Are Random Drug Tests Paid Since It’s Considered On Duty Time?

Topic 34042 | Page 1

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Brandon G.'s Comment
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I’m being asked to take a random drug test and my site manager is specifically asking me to go on my day off. I thought I read that that my travel time to clinic and time spent there would be on duty time and I would think I should be paid. I work a local job and am paid hourly. Thanks for any help.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Brandon, the answer to the on-duty part is Yes, you have to be on duty for the random and there is, at least for my company, a two hour limit from the time you are sent to the time the test is completed. Once in the clinic, DO NOT leave the building until cleared to do so. It will be a failure or a refusal if you go outside for any reason.

As far as should you be paid? I don’t know if the company is required to pay you, but in my opinion they should. But will they? You can ask them what the company policy is. But I would recommend not making a big deal about it one way or another.

Rob T.'s Comment
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I can't say for certain what's legal, but both local companies I've driven for have paid you hourly for travel time to/from the clinic, and time spent providing the sample. We're sent in a company vehicle OR we can take our personal vehicle and be paid the mileage. DOT physicals however aren't compensated despite being paid for by the company.

Regulations state that every action taken by the employee/driver must lead to them immediately going to the clinic after notification. If your name gets pulled for a random but you're not working that day or otherwise not available the company can wait to notify you until you return to work. OR they under some circumstances even can pull another driver.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Brandon,

I just wanted to agree with the others that I'm not 100% certain of the legalities in this case, but I'm pretty certain they're supposed to pay you for it, and you have to log it in your logbook (if you're using one).

That said, I agree with BK that you should go with the flow and not sweat it. Talk to your boss and see what they say about it, but this is NOT the hill to die on, ya know what I mean? If they dig in their heels, just get the test and be done with it. That would be unfair to you and possibly an illegal move by your company, and I would point that out to the boss. But I wouldn't push the issue to where it causes problems. It's not worth it.

If they were pushing you to do something illegal or unsafe, that's where you make your stand. This issue isn't a big enough issue to worry about, though.


A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Brandon G.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys for comments. I guess I’m going to get my DOT physical and drug test out of the way at the same time, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Surprisingly, I’m hitting my first 2 years and this is my first random drug test.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Nuts's Comment
member avatar

Brandon, I work part time delivering propane cylinders and I am paid by the hour. I have had 2 randoms???? in the last 60 days. My employer is a nationwide company so I am compensated at my hourly rate from my house to the testing facility and while I wait around to deliver the sample. I haven't claimed my time back to my house. My boss has been nothing but good about it. Is your company a small local owned company?

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I had two in one week. I had one while at school. I began to wonder if they were random or not.

But besides the point, when the pulled me off the road for them, I charged. If I was just in between loads, I didn't care too much. Pick your battles.

Anonymous M.'s Comment
member avatar

Crazy, didn't think this would be my first post replying to this here lol.

As someone who came from Cali to now trucking in NC/VA, it would be a gross violation of labor laws (at least there) to do this off duty/off the clock if you're already hired and working for them. Like, any company in Cali, especially Silicon Valley corps would be in court for months for "just" them asking someone to do it off the clock.

People at my last big company actually got wrote up for working 5 minutes+ after clocking out / off duty. Kind of a culture shock seeing lots of related stuff like this happening on the mid/east coast like its no big deal.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

You're in for a much bigger surprise. If the employers in other industries practiced the level of malfeasance that trucking does, there would be a sea of litigation.

Here are some of the highlights of our industry:

Drivers don't have to be paid overtime per federal law.

Drivers have limited strike capabilities in some areas.

Drivers are often paid less units than they actually drive. As the company bids loads by the mile and bases it off the shortest distance as determined by the household goods moving system. We're paid on average, for 10 percent less miles than we drive. This profit, or loss reduction goes to the company out of the drivers pocket.

Drivers are not compensated for 15 minute pre trip inspections, 15 minute post trip inspections, 15 minute on duty increments of fueling yet federal law compells us to perform these tasks every shift and log on duty. This adds up to a half hour to 45 minutes per day.

Drivers give 2 hours of waiting time at a shipper to the company simply because the company can't charge the customer that. Meaning the driver shares the risk but not the profit. More than half of drivers fail to recieve detention pay when delayed.

It's not uncommon for drivers to make far less than minimum wage when detention and additional labor performed without compensation is performed on many loads.

Many companies still have forced dispatch, meaning the driver can be terminated and or recieve putative action I'd they refuse to take the load.

There are many more. This industry requires a well honed business sense and warrior mentality to negotiate pay out of the items. It's definitely not your grandfather's hourly job. In theory, the cpm should include these items, but it doesn't in reality. Given how bad the industry is right now, companies are getting more and more aggressive in reducing costs of drivers anyway they can, meaning it will continue to get even more bleak for drivers.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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