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  • Feds to Trucking Company: You Cannot Fire Alcoholic Drivers

    The federal government has sued a major trucking company for its firing of driver with an admitted alcohol abuse problem.

    Alcoholism is classified as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the suit maintains, and therefore employees cannot be prohibited even from driving 18 wheelers due to their histories of abuse.

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the suit against the Old Dominion Freight Line trucking company on August 16, noted that while “an employer’s concern regarding safety on our highways is a legitimate issue, an employer can both ensure safety and comply with the ADA.”

    The EEOC detailed the case on its website:

    Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., a trucking company with a service center in Fort Smith, Ark., violated federal law by discriminating against at least one truck driver because of self-reported alcohol abuse, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The company should have met its legal obligation to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act while assuring safety, rather than permanently sidelining self-reporting drivers, the EEOC contended.

    According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 2:11-CV-02153-PKH in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas), the driver at the Fort Smith location had worked for the company for five years without incident. In late June 2009, the employee reported to the company that he believed he had an alcohol problem. Under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, the employer suspended the employee from his driving position and referred him for substance abuse counseling.  However, the employer also informed the driver that the employer would never return him to a driving position, even upon the successful completion of a counseling program. During the investigation, the EEOC discovered drivers at other service centers whom the employer had allegedly subjected to similar treatment…

    “The ADA mandates that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to achieve in the workplace.  Old Dominion’s policy and practice of never returning an employee who self-reports an alcohol problem to a driving position violates that law,” said Katharine Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, whose jurisdiction includes Arkansas. “While the EEOC agrees that an employer’s concern regarding safety on our highways is a legitimate issue, an employer can both ensure safety and comply with the ADA.”

    If the EEOC prevails, of course, it will mean that Old Dominion will still be liable both for any damage to life or property that results from a potential relapse by one of its recovering drivers – which in turn increases the risks involved in investment in the company – and for the cost of trying to ensure that such damage never occurs. All of these new burdens will raise Old Dominion’s cost of doing business, and hence the cost of everything they transport. And all of this can’t possibly ensure that a recovering driver does not relapse without the company’s knowledge.

    The Cato Institute’s Walter Olsen notes that the EEOC has made a number of similar decisions:

    For years the ADA has provided legal muscle to employees terminated for alcohol problems — just the other day, for example, a Florida State University administrator dismissed after frictions with staff sued the university for not accommodating his alcohol abuse. But that’s just the academic setting, where many administrators can glide by in a bit of a haze for years without causing real problems. (UCLA’s Steve Bainbridge quips that the college official’s description of drinking as a “handicap” is off base: “it’s always come in handy for me.”) Are we really required to take chances with 18-wheelers on the highway?

    Despite the apparent precedent for alcoholism-related lawsuits, EEOC’s case might not be a slam dunk. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Hans Bader notes, a federal appellate court ruled in 1995 that employers can fire someone for problems caused by an ADA-qualified disability if that disability “poses a significant risk [to others] that cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation.”

    The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals established that standard when it ruled against an HIV-positive individual who sued the University of Maryland Medical System Corporation for firing him from its residency program for fear that he might inadvertently infect hospital patients with the virus.

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    124 Responses to Feds to Trucking Company: You Cannot Fire Alcoholic Drivers

    1. This is what happens when Big Government PC/EEOC idiots run things…

    2. Barnabas says:

      Alcohol is an intoxicant drug. So is marajuana. How about those who get impaired on by smoking marajuana. Shouldn't they get a pass also. When does this administration get to pick and choose what is acceptable and what is not. Our government s OUT of controll. When are we the people going to reign it in? Never?

      • csmallo says:

        Most studies have shown that people high on pot tend to be safer drivers than "normal" drivers.

        • dan kestle says:

          Name the Studies, and who are the Names and credentials of these so called "Most Studies. Please support your comment, and I bet I can show overwhelming evidence to the contrary Safer drivers, does not mean driving 15 MPH…………

    3. Jpeditor says:

      "“The ADA mandates that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to achieve in the workplace."

      Load him up and let him "achieve" on the streets in D.C.

      /shakes head in disgust

      • Being an alcoholic is a problem of drinking one or many alcoholic drinks, not a disability.
        This so-called EEOC has no case, especially in the eyes of safety. Go Old Dominion! Fight to the bitter end, then counter-attack.

