Court Issues a Stay Temporarily Stopping DOT from Implementing Regulation Regarding Drug Test Observation

October 31, 2008—The Department of Transportation has been stopped, at least for the time being, from implementing a regulation that would require certain employees to be observed while collecting a urine specimen for drug testing.  The U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia today issued a temporary stay preventing the DOT from putting the regulation into effect November 1 as previously announced.  The regulation would require those who refused or failed a drug test to do a follow-up or return to work test by urinating under direct observation.  Among those affected are TCU maintenance of way supervisors, utility carmen on train crews, carmen required to have a CDL, and towermen.  TCU, a number of other rail unions, and the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad had filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit Court, arguing that the regulation violates members’ 4th Amendment rights and requesting a stay pending further judicial review.  In today’s order, the court stated that the purpose of the stay was to give it “sufficient opportunity to consider the merits” of those petitions.  Click here for a background report.