Designated Employer Representative (DER)


Definition - What does Designated Employer Representative (DER) mean?

A designated employer representative (DER) is the employee in a workplace who is authorized to determine when a safety-sensitive employee, as defined by federal transportation safety laws, may be removed from duty. The DER is appointed by his or her employer and is trained to recognize and act upon unsafe workplace situations involving the use or suspected use of drugs or alcohol by safety-sensitive employees. In addition to being authorized to remove employees immediately from safety-sensitive duties, the DER also performs other duties related to the administration of the employer's drugs and alcohol safety program.

WorkplaceTesting explains Designated Employer Representative (DER)

Either an employer or an authorized employee may serve as a workplace DER. The DER's authorization to take action is defined by U.S. 49 CFR Part 40. Pursuant to these Department of Transportation (DOT) rules, if drug or alcohol use is suspected, the DER may immediately remove an employee from covered duties or cause the person to be removed by a supervisor. A DER will also monitor the employer's compliance with DOT drugs and alcohol safety regulations, conduct or supervise the implementation of drug and alcohol testing, and educate employees regarding the workplace's drug and alcohol rules. When employee testing for drugs or alcohol is required, the results are sent to the DER for a determination of further action.

Employers may not subcontract or delegate DER responsibilities to any non-employee. A service agent is defined by the DOT as a non-employee who may provide testing or other support for an employer's drug and alcohol safety program. Because they are not employees, service agents may not serve as the DER.

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