    4. Gregg Weber says:

      When I drove I found that the hours of service laws forced me to drive when I was tired and "sleep" when I wasn't tired. By that, after 10 hours off duty how could one say that they were tired. Therefore I had to drive even though that 10 hours had very few real sleep time because I wasn't tired enough to really sleep when the clock said I had to stop and sleep.

      The point is that when rules counter safety, safety should trump everything. In this matter the safety of the Fed's family in the car should be considered by those Fed deciders.

    5. Kim Watters says:

      this is where everyone learns compromise I say stick one of those breathe teste things in ALL 18 wheelers so no one is left out. So whether admitted Alcholic or in denial or a drinker that just thinks he can handle that big rig still cause he only drank a beer. To get the rig to start u gotta blow…Damn all vehicles outta be like that it just comes with the car like the radio…………..

      • Greg says:

        Yep, and the price of the truck goes up. When the price of the truck goes up, shipping costs you more. Then some drivers may uninstall it. So you need inspectors too? Welcome to the nanny state of big government.

        I don't know about you, but I've had enough.

      • Slick says:

        Dear Kim . . . . you want to "stick one of those breathe teste things in ALL 18 wheelers so no one is left out"; how about we put one in every single vehicle in America, including YOURS, so we can tell if you have smoked a joint or have had a beer!!! How about we infringe upon the rights of ALL Americans instead of picking on one group because no one is exempt from drunk driving if they have been drinking!!!

        One of these days you are going to go to the grocery store with $100 and come home with a loaf of bread because of all the stupid rules that make it impossible for a trucker to make a living. Who in the H*LL do you think ultimately PAYS for all this kind of stuff????? You do, sweetie!!!! Wake up and smell the coffee!!!

      • Mike bush says:

        Yeah, just let the government control all aspects of our lives. Based of course on public good and safety.

      • Breglad says:

        There's one problem with that. 18-wheeler drivers seldom shut off their engines – especially if they are "team drivers" (2 drivers swapping places per DOT regs).

      • ttb says:

        why don't you just make everyone where helmets all day too while your at it

      • Jim says:

        Actually, I think you are on track except, we don't have to do it to all 18 wheelers. I believe it is a reasonable accomodation to install ONE of these in the truck that a confirmed/confessed alocoholic is to drive. Also, the driver would need to continue counseling and medical check ups and random blood alcohol testing. finally, restricting the driver to jobs where there is no driver teams. Random testing of the DNA in the ignition device to confirm no-one else is blowing on the driver's behalf is another level of care and all seems like resonable accomodation to me. Certainly this is a double edged sword, due to the HUGE potential liability the company could incur for allowing but not adequately monitoring a confessed alcoholic to drive.
        Pehaps he neeeds to be put behind a desk, or become a yard or maintenance supervisor with some retraining, but this is a monster issue for the company and its liability insurers. An EEOC suit is a way to allow the employee bring the level of legal talent to a table that most employees can't muster.

      • dave hayden jr says:

        I agree, but all motor vehicles must be brought under this not just big trucks. A fifteen-hundredpound car can kill just as fast as a big truck. Media needs to quit sensationalizing big rig wrecks!!!!

    6. Barbc says:

      The government gets dumber by the day. Being politically correct is more important than not endangering someone's life. The government threw their brains out with the bath water.

    7. I guess they do not realize the insurance industry is probably the main reason the guy was let go.
      What company will accept this liability….

    8. Rob Klein says:

      Nice… Drunks driving 18 wheelers

      • Jaime says:

        How do drunk drivers of 18 wheelers keep their diver's license? Do I keep my driver's license if I have one extra drink? Can I claim disability and keep my license? Have the company complain to the DMV, and send the PC police of MADD (and others) to give the drivers and the government idiots a run for their money!

      • LuKuj says:

        And when they have accidents and kill people, the government will come down hard on the trucking companies and find some way to try to punish them. The government won't of course, admit that the fact the companies were made to hire the alcoholics caused the problem.

    9. Trisho says:

      Totally insane! That is all I can say!

    10. Boxwood says:

      These drivers do not become 'new' burdens for the trucking company..they become 'known' burdens. There's a big difference between managing known and unknown risks.

    11. I disagree with the conclusions drawn by the author of this article. By punishing those who report an addiction to alcohol, this company was running the risk of forcing the alcoholic into keeping his drinking problem a secret that may go undiscovered until an incident occurs. By admitting there is a problem and seeking treatment, the driver has done what he can to prevent an incident from occurring.

