Reasonable suspicion is a term used to describe the observations that indicate a reason to conduct testing for the assessment of an employee's fitness, or to explore the possibilities for an employee's suspicious conduct, actions or appearance. The suspicion is based on the observations of that particular employee's behavior. It is not a generalized belief about a group or category of employees based on their characteristics such as dress, ethnicity, age, or occupation. Reasonable suspicion is more than a guess; it is an analytic conclusion derived from objective observations of the suspect.
The US DOT has mandated that the decision to make an employee undergo reasonable suspicion testing must be based on observations of the employee's behavior or appearance by a supervisor who has received two-hour training on alcohol and drug awareness. The supervisor has to look for the possible indicators of alcohol and substance misuse.
The DOT Supervisor Compliance Training Department provides alcohol and drug awareness training for supervisors to help them effectively identify the offenders at their workplace. The Supervisor Compliance Training Department Online and live courses educated them regarding the various ways to confront such employees.
After completing the program at DOT Supervisor Compliance Training Department, supervisors can effectively implement the safety strategies because it is intended at recognizing potentially unfit employees and removing them from safety sensitive duties such as driving, before an accident or safety incident occurs at the workplace. The Supervisor Compliance Training Department Online or live courses can also help to effectively deter alcohol misuse and drug abuse, since it provides the methods to identify employees who engage in alcohol or substance abuse.
The alcohol and drug awareness program at DOT Supervisor Compliance Training Department specificallymentions that alcohol is a legal substance; and therefore, its use is banned only during the performance of safety-sensitive duties. If an employee consumes alcohol off duty then it does not fall under the DOT rules, except when its use posses a direct effect on the employee's condition and fitness when he/she is ready to perform safety-sensitive tasks. The DOT rules regarding alcohol misuse are specific about when and under what circumstances it is prohibited. However, DOT strictly prohibits the performance of safety-sensitive tasks such as driving when employees engage in alcohol related conduct.
The Supervisor Compliance Training Department Online and live courses also specifies that the DOT drug regulations require testing for the following five major classes of illegal drugs:
Amphetamines (including amphetamine & methamphetamine)
Opiates (including morphine, codeine & heroin)
These five classes of drugs are the frequently abused illegal drugs. Most drugs that are prescribed by the general physicians are not included in these classes of drugs. Barbiturates, benzodiazepines, synthetic morphine, and other prescription medications those are not included in the DOT drug testing program. The DOT regulations are mainly focused on preventing the use of illegal drugs. Therefore, the fitness for duty issues related to prescription drugs abuse is not addressed in the DOT testing requirements.