RAA Objects To DOT Urine Testing Procedure

 - September 26, 2008, 7:08 AM

The Regional Airline Association (RAA) has joined the Air Transport Association in asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to withdraw its planned rule requiring airlines representatives to “directly observe” employee urination for the purpose of drug testing.

“Our member airlines have worked hard to develop corporate cultures built on trust and respect for employee privacy,” said RAA vice president Scott Foose. “Several airlines indicate that they could lose highly qualified and completely innocent employees due to the intrusive nature of the new mandate; they will simply quit rather than be subjected to a procedure that borders on harassment.”

Effective November 1, the new DOT rules for return to duty and follow-up testing requires the following:

“As the observer, you must request the employee to raise his or her shirt, blouse, or dress/skirt, as appropriate, above the waist; and lower clothing and underpants to show you, by turning around, that they do not have a prosthetic device. After you have determined that the employee does not have such a device, you may permit the employee to return clothing to its proper position for observed urination…”
RAA noted in comments submitted to the DOT that the agency should withdraw the new procedure or confine it to only those situations where the risk of specimen tampering appears likely.