(Address Withheld)
July 17, 1999

 Bob --

     I am enclosing photocopies of some pertinent pages from the Federal Register concerning U.S. Department of Transportation (Federal Transit Administration) "alcohol misuse" regulations, particularly regarding follow-up testing for employees who had an accurate alcohol reading of above 0.04 (which I did not), and who have supposedly been "evaluated" by a "Substance Abuse Professional" (SAP) and been classified as needing "treatment" (obviously meaning treatment for alcoholism). I am quoting some especially pertinent excerpts below.

 "...A SAP will evaluate each covered
 employee who violates these rules
 to determine whether the employee
 needs assistance resolving problems
 associated with alcohol misuse and
 refer the employee for any necessary
 treatment..."

 
 "...The [Omnibus Act] rules require that
 each covered employee, who has been
 identified by a SAP as needing assis-
 tance in resolving problems with
 alcohol misuse and who has returned
 to duty...shall be subject to a minimum
 of 6 unannounced follow-up alcohol tests
 administered by the employer over the
 following 12 months. The SAP can
 direct additional testing during this
 period, or for an additional period up
 to a maximum of 60 months from the date
 the employee returns to duty. The SAP
 can terminate the requirement for follow-
 up testing in excess of the minimum at
 any time, if the SAP determines that
 testing is no longer necessary..."

     Despite the FTA's (and Ronnie Sue Jaffe's) use of the low-key phrase "identified as needing assistance resolving problems associated with alcohol misuse" they are clearly referring to a diagnosis of "alcoholism" as evidenced by the repeated use of words such as "relapse" and "recovery", not to mention the idea of an arduous and endless "ongoing rehabilitation effort".

 
 "...because studies have shown that
 the relapse rate is highest in the
 first year of recovery, we mandate
 a minimum of 6 alcohol tests during
 that time. After that period, however,
 we believe that the SAP should deter-
 mine when follow-up testing should
 end..."
 "...Follow-up testing serves as more than
 an employer's additional assurance that
 an employee is performing safety-
 sensitive work in an alcohol-free and/
 or drug-free manner. It serves the
 recovering employee as an adjunct to
 the total and on-going rehabilitation
 effort. Despite the fact that treatment
 can be short-term, the rehabilitation
 process for the recovering alcohol and
 drug abuser usually requires long-term
 effort on the part of the employee...
...This effort can be enhanced...during the
 first year (and thereafter) [by] the
 employee's required participation in
 follow-up testing as well as participation
 in aftercare programs and self-help groups.
     Therefore, the SAP must present the
 employer and the employee a plan for
 follow-up testing. The SAP can re-evaluate
 the plan at any time and terminate the
 plan at any time following...six tests [in]
 the first year..."

     The extension of my recheck testing period (which, by the way, was never discussed with me as directed in the above excerpt), I believe, would imply to anyone coming into knowledge of it that I have been professionally determined (a) to be an "alcoholic", and (b) to not be making enough of an "ongoing rehabilitation effort" (i.e. rehabilitation from "the disease of alcoholism") and therefore (c) to be at ongoing risk of "relapse" (i.e. relapse into "out-of-control drinking" which could result any minute in drinking on duty).
     This implication is defamatory and very emotionally distressing to me. Also, as I told you previously, ordinary random testing is ordered for all employees in my department, and no one employee need feel singled out or humiliated. On the other hand, the "Mandated Alcohol Recheck Test" is clearly announced as such, resulting in the turning of heads, etc., which definitely singles me out.

     The following excerpt is in reference to "reasonable suspicion" testing (a different category from random testing; as the name implies, a supervisor can order any employee to submit to drug/alcohol testing if they "seem likely to be positive" in the supervisor's opinion). I'm confident the implication of "harassment" could apply to extensive and extended follow-up testing as well.

 "... A number of commentators expressed
 concerns that supervisors might abuse
 reasonable suspicion tests to harass
 unpopular employees and wanted strict
 requirements to prevent this possibili-
 ty... We believe that the possibility
 that a review of company records would
 show whether particular employees were
 harassed -- i.e. tested without positive
 result too often -- should help deter
 harassment..."

     Please let me know what kind of action I might be able to take regarding this. If you feel I should consult with another attorney, let me know.

Sincerely,
(anonymous)