219Subpart K → §219.1003

Title 49: Transportation
Subpart K—Referral Programs

§219.1003   Referral program conditions.

(a) General. A referral program must specify the allowances, conditions, and procedures under which a self-referral, co-worker referral, and, if adopted, a non-peer referral, can occur, as follows:

(1) For a self-referral, a railroad must identify one or more designated DAC contacts (including telephone number and email (if available)) and any expectations regarding when the referral is allowed to take place (such as during non-duty hours, or while the employee is unimpaired, or both, as §219.1005 permits);

(2) For a co-worker referral, a railroad may accept a referral under this subpart only if it alleges that the regulated employee was apparently unsafe to work with or in violation of this part or the railroad's drug and alcohol abuse rules. The employee must waive investigation of the rule charge and must contact the DAC within a reasonable period of time;

(3) For a non-peer referral, a railroad may remove a regulated employee from service only if a railroad representative confirms that the employee is unsafe to work with or in violation of this part or the railroad's drug and alcohol abuse rules. The employee must waive investigation of the rule charge and must contact the DAC within a reasonable period of time.

(b) Employment maintained. A regulated employee who is affected by a drug or alcohol abuse problem may maintain an employment relationship with a railroad if:

(1) The employee seeks assistance through the railroad's voluntary referral program for his or her drug or alcohol abuse problem or a co-worker or a non-peer refers the employee for such assistance; and

(2) The employee successfully completes the education, counseling, or treatment program a DAC specifies under this subpart.

(c) Employment action. If a regulated employee does not choose to seek assistance through a referral program, or fails to cooperate with a DAC's recommended program, the disposition of the employee's relationship with the railroad is subject to normal employment action.

(d) Qualified DAC evaluation. (1) A DAC acceptable to the railroad must evaluate a regulated employee entering a self-referral, co-worker referral, or non-peer referral program;

(2) The DAC must meet any applicable state standards and comply with this subpart; and

(3) The DAC must determine the appropriate level of care (education, counseling, or treatment, or all three) necessary to resolve any identified drug or alcohol abuse problems.

(e) Removal from regulated service. A referral program must stipulate that a regulated employee a DAC has evaluated as having an active drug abuse disorder may not perform regulated service until the DAC can report that safety is no longer affected.

(f) Confidentiality maintained. Except as provided under paragraph (l) of this section, a railroad must treat a regulated employee's referral and subsequent handling (including education, counseling, and treatment) as confidential. Only personnel who administer the railroad's referral programs may have access to the identities of the individuals in these programs.

(g) Leave of absence. A railroad must grant a regulated employee the minimum leave of absence the DAC recommends to complete a primary education, counseling, or treatment program and to establish control over the employee's drug or alcohol abuse problem.

(h) Return to regulated service. (1) Except as §§219.1001(d)(4) and 219.1005 may provide, a railroad must return an regulated employee to regulated service upon the DAC's recommendation that the employee has established control over his or her drug or alcohol abuse problem, has a low risk to return to drug or alcohol abuse, and has complied with any recommended return-to-service requirements.

(2) The DAC determines the appropriate number and frequency of required follow-up tests. The railroad determines the dates of testing.

(3) The railroad may condition an employee's return to regulated service on successful completion of a return-to-service medical evaluation.

(4) A railroad must return an employee to regulated service within five working days of the DAC's notification to the railroad that the employee is fit to return to regulated service, unless the employee has a disqualifying medical condition. (i.e., the employee is at a low risk to return to drug or alcohol abuse).

(i) Rehabilitation plan. No person—whether an employing railroad, managed care provider, service agent, individual, or any person other than the DAC who conducted the initial evaluation—may change in any way the DAC's evaluation or recommendations for assistance. The DAC who made the initial evaluation may modify the employee's initial evaluation and follow-up recommendation(s) based on new or additional information.

(j) Locomotive engineers and conductors. Consistent with §§240.119(e) and 242.115(g) of this chapter, for a certified locomotive engineer, certified conductor, or a candidate for engineer or conductor certification, the referral program must state that confidentiality is waived (to the extent the railroad receives from a DAC official notice of the active drug abuse disorder and suspends or revokes the certification, as appropriate) if the employee at any time refuses to cooperate in a recommended course of counseling or treatment.

(k) Contacting a DAC. If a regulated employee does not contact a DAC within the railroad's specified time limits, the railroad may begin an investigation to assess the employee's cooperation and compliance with its referral program.

(l) Time requirements for DAC evaluations. Once a regulated employee has contacted the designated DAC, the DAC's evaluation must be completed within 10 working days. If the employee needs more than one evaluation, the evaluations must be completed within 20 working days.

(m) Time limitations on follow-up treatment, care, or testing. Any follow-up treatment, care, or testing established under a referral program must not exceed 24 months beyond an regulated employee's initial removal from regulated service, unless the regulated employee's entry into the program involved a substantiated part 219 violation.