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December 2, 2020 E-Blast

ODAPC has extended virtual assessments to June 30, 2021


If you are registered on ODAPC’s listserv, you should have received an e-mail notifying you that virtual assessments have been extended through the first six months of 2021, to June 30. 

The clarification is here:  https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/2020-12/DOT_Statement_of_Enforcement_Discretion_SAPs_and_Service_Agents_12092020.pdf
 
The basic conditions remain unchanged:
  1. The mode you use must provide visual and audio.  An assessment cannot be conducted by phone only. 
  2. On your Follow-up Evaluation Report, you are required to indicate what mode you used for the assessment process.  (Zoom, telehealth, etc.)

A driver’s file disappeared from my dashboard.  Why, and where did it go?

 
When a driver has successfully complied with your recommendation, and after you have entered the completion date on the driver’s dashboard, your job is done.  Close your file.  There is no reason for that driver’s record to remain on your dashboard, and it will disappear.
 
The driver’s record will show “Ineligible” until an employer orders a return-to-duty test, AND enters the date of that negative test result on the driver’s dashboard.  (An employer is the only one who can order a return-to-duty test.)  The moment an employer enters a driver’s negative return-to-duty test date, the “Ineligible” on the driver’s record will immediately change to “Eligible”, and the driver will be able to drive.
 
Remember:  A SAP CANNOT order a return-to-duty test.  Only an employer can do that.  You will have to explain this to every driver.
 
You should have received an e-mail from SAPlist on September 28th, which included a link to an important document for you to use in your SAP practice.  SAPs who have used it tell me that it has helped clarify next steps for the employee and the employer.  It works.  I suggest that you put this document on your computer’s Desktop.  You can then e-mail it or give a printed copy to every driver you work with.  If you missed it, here it is again:
Download Form (as PDF)
Download Form (as Word Doc)

How can I remove a driver from my dashboard?


You can’t.  Only Clearinghouse elves can remove a driver from your dashboard.  They can do that only if you haven’t started the assessment.  Once the assessment has begun, you are the SAP.  You can’t release the driver to go to another SAP.  That would be SAP shopping, which is prohibited by 40.295.
 
You may have completed your assessment, but the driver has dropped out of sight.  (It happens.)  You don’t want to see his name on your dashboard every time you Log On.  Did you know that you could make his request disappear from your dashboard, just by using the filter function?  He will still be there.  He just won’t be visible until you bring his record back to your dashboard.
 
His violation will remain open, which means employers couldn’t hire him.  Eventually, when he realizes that he is unemployable, he will have to return to you and you can restart the process.  He cannot go to a different SAP.

How long does DOT say that my recommendation is valid? 


DOT doesn’t say anything about how long a recommendation is valid.  You are the expert.  This is your call.  This is a decision that only you can make, depending on what you learned about the employee during the assessment.
 
When you give the employee your treatment recommendation, you could say “I consider this recommendation to be valid for xx days.  If you have not started this treatment plan by that time, I will have to require another assessment, and I might even add to that recommendation.”  How many days, you say?  Each situation is different.  Again, you are the expert…and you can decide.
 
Look at it this way:  Chances are, this employee has lost his job.  He is without an income.  He’s probably complained about being strapped for cash.  He has nothing to do right now except to get moving on your treatment plan.  What’s he waiting for?  He can’t get hired until he completes the SAP process.
 
Some SAPs tell me that 30 days is their limit for a treatment plan.  For an addict, things can change quickly.  The driver with an alcohol violation could very well be shooting heroin before 30 days are over.  If 30 days go by, you could require another visit, including a question about why the employee is dragging his feet.  You might even come up with a tougher treatment plan.  Again, this is your decision.
 
In some cases, a driver might be MIA for months, or possibly years.  But even then, you can’t get rid of him.  When that driver decides to finally get serious about going back to driving, he’ll have to return to you.  You were his SAP back then, and you continue to be his SAP now.

Office Addresses on SAPlist


Starting in January 2021, the Find a SAP directory will only return SAP office addresses that are verified in the USPS system. Please log into your account to make sure that you have the correct, valid address for your office(s). Contact us if you have any questions.

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/

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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