Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, "How Technology is Changing Safety & Compliance"? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the 30-minute timeframe, so we've answered them here.
Question: How can I watch this webinar again?
Answer: The "How Technology is Changing Safety & Compliance" webinar is now available on-demand, allowing you to view at your convenience. Watch now to learn more about the technology solutions the FMCSA is adopting that will help you hire drivers faster and more efficiently.
Question: In regards to the previous employment background checks, if a company uses a paid service, and the requesting company will not pay for VOEs, are the carriers required to submit VOE's the old way via fax, email, or mail?
Answer: Yes. Under Sec. 391.23 (g) (1), previous employers must respond to each request. If the requesting company chooses not to pay for VOEs, the previous employer must respond the old way. They may decide to delay the response for up to 30 days, but they are still obligated to respond.
Question: If we send employment fax requests to other companies and they do not respond, what should we do?
Answer: You are still allowed to hire the driver in this circumstance. Under Sec. 391.23 (c) (2), you must keep a record of each previous employer contacted (i.e, keep a record of the fax request), and you must document your “good faith effort” to contact them and their failure to respond. This simply means that you should make a note on the fax request that you never received a response. According to FMCSA guidance, a good faith effort to contact them means you should try at least twice. Sec. 391.23 (c) (3) also says that you must keep this documentation in the Driver Investigation History File required under Sec. 391.53.
Question: Can DQ files be kept electrically?
Answer: Yes, you can keep DQ files electronically. See Sec. 390.32 of the FMCSRs at link below (which was added to the regulations in April 2018).
Question: Can a carrier refuse to complete a Verification of Employment background check the "old way" and force other carrier to use a paid service?
Answer: No. The previous employer/carrier can encourage the other carrier to use the paid service, but cannot force them to do so. If the requesting company chooses not to pay for VOEs, the previous employer(s) must respond the old way. They may decide to take up to 30 days to respond, however. In many cases, the payment for a previous employment verification will expedite the response.
Question: If the driver/owner-operator is on vacation for more than 30 days, is he required to take a pre-employment drug test again?
Answer: No, provided the driver/owner-operator has remained in the random selection pool during the vacation period There is no break in ‘employment’ if the owner-operator is expected to return to the company as a driver. FMCSA has issued regulatory guidance addressing this question (albeit in the context of a school bus driver returning to work after the typical Summer vacation). See Question #2 at the link below:
Stay tuned for more upcoming webinars, as well as other important recruiting and retention related topics from DriverReach's blog.