August 10, 2017
We have addressed this issue many times before, but it’s always worth a reminder.
In this heavily regulated environment, innocent mistakes are bound to happen sooner or later. If the FAA discovers the mistake during an inspection it could be costly. If you discover the mistake prior to an audit, you can take the “bite” out of it. When you become aware of an inadvertent violation of the regulations, confess! You can use the Voluntary Self-Disclosure formal process. In that process you tell the FAA:
- We discovered that we made a mistake
- This is how it happened.
- This is how we have corrected the error
- This is what we have done to prevent it from happening again.
Depending on the error, the FAA may just slap your wrist, but civil penalties (monetary fines) are usually precluded. In addition, the local inspectors will see this as a sign of good faith and sincere intent and that may very well enhance your standing with them. If you need assistance, please contact us for guidance.
PRE-EMPLOYMENT DRUG TESTING
The FAA Drug Abatement Division has altered their position on how somebody is activated in a safety sensitive position. If a newly hired employee has to undergo extensive indoctrination or pre-performance training, they should not be “active” on the random testing list until they are actually performing a safety sensitive function. If 180 days elapses since hiring the individual, another pre-employment test must be done. The FAA interpretation of random testing for alcohol, is that it must be completed “just prior to, during or just after” the performance of safety sensitive functions. Obviously, if they are not performing a safety sensitive function for the company yet, they would not comply with this requirement.
You as the employer must notify Flightline Drug Testing when somebody starts functioning in a safety sensitive role, so that they may be activated on your random list. In order to avoid the possibility of someone being “missed”, we activate everyone for random testing once their pre-employment test result is entered into the system. If you are anticipating conducting extensive training that will delay somebody working in a safety sensitive position, you must notify Flightline in writing just after the test to place them in an “inactive random status” and then you must remember and provide written notice to activate him once he completes his training. Your monthly roster sent to you will reflect their status.
Part 61.14(a) applies to individuals who hold certificates. Refusal to test can result in either (a) Denial of an application for a certificate or (b) Suspension or revocation of any certificate, rating or authorization under FAR 91.17 and Part 121. If there are reasons to test anyone in your company under “Reasonable Suspicion” the reasons for the testing must be documented and written on a form. The person being tested must have an opportunity to either agree to the testing to be performed or they can “refuse” to take the testing. Everyone should know that a “refusal” is treated the same as a “positive” test and is required to be reported to the FAA in Washington DC within two (2) business days. Flightline is always available to review any potential scenarios and provide advice to you on testing.
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A series of fortuitous events have resulted in our having established liaison with a law firm specializing in aviation matters. They are particularly oriented in Federal regulatory compliance issues with the FAR’s; aircraft acquisition, ownership, registration matters, leasing and charter, air operations; fixed base operator relationship with airport and governmental agencies; property acquisition and zoning issues as well as the general business matters associated with the aviation industry.
For ethical reasons, we will not name the law firm or its individual attorneys in this Newsletter but if you have need of legal assistance please call us and we will provide you with contact information.
HIGH PROFILE POSITIVE DRUG TEST RESULTS
Athletes and certainly celebrities are put under the microscope and revealed to the whole world, should a drug problem occur. Many attempt to beat the system. There are scores of information available on the internet concerning products to beat drug tests, including names, prices and websites to order products.
There are many products to mask certain drug testing. The categories are Detox Drinks, Urine Additives, Synthetic Urine Substitute and Follicle Shampoo. These are not cheap, ranging in costs of approximately $20 to $150). Drug and vitamin stores, both national chains and local establishments carry products such as Liquid 420, Triple X, Omni and QCarbo. And they are in wide use.
What does this mean to you, the Designated Employer Representative? Your vigilance is important in noticing any unusual behavior or types of paraphernalia that might be present in the workplace. Our trained collectors, as well as fixed test sites are often reminded and are well trained to ensure that the test sites are inspected before and after testing and that proper procedures are followed for collecting drug tests. Contact us immediately should you have suspicions of any kind.
We get a lot of questions on different products and we are happy to investigate any of these for you. CBD is an oil by prescription and a few drops can be placed under the tongue to relieve pain. There is no THC [the drug of marijuana] in this product and it will not show up in a drug test according to our certified laboratory.