January 10, 2019
FAA ANNUAL M.I.S. STATISTICAL REP0RTING
You will receive a notice from the FAA office in Washington, D.C. requesting that you submit an annual MIS Report. Flightline Drug Testing is automatically sending via email to all clients the 2018 MIS report with instructions on how to complete the report and options on how to send it to the FAA Drug Abatement Division. You must complete this form and send it by the March 15, 2019 deadline. We suggest that you do this report as soon as you receive it, so that you do not miss the deadline. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us.
INSPECTION UPDATE – NEW TWIST
FAA Inspectors can be creative and often have certain goals when reviewing your drug & alcohol programs. The Receipt/Acknowledge Form that contains a Receipt and three (3) questions pertaining to 49CFR40.25(j) needs to be completed, dated and signed. However, inspectors are asking Designated Employer Representatives [D.E.R.s] if they orally read the questions to the employees, not just having them read and answer. We advise you to ensure that you orally read the questions to the employee and answer that you have done so if you are asked during an inspection.
NON-FAA RANDOM TESTING
Many of our clients have NON-FAA employee testing under the Florida Drug Free Workplace or Forensic Testing Program and we encourage everyone to do have this program. (Drug or Alcohol impaired NON-FAA employees can cause a lot of damage as well.) We also encourage you to include random testing in the NON-FAA program for two reasons. First, a program without random testing lacks “teeth” as a deterrent program. Second, if there is an administrative error, such as an FAA employee on a roster as a NON-FAA employee, it will be much easier to mitigate a possible FAA violation if you can show that the employee was tested under the same rules as the FAA, but with an incorrect form with a different heading. If such a scenario were to occur, a “Self-Disclosure Letter” would be required to avoid complications.
PROBLEMS WITH ALCOHOL TESTING
Perhaps the most difficult part of administering a Drug/Alcohol Program is that of alcohol testing. This is largely because all the tests are random. Only a few are reasonable suspicion. There are many facets to this difficulty, the biggest being logistics of performing the tests and ensuring that the alcohol test is done in conjunction with the random drug test.
Alcohol is legal, as everyone knows. Essentially, you can be “bombed” on Sunday as long as you are sober when you come to work on Monday. It is also a very addictive substance, especially if you are genetically predisposed to addiction. Because it is legal to drink when you are not working, DOT random testing must be done immediately before, during or immediately after performance of a safety sensitive function. The logistics of completing testing is easy for a repair station or dispatching center because the workers are in the same place. It’s much more difficult to get the testing done for scheduled airline flight crews. For “on-demand” flight operations or itinerant maintenance personnel, it can be an exercise in extreme frustration. Every effort must be made to complete random selections, to satisfy FAA requirements.
A confirmed test result of 0.040 or greater is a violation of the regulations and the employee must be removed immediately from the safety sensitive job, reported to the Federal Air Surgeon and his Part 67 medical is immediately invalidated. He can then be referred for rehabilitation evaluation to a SAP (substance abuse professional). Does it happen? We are continually reminded of the infamous case of American West that had several pilots that tested positive and another example by a Delta Airlines crewmember with a Breath Alcohol level of 0.070. If the result is 0.020 to 0.039, the employee must be dismissed for the next 8 hours; this is not a violation requiring SAP referral. If the result is 0.019 or less, the test is interpreted as normal and no action is required.
Medical Review Officer’s are not involved with alcohol testing. The B.A.T. (breath alcohol technician) completes the test and the results are given directly to the DER (designated employer’s representative). The DER must take whatever action is required. The B.A.T. plays a critical role in this process. Recent cases involving pilots and subsequent legal arguments revolve around technicalities with the testing equipment and proper completion of forms. For example, each Flightline Drug Testing B.A.T. is trained and qualified and must perform monthly calibrations for the tests to be compliant.
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FORMS – ADMINISTRATION
Be sure to utilize the Consent to Release Form in your administration manual during the hiring process. The PRIA form for crew members can be substituted for this form. This form is completed by you and the prospective employee and sent (normally via fax) to any previous employers in the past 2 years or 5 years [PRIA] that the prospective employee worked for under a safety sensitive position. This is an important part of the Drug Abatement Program, which the FAA Inspectors review during their inspections. Without your compliance in using this information, there is not a way to ensure that prospective employees are tracked from job to job, should they have a prior drug test that is positive. “Reasonable effort” has to be used in securing this information, which usually is a second request. If you do not receive a response within 30 days, then contact Flightline and the FAA may step in and contact the previous employer, since it is required by FARs.
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION – 2018 – GREW LIKE A WEED
Legalizing marijuana saw a banner year in 2018 in the U.S. Liberal California became the largest legal U.S. marketplace, conservative Utah and Oklahoma embraced medical marijuana as did Florida, Iowa and other states. CBD oil is now prevalent and being used widely. Several states have started recreational marijuana use, such as Colorado, Michigan and 8 other states. However, there is still challenges faced with those conducting marijuana businesses. One of the major issues is that, since Federal law does not recognize the states legalization, businesses cannot deduct their expenses on their federal taxes and face huge challengers on getting insurance or finding real estate for their operations.
Flightline/BTI can provide you with the most up-to-date diverse investigative support for your company. You may only need a simple level 1 background check this week and then next week your company may require a due diligence investigation involving a hundred million dollar transaction. Simple background investigations can reveal potential issues prior to hiring staff members. DUI and other infractions might warrant further diligence on the part of your company before a hire occurs. The staff at Flightline/ BTI has over twenty five years of law enforcement and investigative experience. These investigators pride themselves on having the ability, knowledge and contacts worldwide to assist you with your needs. Please do not hesitate to call us for an initial consultation