Werner Denied Employment Due To Medications Prescribed.

Topic 13888 | Page 1

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Wilhelm C.'s Comment
member avatar

I need a job but cannot get acceptance due to no experience and a prescription of Velafaxine/ Effexor. I completed Truck Driving school in November 2015. Subsequently, I applied and started orientation with Werner Transportation. They informed me they would not let me drive while being prescribed Venlafaxine/Effexor. I have worked under a CDL-C for three years delivering Liquid o2 and never had a problem. I now have a CDL-A with Hazmat , Doubles and Triples and Tanker endorsements and cannot get a job as far as I know! I am currently working to end use of this prescription yet it is going to take a long long time. If I had been told this would have been an issue of employment i would have gone to school for something other than truck driving. Now, I am broke, my son and I live with my parents and want to work. It seems here in Texas at least not even dump truck jobs will hire without tractor trailer experience. I was ready to work and now I am stuck back to square one. I was told that Stevens Transportation also use their own doctors so Werner and Stevens are not going to take me. Are there any companies that will go off my State Medical card or is this going to be a field I will simply have to forget until I can get off Velafaxine/ Effexor.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

By law you have to get a new physical anytime you start work for a new company so there's no way around that.

Have you spoken with your doctor about finding a prescription that would be suitable for commercial driving? That may be about your only choice. If numerous companies have turned you down for the same prescription then you probably aren't going to have much luck while taking it and you probably shouldn't be considering driving a commercial vehicle while taking it even if someone did let it slide, you know what I mean?

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

I googled Effexor, It is an anti anxiety/ anti depressant. It seems that the FMCSA and many Carriers are leery of those types of medications. Rightly or wrongly, it seems to be the way it is. There must be some history of those medications causing drivers in the Trucking industry certain problems. I would doubt that individuals with certain mental health conditions are being singled out for no reason. I'm sure that Insurance Companies have a huge say in the situation as well. The following is an excerpt from the NIH website:

"You should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways when you take venlafaxine or other antidepressants even if you are an adult over 24 years of age. You may become suicidal, especially at the beginning of your treatment and any time that your dose is increased or decreased. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing yourself, or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; and frenzied abnormal excitement. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own."

I would consider speaking with your Doctor to see if there may be an alternative to your current treatment plan that would allow you to pursue your Driving career. I wish you the best of luck.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jeremy G.'s Comment
member avatar

I was taking welbutrin for smoking cessation. And I had to get something signed by my doctor showing that's what it was prescribed for.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

We've been seeing this more than once recently.

Psych meds that are "technically ok" by FMCSA - that are being turned down by certain companies - likely because their insurance companies are leery.

Essentially - any drug that has a side effect of "drowsiness" - can end up being a red flag.

We've had a couple of board members sent home for 30 days to get off particular meds.

It seems to vary from company to company - and they will not tell you whether or not any particular med is on their "no fly list" (being afraid of getting sued for discrimination), but have no problem sending you home if you show up for orientation taking that med.

Would be nice if all of them would just tell you ahead of time - but that appears to be the way the game is being played at the moment.

Sorry for your luck - best bet with a "starter company" is to come off the meds - or find one with ZERO SIDE EFFECTS (of which there really aren't many).

Rick

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
18 Wheels of Steel's Comment
member avatar

It might be that specific prescription that they do not like. I am on an anti-depressant (Zoloft), and nobody seems to care. I thought it was going to be a big deal when I first took my physical before starting school. I almost failed my blood pressure test because I was so nervous about it. The doc asked how long I was on the current dose, and was I suicidal. That was the end of it. Before I decided on my current company, I was sure to ask recruiters about this, and none of them cared either.

Back in about 2010, the FAA lifted a total ban of pilots on anti-depressants. But they only allow 4 of them. Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, and Lexapro. If I were to wager a guess, I'd say these meds have a better track record than the others, and would probably be much more acceptable to motor carriers than any others.

Sadly, there is still a stigma on these types of meds, despite millions of Americans taking them with no side effects and a much better quality of life than they would have without them. But some nutter shoots up some public place, and later it is revealed he was on these meds. He somehow becomes a representative of all those normal people out there taking these things, that one would never know about unless it was revealed to them.

I think Tractor Man and Brett have the right idea. Perhaps talk to the doc, see about changing to one of the 4 aforementioned meds, and you'll probably have an easier time of getting your career going. Another possibility is to be straight up with the recruiters from the get go about being on the meds. See who has a problem with your prescription and who doesn't.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

Is there no way you could just stop taking them? That would solve a lot of problems and should make you feel a lot better.

MindFreak's Comment
member avatar

I know Swift will ask for a medical release from your doctor for Celexa. And do NOT just suddenly stop taking them! Their can be some nasty issues if you stop them suddenly.

18 Wheels of Steel's Comment
member avatar

Quitting an anti-depressant cold turkey is generally not advisable. If you want to go that route, talk to the doc about weaning yourself off of them.

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