DOT Enforcement Actions Against Employers for Drug Testing Deficiencies

Submitted on Jul 28, 2011

FAA Proposes $584,375 Civil Penalty Against United AirlinesThe following information was released by the Federal Aviation Administration:The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed to assess a $584,375 civil penalty against United Airlines, Inc., of Elk Grove Village, Ill., for allegedly violating FAA and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations for random drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive employees.

Transferring Personnel to Safety Sensitive Positions Prior to Receipt of Negative  Pre-Employment Tests.

The FAA alleges United failed to perform required pre-employment drug tests and receive verified negative test results before transferring 13 individuals to safety-sensitive positions, as required by  FAA and DOT regulations.

Deficiencies in Random Selection Process.

The FAA also cited United for allegedly failing to use a scientifically valid method to ensure that  each member of the company’s flight crews, all of whom are safety-sensitive employees, has an equal chance of being selected for random drug and alcohol testing each time a selection is made. The FAA warned United at least twice before that the company’s random test selection methods did not give each eligible flight crew member an equal chance of being selected.United Airlines has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.