|Do you know a FAA cabin crew member or an aviation maintenance technician who has failed a pre-employment or random drug test? |
Our comprehensive guide explains how the DOT SAP return-to-duty program helps FAA employees return to work safely after a failed test result and answers your most commonly asked questions.👇
If you’re worried you may lose your job, your reputation, and possibly face legal consequences, we created this comprehensive DOT SAP return-to-duty program guide to explain each step in the process, specifically for cabin crew and aviation maintenance technicians. ✈️
|In a rush? 🚀 Just click the link below to jump to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section! ⬇️|
Do Cabin Crew and Aviation Maintenance Technicians Get Drug Tested?
Yes, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) crew members are expected to perform safety-sensitive services with the highest level of professionalism under stressful and demanding circumstances.
It’s not difficult to imagine an FAA employee allowing a momentary lapse in judgment to impact their career as well as the safety of those around them.
Here’s what can lead to this process:
Circumstances Triggering the Return to Duty Process for Cabin Crew and Aviation Maintenance Technicians
1. Positive Drug or Alcohol Test: If an FAA employee’s drug or alcohol test comes back positive, they must complete DOT SAP return-to-duty process before resuming safety-sensitive functions.
2. Refusal to Test: Refusing a FAA required drug test, under any circumstance, is treated as a policy violation. Do NOT refuse a drug test when required; however, you should inform your union representative of the cirucmstances.
3. Violation of Drug or Alcohol Regulations: Any infringement of FAA’s drug and alcohol regulations, whether or not it involves testing, could activate the need for this process.
All these circumstances converge on a singular goal: promoting the public safety in aviation.
SAP Return To Work Program for Cabin Crew and Aviation Maintenance Technicians
Embarking on the DOT SAP return-to-duty process can seem daunting, but understanding each step can provide clarity and ease apprehensions.
Here’s a breakdown of what FAA employees can expect:
Guide to the SAP Return To Work Program for Cabin Crew and Aviation Maintenance Technician
1. Initial Evaluation: A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) conducts an initial evaluation to understand the extent of the employee’s substance misuse.
2. Recommendations: Based on this assessment, the SAP recommends education and/or treatment.
3. Compliance: The employee must comply with these recommendations to move forward in the process.
4. Follow-Up Evaluation: Upon completion of the recommended course, the SAP performs a follow-up evaluation.
5. SAP Report: If the SAP is satisfied with the employee’s progress, they prepare a report detailing the employee’s compliance and readiness to return to duty.
6. Return to Duty Testing: Before resuming safety-sensitive functions, the employee must undergo a return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol test with a negative result.
7. Follow-Up Testing Plan: The SAP devises a testing plan for the employee, involving unannounced follow-up tests for a period determined by the SAP.
Remember, each step is designed to ensure that FAA employees can return to their roles safely, protecting themselves, their coworkers, and the public.
How to Choose a SAP Counselor?
Selecting a competent Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a crucial step in the DOT SAP return-to-duty process.
A SAP holds the responsibility of guiding FAA employees through their recovery journey and ensuring they’re ready to return to their safety-sensitive duties.
What to Look for in a Substance Abuse Professional?
1. Certification and Training: A SAP must be DOT certified and have undergone the necessary training according to DOT regulations. They should understand the complexities of the aviation industry and be familiar with FAA regulations.
2. Experience: Look for a SAP with a track record in the field. Experience working with FAA employees and dealing with substance abuse issues in the aviation industry is invaluable.
3. Approach: Choose a SAP who employs a patient-centered approach. Each person’s journey with substance misuse is unique, and the SAP should be prepared to tailor their treatment plan to the individual’s needs.
What Is Follow-Up Testing?
After successfully completing the return-to-duty process and resuming safety-sensitive duties, FAA employees aren’t quite finished.
Follow-up testing is an essential part of maintaining a safe workplace post-recovery.
Purpose and Process of Follow-Up Testing
- Maintaining Safety: Follow-up tests are conducted to ensure that the employee remains drug and alcohol-free, thereby preserving the safety of the aviation environment.
- Unannounced and Random: These tests are unannounced and can take place at any time during work hours.
- Duration: The duration of follow-up testing is determined by the SAP but can extend up to five years.
