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Category Archives: Transportation Industry

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“The freezing trucker” and Gorsuch’s heart of ice: A micro-fiction

Posted in Politics, Transportation Industry
It was a bleak and frigid night on I-88 somewhere in northern Illinois. The icy wind whipped across the flatlands, grazing the endless rows of white, brittle remains of last year’s corn crop. The only place to be that night was in your house, wrapped in your Snuggie, with a warm glass of brandy, watching videos of past vacations at Daytona… Continue Reading

BREAKING: FMCSA announces national drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse for commercial truck, bus drivers

Posted in Drug Testing, Transportation Industry
As we expected here and here, the day has finally come. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Friday that it had issued a Final Rule establishing a drug and alcohol clearinghouse for holders of commercial drivers’ licenses. The effective date of the Final Rule is January 6, 2017, but transportation employers… Continue Reading

Final rule on FMCSA drug and alcohol clearinghouse will be out before end of October

Posted in Drug Testing, Transportation Industry
A national database of truck drivers who have failed drug or alcohol tests, or refused to take them, will soon be a reality. That’s according to Juan Moya, Program Manager for the Drug and Alcohol Program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, who spoke this week at a conference of the Substance Abuse Program… Continue Reading

An open love letter to Justice Clarence Thomas

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Transportation Industry
I admit it.  I have a crush on Justice Thomas.  Today’s unanimous Supreme Court opinion in CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC – holding that a merit-based dismissal is not necessary for a defendant to qualify as the “prevailing party” in a Title VII case – would make any employment defense lawyer’s heart skip a… Continue Reading

Drive carefully! Mandatory random substance abuse testing of truck drivers to be cut in half

Posted in Drug Testing, Transportation Industry
The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation announced yesterday that it is reducing by half the minimum percentage of drivers who must be randomly tested for controlled substances. The change will take effect January 1. Currently, employers are required to test at least 50 percent of their average number of commercial motor… Continue Reading

Supreme Court to review CRST attorneys’ fee award against EEOC

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Transportation Industry
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last Friday to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which vacated a multi-million attorneys’ fee award for trucking company CRST Van Expedited, Inc. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission initially sued CRST on behalf of roughly 270 women who were allegedly sexually harassed in their… Continue Reading

“State of the Union” on substance abuse and the workplace

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Drug Testing, Family and Medical Leave Act, Safety, Transportation Industry
Where are we these days with respect to mind-altering substances and the workplace? Here’s the latest, with the “substances” discussed in alphabetical order. This blog post is guaranteed accurate™ for at least the next five minutes. ALCOHOL. Alcohol is legal, which means that it is generally recognized as the most abused of substances. Employers can prohibit… Continue Reading

Another employer pays for “Sorry, I can’t go”

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Drug Testing, Transportation Industry
Last October, I posted about a consent decree entered into between Wal-Mart and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in which Wal-Mart agreed to pay $72,500 to candidate for a store job in Maryland whose offer was withdrawn because she couldn’t undergo a urine test for drugs. The candidate had end-stage renal disease. Now, Kmart has… Continue Reading

Wal-mart, EEOC reach accord in drug test “accommodation” lawsuit

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Drug Testing, Transportation Industry
Laura Jones was offered a sales job at the Wal-Mart store in Cockeysville, Maryland, and was told that she would have to take a drug test. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ms. Jones told an assistant store manager that she had end stage renal cancer, which prevented her from taking a urine… Continue Reading

Transportation employers, can you survive the federal audit “tag team”?

Posted in Retaliation, Safety, Transportation Industry
David Smith of Constangy’s OSHA practice group is co-author of this post. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are tag-teaming transportation employers. They’ve signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which they agree to share information about allegations of safety, coercion, and retaliation. And last week, OSHA ordered… Continue Reading

DOT updates guidance on substance abuse test collections

Posted in Drug Testing, Transportation Industry
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, with the Office of General Counsel, has recently issued new guidance governing the collection process for substance abuse testing. Collections are sometimes considered a “weak link” in DOT drug testing programs because collectors are usually third parties, making it difficult for employers… Continue Reading

Alcoholic truck driver case is good for transportation employers, but be careful

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Drug Testing, Transportation Industry
ROBIN’S NOTE: I am happy to have Tommy Eden back again for a guest post. Tommy is from Constangy’s offices in Opelika, Alabama, and West Point, Georgia. He drafts DOT and state-specific drug testing policies for clients nationwide, and he serves on the Board of the Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association. Don’t get too excited about that recent decision… Continue Reading