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December 2, 2020 E-Blast

What’s the best way to contact the Clearinghouse?


You will get a faster response from the Clearinghouse by sending an e-mail.
 
The Clearinghouse has a small staff.  You can imagine that with 2,600 SAPs now registered, and over 150,000 employers, and 1.4 million drivers, they are busy.
 
Yes, the Clearinghouse has a phone number.  But if you’ve called it, you likely had to leave a message.  And several times a day, someone sits at that phone, listens to lots of messages that might be long and convoluted, take notes on each message, get a phone number for a call back… you get the picture.  It’s a rigmarole.
 
However, if you were to send an e-mail with a clear issue identified in the Subject line, staff is able to look at the Inbox and quickly identify e-mails that need an answer.  They need only to click Reply, and their response will be in your Inbox instantly.
 
Here’s an important suggestion:  It will help if you describe the problem succinctly in the Subject line.  Do not say “Question”, or “Problem”, or “Help, please.”  Those Subject lines are never helpful; they tell nothing.  Be specific; that’s the purpose of a Subject line.  “Driver disappeared from my dashboard ”, or “Please remove driver”, or “Unable to find a driver”, or “Assessment date disappeared.”  A subject like that will get their attention. 
 
Also, however, do NOT put your entire e-mail message in the Subject line.  Yes, I have occasionally received an e-mail from a SAP with a long paragraph for the Subject line.
 

Why am I getting a pre-employment case from last May, but the driver has been driving?

 
Aha.  This is the Clearinghouse doing its job!
 
Remember the Clearinghouse requires all employers to query each driver at least once a year on the Clearinghouse?  And you may remember that everyone asked “Why is that necessary?”
 
Well, here’s what’s happening.  This is the end of the year.  Employers must query their drivers before January 6, 2021.  And that query is turning up drivers who may have applied for a job this year, but they didn’t get the job because they tested positive…and they didn’t tell their employer.  They just kept driving, and they kept their mouth shut.  So this month, their employer conducts an annual query, and discovers that this driver had a positive pre-employment 6 months ago, when he was looking for another job.
 
Some employers have been terminating the driver on the spot for lying.  In all cases, the driver must be immediately removed from all safety-sensitive functions, and must now complete a SAP return-to-duty process.
 
I suspect that in December there will be a spate of pre-employment positives that drivers have hidden from their employers.  382.415 requires a driver to notify all current employers, in writing, of a violation before the end of the business day following the day the employee received notice of the violation, or prior to providing any safety-sensitive function, whichever comes first.  So…that driver who had a positive pre-employment test last May?  He was in violation, Big Time, and he put his employer at risk by not coming forward.  You might want to inform him that under 382.507, he is subject to federal civil and criminal penalties for his lack of action.
 
As these annual queries occur during the month of December, you might end up with one of these drivers.
 
Hoping you are staying well and staying safe.  I send warm wishes for joy in a holiday season, even at a time of separation and stress.

Archived e-mails from SAPlist

SAPlist has archived our e-mails.  If you are looking for a specific e-mail, or if you wonder if you’ve received them all, go to https://www.saplist.com/for-saps/email-newsletter-archive/

REMINDER: Virtual Assessments

  • Virtual assessments continue until Dec 31.  A virtual assessment must be audio and visual.  You must be able to see and hear the client.  DOT expects you to observe body movements, which I believe requires Zoom or another format, but not Facetime.
  • Since you are making clinical determinations, you are still expected to use assessment instruments.
  • You must indicate on your Follow-up Evaluation Report which format you used in conducting the assessments.

SAPlist UREMINDER: SAPlist U For Your Continuing Ed Requirement

SAPlist U provides 12 hours of continuing education related to DOT's testing rules.  It is endorsed by EACC, NASW, and NBCC.  It’s online, convenient, and you can complete it at your own pace.

Go to SAPlist U Continuing Ed

Have questions? Need assistance?


For questions relating to regulations and SAPlist U, use the "Ask Lee" website form. For all other questions, use our general contact form.
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Until next time,

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Lee Mauk  |  SAPlist.com and SAPlist U
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