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United Airlines skips drug testing for employees in safety-sensitive positions (6/21)

June 21, 2011
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed to assess a $584,375 civil penalty against United Airlines, Inc. for allegedly violating FAA and U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) regulations for random drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive employees.

The FAA alleges United failed to perform required pre-employment drug tests and receive verified negative test results before transferring 13 individuals to safety-sensitive positions, as required by FAA and DoT regulations.

The FAA also cited United for allegedly failing to use a scientifically valid method to ensure that each member of the company’s flight crews, all of whom are safety-sensitive employees, has an equal chance of being selected for random drug and alcohol testing each time a selection is made. The FAA warned United at least twice before that the company’s random test selection methods did not give each eligible flight crew member an equal chance of being selected.

“Drug testing is both a critical and a required safety measure that all operators must follow,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.

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