      • Kapos says:

        How about getting in a different occupation such as a Government job.

      • Pete Ormonde says:

        Sorry, but you're wrong. Trucking companies are required by the D.O.T. to do extensive background checks. One of the required forms for previous employers to fill out has a list of 6 questions regarding drug-testing. If the driver had ever came back positive. When a driver DOES come back positive, they MUST be removed from the vehicle, and not allowedto drive until they complete a Substance Abuse Program. As a previous employer, you must provide the SAP information as well. If the trucking company has a zero-tolerance program implemented, (where any positive results in dismissal), they usually stipulate that rehiring is possible, but only at the discretion of the management.

        In this example, the employer, with full knowledge of the driver's problems, would be required by law to inform any prospective employer of the driver's alcoholism. (One of the questions on the form is a blanket question that would cover this instance.)

        For MY company, our drivers are paid comission. So, the only way I would be able to cover this situation safely would be to keep the employee on, but not give him any work. Pretty-much starve him out of a job.

        • Satori says:

          So..um..what does "drug testing" have to do with an alcohol problem? In fact, where in the article does it state this guy ever tested "positive" to anything, including alcohol?

          • Chris says:

            The world is a big place with a lot of things that can happen. If you don't know if something is right or wrong we look to a similar issue where we have had more experience to see if the same conclusion works in that setting. Alcohol is a drug. If you want to know if someone is drunk you test them. The two situations show an immense amount of similarities that we can compare them and see if we get the same outcome. Would it be fair to fire all employees who test positive for drug use, but not if they do for alcohol (a known substance to impede your operation of a motor vehicle just like cocaine, heroine, and cannabis), to fire them? Don't we fire these drug addicts because they are a safety concern that goes above and beyond what we should be expected to accept? Are alcoholics that much of a lesser concern? Is that what the statistics tell us? Do drug addicts get into more accidents than an alcoholic?

            Being able to see similarities between two different things is a sign of intellect. It doesn't have to have direct similarities because the two situations are different, but if we treat them like they have no similarities then we become hypocrites. Alcohol is a drug but why should it be treated like it's candy in light of the fact that we have rules for drug use?

            I have a better question. What doesn't alcohol have to do with with drugs that it makes it so out of the ordinary to make a comparison to drugs and how we treat them?

      • Kenneth says:

        Would you say the same thing about someone with a pedophile addiction, who works every day with children? Would you risk a relapse? Pedophilia was made a sexual orientation by the federal government back when democrats held both houses of congress, and therefor protected by federal laws protecting other sexual 'orientations'. Would you avoid "punishing" the pedophile?

        • perlhaqr says:

          You've evidently missed the recent news out of Chicago: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-s

        • Mairead says:

          "Pedophilia was made a sexual orientation by the federal government back when democrats held both houses of congress, and therefor protected by federal laws protecting other sexual 'orientations'."

          Wherever did you get such nonsense? You definitely need to get a new nonsense connection, because your one is selling you stuff that's rotting your brain.

          Paedophilia is NOT protected, nor was it ever. Nor is it regarded as a sexual orientation, except possibly be those who get their nonsense from the same peddler who's stiffing you.

      • Oygevalt says:

        You are kidding, aren't you? This does not change behavior. He's reporting so that he can shift the liability to his employer.

    12. Rick Thompson says:

      Another Obama Appointee proves that Obama has to go!

      • Eddie Stone says:

        gives a whole new meaning to "more miles loaded" anyone in office needs to go just clean house Boehner,Obama,Mitch Mcconel,Palosie, i mean all of them have to go "LETS START FRESH" should be the american publics new slogan.

    13. tracy says:

      uhhhh, what's next? …airlines won't be able to ground pilots who admit to alcohol or drug abuse??

    14. Kim T. says:

      Outrageous! As a professional truck driver with a national company, I am adamantly opposed to alcoholic drivers being given free reign to continue driving. I believe alcoholics and addicts can achieve sobriety, but the disease is never cured. With all the regulations regarding sleep apnea, Hours of service, and myriad other details required by DOT to obtain and retain a CDL, how on earth can this be justified. EEOC and any company subjected to compliance under this ruling is wide open for massive lawsuits the first time a driver hits and/or kills someone while DUI. This is ludicrous to even be considered. Driving an 18 wheeler is a tremendous responsibility and should never be approached with such disdain and disregard for the motoring public. We must constantly be vigil against the failures and lack of diligence by those traveling around us and an impaired driver can't respond quickly or appropriately in an emergency while maintaining control of an 80,000 pound missile.

