WASHINGTON (CN) – Transportation employees returning to work after participating in drug programs must be “directly observed” giving urine samples to prove their sobriety, according to a reinstated Department of Transportation rule.
Direct observation includes a check for an easily available prosthetic device in which a worker can carry clean urine that is released for the sample.
Workers who already have violated the department’s drug and alcohol policies are two to four times more likely than others to test positive, according to data relied upon by the department. In a finding to reinstate the rule after a stay, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that it was reasonable for the department to use the data to conclude that these employees may have a higher motivation to cheat. It also found that the public’s right safety outweighed the employee’s Fourth Amendment right against the “search.”
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