If you’re an airline employee under mandate to take a drug test, you best leave your Whizzinator at home. Effective 1 November, the US DOT will require airlines to “directly observe” employee urination in certain instances, such as when an employee returns to duty or requires a follow-up test.
Let’s just call these observers the prosthetic penis police (PPP). Because that’s what they’re on the look-out for – folks who are trying to cheat the system by using an arsenal of devices (such as the Whizzinator) to hold someone else’s urine and outsmart the system. Yes, there are devices for the ladies too (phew, for a moment there RWG was sounding slightly sexist).
The PPP’s job description requires good eyesight and a deep awareness of the difference between real and plastic. The observer “must request the employee to raise his or her shirt, blouse, or dress/skirt, as appropriate, above the waist; and lower clothing and underpants to show you, by turning around, that they do not have a prosthetic device. After you have determined that the employee does not have such a device, you may permit the employee to return clothing to its proper position for observed urination…”
Airlines big and small are outraged over this new regulation. In a joint filing with the US DOT, the Air Transport Association of America and the Regional Airline Association point out that there are no data to confirm that prosthetic devices are widely used within the transportation industry; the only data provided indicated that such devices are widely available (that’s for certain).
“Several airlines indicate that they could lose highly qualified and completely innocent employees due to the intrusive nature of the new mandate – they will simply quit rather than be subjected to a procedure that borders on harassment”, says Regional Airline Association VP Scott Foose.
Bare with me, or rather, bear with me as I state the obvious here. Couldn’t this all get rather litigious? Who observes the observer whilst he or she is observing? Cue the debate for video cameras in the observation booth, aka the toilet.
(Photo above of Emirates A380 toilet…you didn’t think it was a domestic carrier, did you?)