      • Guest says:

        I couldn't agree with you more, Kim. I commute from a bedroom community north of Dallas TX. Being a truck driver, I don't have to tell you how many trucks are on the I-35 corridor, the route I take to work. Most truckers are very polite, and adhere to the rules of the road, but I still can't tell if they have been drinking or not. I've already instructed my husband that if I'm killed by a trucker who is DUI to sue the company for everything they have. Without my income, he would never be able to keep up the mortgage on our home, which he loves. A lawsuit is the only avenue he would have to pay off our mortgage.

      • Patricia Fahrner says:

        Very Well said Kim! As 2 concerned citizen, driver & wife of an alcoholic…I totally agree.

      • sjh2222 says:

        In line with your view, Kim, this administration is turnng Mexican truck drivers loose into our country. Not only will this endanger your job but they will not screen those Mexican drivers for addiction or load carried.

    15. Richard says:

      Old Dominion Freight Line will just find another reason to fire the person.. And I think they are right for not letting them return to work .. I don't want any drunks on the road in a Tractor Trailer. I am a fellow LTL driver for a different company.

    16. Robert LaCoe says:

      I hope the nuts that are after the trucking Co.for enforcing safety are as lucky as we were to stop an 18 wheeler, loaded with gravel, with our pickup in 1971. The EPA and FDA should be testing the air and water in DC to find and eliminate the poison that turns human brains to horse sh**. I am so angry I can not think nor type. Please excuse the rant, but Me, my wife and 3 girls were almost killed by a rig, and we still get very nervous when one is following us too closely.

      • anthony says:

        I thought the case was about drivers who worked for O D, that had self reported, meaning they went to their company to seek help for a problem. They were accident/incident free at their jobs, and sought help through their company. The EEOC is a BS government entity, but OD has alot of alcoholic that will not seek help through their company now. I see OD point as to safety, then they should do away with those open door policies.

    17. Flyover Country says:

      Let me make sure I have this correct. A self-reported alcoholic should be referred for treatment and then returned to his position driving a 80,000 lb vehicle. The company now knows the driver has an alcohol abuse problem and returns him/her to the road.

      Then the plaintiffs bar sues the company for a $gazillion because they knowingly put an alcoholic behind the wheel of a 80,000 lb vehicle and ran over a young couple and their 3 cute little children.

      Is there something I am missing here?

      • Breglad says:

        Do ya think that the EEOC could be sued as a "Facilitator" for the relapsed alcoholic who kills someone with his rig?

    18. conservativemom says:

      I can only assume that the government is going to pay all court costs and settlements to the families of any persons killed or injured by the "drunk" driver when the invevitable happens.

      • cbgplans says:

        Actually, it will be us tax paying fools who foot the bill………………..but I'm sure you know that.

      • davo says:

        NO, the trucking Company is still Responable for any loss of life, injury and damage that that the drunk driver that they can not fire causes. Insane!

      • joyce mccraw says:

        No.they will just conveniently pass that on to you & me-the taxpayer.

    19. mintycrys says:

      Whether or not alcoholism is classified as a disability has no bearing whatsoever on the classification of the absence of alcoholism as a BFOQ with regards to a trucking job. It's as simple as that.

    20. PPP says:

      Does that go for pilots than? Or ambulance drivers?

    21. mediazorba says:

      This makes me feel so safe on the road…..I'm already terrified of the big rigs, and this doesn't help any….So this is where the "alcoholism is a disease" has led us… Why isn't smoking a disease? How can they just pick and choose which addiction is a disease and which is not? Somehow, the thought of "Big Brother" watching over me is not very comforting….

    22. Mike Mahy says:

      Change your headline from from truck driver to commercial airline pilot, navy carrier pilot, nuclear control room operator, air traffic controller, nuclear missle silo operator, etc and see how you would view the same story.

      • anthony says:

        those people are the biggest addicts around. The only difference is that you barely hear about them and their problems, but anything to do with a truck gets magnfied.

      • Bill says:

        How about we change the headline to.
        "You Cannot Alcoholics who happen to be Drivers when they aren't drinking"
        He was never drunk or intoxicated behind the wheel. Stop acting like he was.

    23. bill says:

      yes it would because it all under the federal department of transpotation

    24. pilgrim says:

      Well, at least our airlines are safe. Surely the law wouldn't apply to airlines, would it?

