Federal Training Mandates for All Employees
After several significant transportation accidents, Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (OTETA), because they recognized the safety need for ensuring drug- and alcohol-free transportation employees. OTETA requires that employees in “safety sensitive” positions, i.e., those who have commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) and operate, or may be called upon by the campus to operate, a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), receive instruction about OTETA and the campus policies relating to OTETA. The "Act" required DOT Agencies to implement drug testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees in the aviation, trucking (including school bus drivers, and certain limousine and van drivers), railroads, mass transit, and pipelines industries. In 1994, DOT added alcohol testing requirements to its regulations. As a result, employees in the related industries subject to pre-employment, pre-assignment (promotion), reasonable suspicion, post-accident, random, follow-up and return-to-duty drug and alcohol testing.
Must receive instruction about OTETA and the campus policies relating to OTETA
|ONLY applies to employees in safety-sensitive fields of: transportation, aviation, trucking (including school bus drivers, and certain limousine and van drivers), railroads, mass transit, and pipelines industries
When is OTETA triggered on your SUNY Campus:
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Agency has issued regulations which state that the OTETA drug and alcohol testing requirements apply only to persons (and their employers) who operate, even on a casual or volunteer basis, a commercial vehicle subject to a commercial drivers license (49 CFR section 382103(a)).
A commercial vehicle is defined in 49 CFR section 382.107 as a vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more (weighs more than 13 tons) or a vehicle that transports 16 or more passengers. Persons who drive such vehicles need a commercial drivers license (49 CFR Part 383).
If a campus vehicle is not over the GVWR rating of 26,001 lbs (13 tons) and is not a 16+ passenger van, it is not a commercial motor vehicle for purposes of State or federal law, and therefore the federal requirements for drug and alcohol testing do not apply as to SUNY, as employer, or to SUNY's employees. If a vehicle has air brakes, but does not meet the requirement of over 13 tons or a 16+ passenger van, the fact that it has air brakes does not make it a commercial motor vehicle for which a commercial drivers license is an operating requirement.
OTETA Resources & Information
Department of Transportation Resource Page on OTETA
The DOT agencies (the Federal Aviation Administration [aviation], the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [trucking], the Federal Railroad Administration [rail], the Federal Transit Administration [mass transit] and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [pipeline]) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) [maritime] each have industry specific regulations which in total cover approximately 12.1 million transportation employees who perform safety-sensitive functions. These regulations spell out who is subject to testing, when and in what circumstances.
Department of Transportation Alcohol And Drug Rules
Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance
Campus Obligations Related to OTETA
- Maintains roster of CDL drivers and other employees in safety-sensitive transportation fields.
- Provide materials on OTETA and campus-related policies to the employees who fall under the law.
- Coordinate required alcohol and drug testing.
- Maintain alcohol and drug testing records.
The information contained on the SUNY Compliance website is for general campus guidance only and is not intended, nor can be relied upon, as legal advice or the imposition on SUNY campuses of specific policies or requirements. The site is intended to be an informational-only clearinghouse for some of the laws, rules, and regulations that may impact the State University of New York’s campuses. Additionally, given the rapid, changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be delays or omissions contained on this site which therefore cannot be relied upon as complete. For complete compliance information, consult your campus compliance officials or the SUNY Compliance Administrator. For legal advice, consult your lawyer.