Follow-up testing might seem intrusive, but it plays a crucial role in helping employees stay on track and maintain safety in the workplace.
What Happens If You Don’t Complete the SAP Return to Work Program?
Choosing not to complete or failing to comply with the return-to-duty process carries significant negative implications for FAA employees.
Consequences of Non-Compliance
- Employment: Employees will not be permitted to perform safety-sensitive functions until they successfully complete the process.
- Career Impact: Non-compliance might influence the employee’s standing in the aviation industry and affect future career opportunities.
- Legal Implications: Violating DOT regulations could potentially lead to legal consequences.
The return-to-duty program is not just a Federal Aviation Regulation for cabin crew and aviation maintenance technicians—it’s an essential part of ensuring safety in the aviation industry and preserving the long-term health and wellbeing of FAA employees.
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a $90,000 civil penalty against Woods Aviation for alleged drug and alcohol testing violations.”faa.gov/newsroom
How Much Does the DOT SAP Program Cost?
When embarking on the DOT SAP return-to-duty program, FAA employees need to be aware of the potential costs involved.
Breakdown of Potential Costs
- SAP Services: SAP evaluations and follow-up services usually come at a cost that the employee is typically responsible for covering.
- Treatment/Education Programs: The SAP may recommend treatment or education programs, which may also involve additional costs.
- Follow-Up Testing: Follow-up testing costs may be the responsibility of the employer or employee, depending on company policy and labor agreements.
Keep in mind that these costs can vary widely based on individual circumstances and specific SAP providers and some employers may offer an EAP program to offset costs.
Is the SAP Return To Work Program Confidential?
Confidentiality is a critical component of the DOT SAP return-to-duty process.
FAA employees can rest assured that their privacy is respected throughout the DOT SAP process.
- SAP Evaluations: SAP evaluations are confidential, and the specific details of these evaluations are not disclosed to the employer.
- Treatment Information: Information related to any recommended treatment or education programs is kept confidential.
- Follow-Up Testing: While the results of follow-up tests are reported to the employer, the specific details of the testing process remain confidential.
The DOT and FAA are committed to ensuring the privacy of employees throughout the SAP return-to-duty program, maintaining a balance between individual rights and the need to ensure public safety in the aviation industry.
Frequently Asked Questions 🙋♂️
Is a CJO flight attendant eligible for the SAP return-to-duty program?
Yes, flight attendants are considered to hold safety-sensitive positions under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within the Department of Transportation (DOT) and are subject to the same DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations and programs as other safety-sensitive employees.
If an airline pilot violates DOT drug and alcohol regulations, who must approve their return to duty?
For pilots, even if a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) believes they are ready to return to duty, the SAP cannot return a pilot to duty without the prior approval of the FAA’s Federal Air Surgeon.
How long does the DOT return-to-duty process take for flight crew members?
It depends on the treatment plan your SAP recommends and how well you comply with it. Typically, the process takes between a few weeks and a few months.
How much does the DOT SAP return-to-duty process cost for flight crew members?
SAP fees vary based on the evaluation and treatment plan but typically around $500.
In some cases, your workplace’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) may cover SAP fees. In other cases, you will need to pay. Health insurance typically does not cover SAP assessments or follow-up appointments.
What is the SAP return-to-duty program?
The DOT SAP return-to-duty program is a series of steps an FAA employee must follow after a violation of the DOT drug and alcohol regulations. It includes an initial evaluation, treatment and education programs, a return-to-duty test, and follow-up testing.
What happens if I do not complete the DOT SAP return-to-duty program?
Employees who do not complete the DOT SAP return-to-duty program cannot perform safety-sensitive functions. It will impact your career opportunities and possibly lead to legal consequences.
Is there a free DOT SAP program for active-duty flight attendants or CJO flight attendants?
No, the DOT SAP return-to-duty program involves professional evaluation, education, and treatment services, which entail costs, although typically around $500. DOT qualified SAP services are regulated and overseen by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure quality and compliance.
Is there a DOT SAP program near me?
To find a DOT SAP program near you, you can use a DOT qualifed Subtance Abuse Professional locator tool. SapList can help you find certified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) within driving distance using your local zip code.
What is the typical SAP return to duty process cost?
The national SAP evaluation process average cost is between $400 to $500 with drug tests averaging between $30 to $60 dollars each.
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