      • Bill says:

        Airlines have tougher standards, you get diagnosised with alchoalism at 18. Doesn't matter if your sober for fifty years. You will never fly a comerical arliner.

    25. Al-Ozarka says:

      Judging by Federal actions like the raids against Gibson Guitars, I'd be willing to bet that the owner of this trucking company is a large GOP contributor.

    26. cheeflo says:

      Harrison Bergeron turns out not to be a fantasy.

    27. Disband EEOC says:

      What an outrage. The EEOC and ADA should be disbanded. Do we really need those in gov't offices who couldn't hold a real job telling an employer who to put behind the wheel?

    28. GWBush says:

      Miss me yet?

    29. J Miller says:

      This is just another example of the brainless rules that government makes. Let's fire the whole bunch in Washington come election day.

    30. olderandwiser1 says:

      Decades ago when I was employed in the labor relations department of an airline we were forced to retain alcoholic pilots, so this is really nothing new. And yes, I have met pilots who flew passenger aircraft while intoxicated, one while in an alcoholic blackout (NYC to Paris, Pan Am, circa 1975).

    31. SMB says:

      Kind of reminds me of convicted sex offenders babysitting kids based on an "honor system". What is happening to this country?

    32. CJean says:

      But Muslim taxi drives can refuse fares who are carrying alcohol. What country are we living in?

    33. sonya says:

      What about blind people? They also covered by ADA. Can they drive?

      • creativebobbo says:

        Judging from what I see on the road they do!

      • Bobbie says:

        I was just thinking of that! It's like not the choice of a person to be blind yet they're discriminated against the ability to drive in public traffic for public safety reasons yet an alcoholic becomes one by the choices he makes that brings him to become.

    34. Drew fm Downey says:

      Another reason why I dislike GHWB!

    35. Doni609 says:

      Does this apply to our airline pilots as well? We should all have such confidence when we take our families out on the highways or board an airliner for our vacation. This worthless government of ours is in much need of repair.

    36. Will Power says:

      So, when a driver has a lapse and causes death or damage, who gets sued? Old Dominion?

    37. Greg says:

      ODFL would be routinely instructed by it's insurance carrier to terminate any drivers with DUI convictions, or lose it's coverage. If replacement coverage could be found, either through the normal insurance market or a government substitute, premium cost would be prohibitive.

      The effect would be to drive the company out of business.

    38. JCM1776 says:

      So the EOC is ordering Old Dominion to violate commercial driving regulations.

      Medical Advisory Criteria for Evaluation Under 49CFRPart391.41

      391.41(b)(13)

      A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person:

      Has no current clinical diagnosis of alcoholism.

    39. Greg says:

      ODFL would be routinely instructed by it's insurance carrier to terminate any drivers with DUI convictions, or lose it's coverage. If replacement coverage could be found, either through the normal insurance market or a government substitute, premium cost would be prohibitive.

    40. LizardLips says:

      When everyone is guilty of somethng then no one is guilty of anything.

    41. maryo says:

      Recently in North Carolina, a tractor-trailer driver with a long history of alcohol abuse plowed into and killed the occupants of three cars. Allowing more drunks on the road in these huge trucks will help to control the population and therefore reduce the costs of Obamacare. Mission accomplished!

    42. Wayne says:

      Does this go for the police the under cover cops that have to take Drugs or have some drink's to make a bust. ??

    43. votem all out says:

      How is alcoholism a disability? it is self induced. Does he also get a handicap parking permit …. there is no longer any common sense in this world…

    44. joe says:

      So if I'm a known alcoholic, does that prevent the cops from giving me a DWI?
      After all they don't ticket others because of their disability.

      Can't wait til someone tries this line of reasoning….

    45. MTSNJ says:

      then pull em over and ticket them until they loose their CDL

    46. Dick says:

      Surely relevant pieces of info are missing here. Why would the guy self report if he knew he was going to get fired unless to get a test case going with the EEOC? And if the company found him driving while impaired would that be different? Does the company have a written policy on this which the guy was aware of? Did they goad him into reporting to get rid of a trouble maker? To the extent that self reporting happens in the industry, will this incident drive all such folks back underground? Maybe EEOC should be suing DOT and not the company?

    47. JR Parsons says:

      What? Such lunacy on the part of our noble government? Perish the thought! Methinks somebody at the EEOC may have had a few too many martinis at lunch.

