Inquiries for alcohol and controlled substances information from previous employers.
(a)(1) An employer shall, pursuant to the driver's written authorization, inquire about the following information on a driver from the driver's previous employers, during the preceding two years from the date of application, which are maintained by the driver's previous employers under Sec. 382.401(b)(1) (i) through (iii) of this subpart:
(i) Alcohol tests with a result of 0.04 alcohol concentration or greater;
(ii) Verified positive controlled substances test results; and
(iii) Refusals to be tested.
(2) The information obtained from a previous employer may contain any alcohol and drug information the previous employer obtained from other previous employers under paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
(b) If feasible, the information in paragraph (a) of this section must be obtained and reviewed by the employer prior to the first time a driver performs safety-sensitive functions for the employer. If not feasible, the information must be obtained and reviewed as soon as possible, but no later than 14-calendar days after the first time a driver performs safety-sensitive functions for the employer. An employer may not permit a driver to perform safety-sensitive functions after 14 days without having made a good faith effort to obtain the information as soon as possible. If a driver hired or used by the employer ceases performing safety-sensitive functions for the employer before expiration of the 14-day period or before the employer has obtained the information in paragraph (a) of this section, the employer must still make a good faith effort to obtain the information.
(c) An employer must maintain a written, confidential record of the information obtained under paragraph (a) or (f) of this section. If, after making a good faith effort, an employer is unable to obtain the information from a previous employer, a record must be made of the efforts to obtain the information and retained in the driver's qualification file.
(d) The prospective employer must provide to each of the driver's previous employers the driver's specific, written authorization for release of the information in paragraph (a) of this section.
(e) The release of any information under this section may take the form of personal interviews, telephone interviews, letters, or any other method of transmitting information that ensures confidentiality.
(f) The information in paragraph (a) of this section may be provided directly to the prospective employer by the driver, provided the employer assures itself that the information is true and accurate.
(g) An employer may not use a driver to perform safety-sensitive functions if the employer obtains information on a violation of the prohibitions in subpart B of this part by the driver, without obtaining information on subsequent compliance with the referral and rehabilitation requirements of Sec. 382.605 of this part.
(h) Employers need not obtain information under paragraph (a) of this section generated by previous employers prior to the starting dates in Sec. 382.115 of this part.