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Keep up to date on the latest developments affecting OSHA, DOT, EPA, and DOL regulatory compliance.

Regulations change quickly. Compliance Network ensures you never miss a relevant update with a personalized feed of featured news and analysis, industry highlights, and more.


Temporary employees and FMLA eligibility

Temporary employees and FMLA eligibility

After being a temporary (temp) employee from a staffing agency for more than a year, Andrea is hired as a regular employee for a company in which she temped. Two months later, she announces she is pregnant and wants to take leave for the birth. She wants the leave to begin in about four months.

This begs the question: Does the time Andrea spent as a temp employee count toward her eligibility for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

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Canada’s drug testing rules will leave you in a haze

Canada’s drug testing rules will leave you in a haze

Ever since Canada legalized recreational cannabis back in 2018, it has left many motor carriers wondering if they can drug test their drivers. Impairment from cannabis use is a safety risk, and for most employers, performing drug tests to manage the risk is not an option. Where do motor carriers and drivers fit in, and what are their options?

Submitting employees to drug tests

Can motor carriers drug test their drivers? The short answer is no. Canada does not have a federal regulation that requires drug testing for drivers. However, this does not mean that Canadian motor carriers cannot implement and enforce a drug and alcohol policy for their drivers. In fact, many carriers have developed successful policies that minimize the risk of getting in trouble with the law and ensure the safety of their drivers and the public.

When drug testing may be permissible

There are some circumstances in which drug testing is allowed, though they are rare and very specific.

1. Safety-sensitive positions: Universal random drug testing would be acceptable in workplaces that can be shown to be extremely dangerous and where a worker�s impairment would likely result in catastrophe. Based on this definition commercial truck drivers would be considered to be in a safety-sensitive position.

2. Reasonable suspicion of impairment: If an employee appears to be obviously impaired, drug testing may be permissible, especially if they�re involved in a collision and there is reasonable suspicion that they are under the influence of drugs.

3. As part of a rehabilitation/return-to-work program: A driver with substance abuse disorder may be subject to unannounced drug testing to be carried out as part of a rehabilitation program and return-to-work program.

Unlike in the United States, pre-employment drug testing is generally not permitted in Canada, except in limited circumstances. Each Canadian province has its own legislation regarding testing for drugs. In Alberta, the courts have been less protective of individual privacy rights and have allowed drug testing in the oil and gas sector. Most companies in Ontario and British Columbia opt not to test for drugs, adhering to human rights legislation and privacy concerns.

Policies must be clear

Motor carriers must inform their drivers about the drug and alcohol policy and unlike U.S. testing programs, are required to obtain their consent before conducting any test. By working together, motor carriers and drivers can create a safe and healthy work environment for everyone involved.

Carriers should update their policies addressing drug and alcohol use at least once per year. Carriers must pay close attention to:

  • Permissible testing for the jurisdictions they operate in, including if they cross the border into the United States;
  • Frequent reminders for drivers on their obligations under the policies; and
  • Training for managers and supervisors on detecting impairment through physical symptoms.

Key to remember: Drug testing in Canada is legal but not regulated, so carriers must exercise caution when implementing a drug testing policy. There�s a fine line between allowable testing and human rights/employee privacy violations.

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It’s official: CARB announces truck registration and fees for 2024

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has officially announced that vehicles subject to the Heavy-Duty Inspection and Maintenance regulation (HD I/M regulation), now called the Clean Truck Check regulation, must report their vehicles to CARB and pay the 2024 annual compliance fee by December 31, 2023. The vehicles covered by this requirement are all non-gasoline powered vehicles with a GVWR over 14,000 pounds operating in California, regardless of where the vehicle is based.

Reporting and fees

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MVRs can drive down risk and improve safety

MVRs can drive down risk and improve safety

The road to safer highways is paved with data, and MVRs often provide carriers information that can identify risky drivers before an accident occurs.

A driver�s motor vehicle record (MVR) is part of the driver qualification process, and a motor carrier is required to request an MVR when hiring an operator of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), and annually thereafter. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) do not dictate standards when reviewing the MVR but at minimum, the carrier must ensure the driver is properly licensed for the vehicle assigned.

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