      Strained efforts at humor, aside, this is going to have a significant effect on the trucking/logistics industries. There will be no way carriers can absorb the escalating costs of insurance this is going to lead to without significantly raising rates and that's going to drive up the costs of EVERYTHING we buy at the store. Drunks driving trucks are one thing, but what about these drunks (drunk on power) running the government?

    48. This is one of the most ridiculous, blantantly dangerous, & completely idiotic lawsuits to come out of Washington in years! I am an insurance agent that specializes in writing insurance programs for trucking industry and this is completely insane! If they were to put one of these guys back on the road and he were to have an accident that hurt someone…at fault or not…sober or not…it DOES NOT matter…one of these guys, whether you believe it or not, is completely uninsurable! The reason being is they CAN NOT be defended in a court of law…they will lose everytime…period!

    49. Richard Wise says:

      I suggest that when a law suit incurs involving injuries and or death, the burden be placed on the idiot's that forced the trucking Co. to employ the so called voluntary induced diseased drunk.
      It sounds like the government officials are also diseased… Birds of a feather.

    50. Bobbie says:

      and the intellect of the private sector rises above once again for protection and safety of the public.

      when it comes to personal behavior of habits and the public safety of anyone and lost trust of that behavior, it's best to handle the problem to avoid all potential consequences regarding public safety. No one can control any one's personal behavior so rules are applied and expected to be followed by those hired. Reprimand by the business is the responsibility of the business to correct behavioral problems that effect terms of the business and society. Federal government role to protect violators? to defend irresponsible behavior? To intrude?

      This is a private business that's responsible for public safety a civilized government wouldn't consider opposition to with no involvement in the first place but appreciation of the private sector business, to recognize further assurance in public safety.

    51. rowdymissourigirl says:

      Actually with the new DOT mandates, the EEOC has put Old Dominion in direct violation of the New FMCSA rules. It will directly affect Old Dominion's safety rating, leading to higher insurance rates and possibly forcing them to close their doors. This is so typical of progressives/marxists using regulations and mandates to destroy business and freedom in this nation. This also does not address the unfortunate, innocent people who are killed, disfigured or lives destroyed because a drunk was too irresponsible and selfish demanding they continue to exercise their rights, without regard or conscience of others!

    52. Neal R says:

      Control could be using breath analyzer to test drivers every time they pull into a company terminal plus on departures. For on the road, put a breath analyzer in the truck so if testing positive, the truck won't start. If private trucks won't comply, disqualify the unit from hauling the companies freight.

    53. Flip says:

      I wonder if Old Dominion is a Union shop…bet it isn't….

    54. Minuteman Redux says:

      And the corollary is: You can't sue the federal government, even when they are the proximate cause of a fatal car-truck crash. Brilliant.
      I would love to be the trucking company's lawyer on this one. I'd break out every statement by every government official about the dangers of drunk driving. I'd make the federal government my key witness against the federal government.

    55. JIM says:

      When this driver has a wreck and kills someone, can the Federal Government be sued? I sure hope so, just like when an illegal alien is drunk and kills someone.

    56. Rick246 says:

      Why shouldn't drunks drive trucks, they are running Washington? Please note this driver was not picked up or stopped by the police. He recognized his problem and sought help.

    57. Greg says:

      Since Congress is looking for places to cut spending, may I suggest the EEOC's budget? If they have the money and resources to file idiotic lawsuits like this one, they clearly have too much time and money on their hands.

    58. Gary says:

      Do we have our heads up our collective asses? Think of the potential liability involved if a driver is drunk and has an accident, and then it comes to light that the company knowingly hired him (or her) despite knowing they were alcoholic!

      People who are blind, deaf, crippled, etc. are not that way by choice and cannot do much about it – they are truly disabled and deserved some breaks to help them overcome their disadvantage. My wife is a counselor and I know addictions can be very powerful; however, these people have choices that the truly handicapped do not. At some point they had the choice to put down the bottle, and I don't think they should get the same consideration for being "disabled". Knowingly hiring alcoholics to operate vehicles or machinery is playing with fire. If the government is going to force companies to do this, then they should accept the company's liability for taking on such an individual!

