Media Kit » Try RailPrime™ Today! »
Progressive Railroading
Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends


Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

USDOT delays new drug-testing rule until November, UTU says


Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) delayed the implementation of a new drug-testing rule from today until Nov. 1, according to the United Transportation Union (UTU).

The UTU, seven other rail labor unions and BNSF Railway Co. separately have challenged the rule's legality in federal court. Those cases remain pending.

The rule would require employees of all transportation modes — including rail, transit and bus operators — to remain under direct observation while providing a urine sample for mandatory return-to-duty or follow-up drug testing.

Because the rule would require workers to disrobe, the unions and BNSF have asked the U.S. District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals whether it violates the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, which requires testing procedures that offer individual privacy.

BNSF and the unions — which include the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division, American Train Dispatchers Association, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Transportation Communications International Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and National Conference of Firemen and Oilers — believe the new regulation is an intrusion on workers.