Title 49 Part 219 → Subpart K
Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter II → Part 219 → Subpart K
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR
Title 49 Part 219 → Subpart K
§219.1001 Requirement for referral programs.
(a) The purpose of this subpart is to help prevent the adverse effects of drug and alcohol abuse in connection with regulated employees.
(b) A railroad must adopt, publish, and implement the following programs:
(1) Self-referral program. A program designed to encourage and facilitate the identification of a regulated employee who abuses drugs or alcohol by providing the employee the opportunity to obtain counseling or treatment before the employee's drug or alcohol abuse manifests itself in a detected violation of this part; and
(2) Co-worker referral program. A program designed to encourage co-worker participation in preventing violations of this part.
(c) A railroad may adopt, publish, and implement the following programs:
(1) Non-peer referral program. A program designed to encourage non-peer participation in preventing violations of this part; and
(2) Alternate program(s). An alternate program or programs meeting the specific requirements of §219.1003 or complying with §219.1007, or both.
(d) Nothing in this subpart may be construed to:
(1) Require payment of compensation for any period a regulated employee is restricted from performing regulated service under a voluntary, co-worker, or non-peer referral program;
(2) Require a railroad to adhere to a voluntary, co-worker, or non-peer referral program when the referral is made for the purpose, or with the effect, of anticipating or avoiding the imminent and probable detection of a rule violation by a supervising employee;
(3) Interfere with the subpart D requirement for Federal reasonable suspicion testing when a regulated employee is on duty and a supervisor determines the employee is exhibiting signs and symptoms of alcohol and/or drug use;
(4) Interfere with the requirements in §219.104(d) for responsive action when a violation of §219.101 or §219.102 is substantiated; or
(5) Limit the discretion of a railroad to dismiss or otherwise discipline a regulated employee for specific rule violations or criminal offenses, except as this subpart specifically provides.
§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.
§219.1005 Optional provisions.
A railroad's referral program may include any of the following provisions at the option of the railroad and with the approval of the labor organization(s) affected:
(a) The program may provide that the rule of confidentiality is waived if:
(1) The regulated employee at any time refuses to cooperate in a DAC's recommended course of education, counseling, or treatment; or
(2) The railroad determines, after investigation, that the regulated employee has been involved in a drug- or alcohol-related disciplinary offense growing out of subsequent conduct.
(b) The program may require successful completion of a return-to-service medical examination as a further condition of reinstatement in regulated service.
(c) The program may provide that it does not apply to a regulated employee whom the railroad has previously assisted under a program substantially consistent with this section.
(d) The program may provide that, in order to invoke its benefits, the regulated employee must report to the railroad's designated contact either:
(1) During non-duty hours (i.e., at a time when the regulated employee is off duty); or
(2) While unimpaired and otherwise in compliance with the railroad's drug and alcohol rules consistent with this subpart.
§219.1007 Alternate programs.
(a) Instead of the referral programs required under §219.1001, a railroad is permitted to develop, publish, and implement alternate programs that meet the standards established in §219.1001. Such programs must have the written concurrence of the recognized representatives of the regulated employees. Nothing in this subpart restricts a railroad or labor organization from adopting, publishing, and implementing programs that afford more favorable conditions to regulated employees troubled by drug or alcohol abuse problems, consistent with a railroad's responsibility to prevent violations of §§219.101, 219.102, and 219.103.
(b) The concurrence of the recognized representatives of the regulated employees in an alternate program may be evidenced by a collective bargaining agreement or any other document describing the class or craft of employees to which the alternate program applies. The agreement or other document must make express reference to this subpart and to the intention of the railroad and employee representatives that the alternate program applies instead of the program required by this subpart.
(c) The railroad must file the agreement or other document described in paragraph (b) of this section along with the requested alternate program it submits for approval with the FRA Drug and Alcohol Program Manager. FRA will base its approval on whether the alternative program meets the §219.1001 objectives. The alternative program does not have to include each §219.1001 component, but must meet the general standards and intent of §219.1001. If a railroad amends or revokes an approved alternate policy, the railroad must file a notice with FRA of such amendment or revocation at least 30 days before the effective date of such action.
(d) This section does not excuse a railroad from adopting, publishing, and implementing the programs §219.1001 requires for any group of regulated employees not falling within the coverage of an appropriate, approved alternate program.
(e) Consistent with §219.105(c), FRA has the authority to inspect the aggregate data of any railroad alcohol and/or drug use education, prevention, identification, and rehabilitation program or policy, including alternate peer support programs, to ensure that they are not designed or implemented in such a way that they circumvent or otherwise undermine Federal requirements, including the requirements in this part regarding peer support programs.