      • Bobbie says:

        then the government would raise our taxes to cover their 'liabilities." Can they somehow be sued in civil court for intrusion on responsibility effecting public safety? they have lots of angles covered using abuse of their authority making it so America can't recover…

    59. val says:

      Then the creeps that are filing this stupid case that you (a company paying the insurance) cannot fire Alcoholic Drivers. These reeps Should be made Legally Responsible on their Personal level. I bet they would say no way. So how can they put companies trying to avoid a problem be forced to keep on DRUNKS. Is everyone in the Federal government doing coke? What the hell is wrong with them?

    60. Uno Hu says:

      The people of the United States voted into office the representatives and senators that passed the laws and established and fund the agencies that make our wonderful government go. I am dismayed at the complaining I read above, because one would assume with the number of incumbent representatives (every two years) and senators (every six years) that are routinely re-elected to their govenrment sinecure, everything is just dandy and "folks" are happy with the way their government is run. IF YOU'RE NOT, VOTE SOMEBODY . . . ANYBODY. . . OUT OF OFFICE and send a new jackass (no party reference here, just a metaphorical one) to Washington (or your state capital). People get the kind of government they deserve!

    61. olemike says:

      Has the world gone mad?

    62. RSweeney says:

      Sounds like an ideal driver for the new White House bus.

    63. Doug says:

      So a blind man walks into the trucking company and applies for a driving job. What happens? The lawyers are ecstatic cuz evybody gon' git sued! The trucking company gets sued for discrimination for not hiring blind people to drive. The government gets sued for noncompliance with it own ADA laws regarding discrimination because they would not issue a blind person a drivers license. "This town needs an enema!" –The Joker.

    64. Will says:

      When the first person gets killed by a drunk truck driver, is the taxpayer on the hook for damages because the government compelled the company to keep the driver on the road?

    65. Jamie says:

      Not sure who actually reads these articles. Not once did it say the guy actually drove drunk… only that he admitted to problems with alcohol. I'm okay with random drug/alcohol tests (public safety is concerned here) or the breathing machines for driving. However, the companies own rules allows for a chance to go to treatment and the guy accepted and was planning to go before the demotion and eventual firing. Unfortunately, like it or not they are kinda out on a limb because they backed out of their own policy on the matter where treatment is concerned. Regardless, I reiterate that they never mention the guy drove drunk.

    66. Disgusted says:

      I think we should take all of these alcoholic drivers and make them the chauffeurs of the idiots who make these stupid laws. Better yet, why not hire them to drive the school buses their children or grandchildren ride to school? I wonder if they would have a change of heart then! Classifying alcoholism as a disabilty is truly an insult to people with REAL disabilities. The woman at the EEOC said that Dominion could comply by hiring another driver to always ride with him to make sure he isn't drinking and a "monitor" type person at the office to keep tabs. The idiocy of that statement is impossible to fathom. I think this woman must have some mental disabilities of her own. The more I learn about our stupid government the more I feel like I'm taking a trip down the rabbit hole.

    67. Michael F. Gray says:

      When you consider the leader of the Federal Government, and how screwed up it's become during his tenure, …it's not surprising. In fact only a lawyer with no common sense, nor concern for the motoring public could reach such a conclussion. I'm not opposed to treatment, but how about protection for us poor ole taxpayers?

    68. Carl says:

      First of all, I want to say emphatically that I would NEVER want the driver of ANY vehicle to drive in an impaired condition! But what we have here are a lot of people who presume that the driver will be guilty of a DUI in the future, even though he has worked for the company for five years without incident. People who want to continue drinking do not report themselves and participate in treatment – they stay silent and keep drinking. The EEOC is right to say "an employer can both ensure safety and comply with the ADA," as are other posters who mention using breathalyzers to prevent access by truckers under the influence. That does have a cost, but it greatly reduces the chances of accidents by DUI truckers (which should in theory reduce insurance costs). Alcoholism is a very tough addiction to beat, but people DO beat it long-term if they take the proper steps!

    69. Matt says:

      I work for this company and we do all we can to insure the safety of our drivers and the public. This suit is disgusting. Doesn't the goverment have something better to do like trying to create jobs and not punishing companies who are creating jobs???

    70. TruckingBiker says:

      You can't punish someone for something they haven't done yet. An Alcoholic does not a DUI make. When he fails a random breath test then you can take his livelihood.

    71. Michael says:

      what happens if this driver gets into an serious accident??? the company is screwed wether he was drinking or not because the victim will say this person should not be behind the whell of a commercial tractor. The company should be allowed to protect itself and the public in these instances.

    72. John Wayne says:

      That law suit is EXACTLY why the government has no business telling private industry what they can do! I wonder who will assume the liability for that drunk when he finally kills or maims someone else while driving the company truck? We are governed by idiots!

    73. Rusty says:

      Why do we need laws like this??? I have been drinking & driving for years. With a little commonsense you can do both, NOT at the same time!!!! I wonder how much money the Gov. spent while coming up with this??

    74. Don DeHoff says:

      I don't know the exact wording of the law, but it is obvious that it lacks coherence. Surely a worker who loses his eyesight, arm or leg, or has episodes of passing out, can not safely drive a "big rig" wherein many people could get killed. Those are issues over which the driver has little or no control and which should result in their license revocation. Well, alcohol presents similiar safety issues. I suspect a company could be held equally responsible for such accidents, including known alcohol issues. It appears the law needs to be amended immediately, In the intrim we should include those law-makers and judges in any financial payouts.—for being co-conspirators in "assininity"

    75. Digger says:

      Yes, same thing has happened at the airlines. Drunk pilots are returned to the cockpit. It's a world gone mad.

    76. Our Taxpayers money at work. We must ban cell phones, but keep drunks on the road. Brilliant Washington.

    77. andrew says:

      I have found an useful information related truck freight companies.As it provides all necessary information related to freight trucking.Checkout out this information for more details and knowledge about trucking and truck freight companies.

    78. emma traylor says:

      hello my husband had to accidents with ups freight, he was told that if he had another accident he would be fired my husband recieve a speeding ticket and ups fired him my husband got and lawyer because he was in the state of indiana and was told they target truckers now they are trying to give him and appeal they said 3 accidents not two

    79. dan kestle says:

      <Outrageous! As a professional truck driver with a national company, I am adamantly opposed to alcoholic drivers being given free reign to continue driving. I believe alcoholics and addicts can achieve sobriety, but the disease is never cured.>

      With all the regulations regarding sleep apnea, Hours of service, and myriad other details required by DOT to obtain and retain a CDL, how on earth can this be justified. EEOC and any company subjected to compliance under this ruling is wide open for massive lawsuits the first time a driver hits and/or kills someone while DUI. This is ludicrous to even be considered. Driving an 18 wheeler is a tremendous responsibility and should never be approached with such disdain and disregard for the motoring public. We must constantly be vigil against the failures and lack of diligence by those traveling around us and an impaired driver can't respond quickly or appropriately in an emergency while maintaining control of an 80,000 pound missile.

      To Kim T. I am a former truck driver and if you put many miles on in your profession, a Toyota Camry is just as much a missile as a 100,000 lb truck when striking an innocent child.. You paint all truck drivers as Saints and experts on addiction. "I believe alcoholics and addicts can achieve sobriety, but the disease is never cured." Never being cured, means that there is that possibility that the dependent is always subject to relapse. Let's have an honest discussion here. Alcohol is not the sole problem. What about narcotic prescription pain meds, marijuana, barbiturates, cocaine and many others. If a driver is pulled over for a driving infraction, it's always a presumption of alcohol and out comes the (PASD, PBT, etc.) I am certainly not an advocate of driving impaired. However. I and, you, if were all honest with yourselves have seen friends, relatives, friends of friends that you KNOW of are aware of is impaired on a substance that is not detectable on the breathalyzer. The Breathalyzer measures the percentage of (LEGAL) alcohol present in your bloodstream. With all of our amazing technology, why can't these devices be manufactured to measure (ILLEGAL) substances also. I have seen people stopped and swore that they would fail the alcohol breathalyzer, yet see them walk away unscathed. As I said before, it is not the size of the vehicle that kills, it is the the impaired driver. It is also widespread knowledge that Long Haul Drivers (Not the Majority) notoriously use medications to fight fatigue, especially when they are being paid by the mile. So, after this long rant, I don't necessarily disagree with this post. There is just a LOT more that needs to be done to have safer Roads and Highways.

    80. Bobert says:

      Can a new employer deny if you have sleep apnea, and you are being treated for it. What if you are new to the truck industry and you just got your liscense?

    81. dvanhelden says:

      I agree with this law. Alcoholism is a disease where employers can't discriminate against. If someone like a truck driver has a problem and wants help the more power to him. Alcoholics and drug addicts have made mistakes just like everyone else. When they are responsible and do everything they can to stay sober people should respect them for what they accomplished and who they are as people not alcoholics.

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