Pilots Fighting Back!
June of 2020 I wrote a post warning pilots of the issues in the HIMS program (pilot alcohol program), primarily due to the use of a Dry Blood Spot PEth test and the history of false positives, that have been used specifically by airlines to destroy pilots' lives, despite the fact that they did not drink. Union contracts that allow for termination if they "test positive" not if they actually drank.
"PEth is a group of phospholipids formed in cell membranes by an enzymatic reaction between ethanol and phosphatidylcholine." PEth testing is used to determine if a person drank alcohol in the previous 10-14 days. There is a preponderance of reasons that PEth can be identified in the blood, even if the person did not drink. Despite known false positives, pilots are losing their careers, and others are losing their lives. PEth is not an FDA approved test. Yet the FAA allows airlines to use this to test pilots. Can you see the problem?
In January 2022 I brought to light that pilots were being accused of drinking when they didn't. Under the Railway Labor Act, pilots are forced into arbitrations where arbitrators are paid by the very same management who is using the program to remove pilots they want to get rid of. A dynamic female captain, who received a false positive, has been fighting hard to change the program to what it should be: Help those who are alcoholics. Another pilot who lost his job due to a false positive has not given up his pursuit of fixing this problem either. He holds more knowledge on the subject of PEth than anyone I know. These two make an incredible team in fighting for justice, and today was a huge success.
Today a lawsuit was filed against:
United States Drug Testing Laboratories, Inc.
"United States Drug Testing Laboratories, Inc. (“USDTL”) is a for profit Illinois corporation with its principal place of business is in Illinois. USDTL is a business-to-business specimen testing laboratory that does substantial business with, and depends on more than 50 partners or clients, in Florida."
USDTL does not reasonably:
a. provide any training to donors on how to provide samples;
b. oversee a donor’s provision of samples;
c. have a system or process in place to ascertain whether a donor has received any training at all;
d. provide any training to collectors-observers on how to observe donors to ensure collection protocol is complied with;
e. have a system or process in place to ascertain that retrieval, storage, packaging, and shipment of samples back to USDTL is done in compliance with USDTL instructions or protocol;
f. have a system or process in place to ascertain whether a collector-observer has any training at all.”
"Drug Testing is a Profit Center. The defendants know drug/alcohol testing is a “profit center.” “Drug Testing, the Technology of Recovery for Professional Health Monitoring Programs” on their website. They do commercial DBS PEth testing to generate profit."
"No other laboratories do commercial DBS PEth testing."
Lewis, their “lab guy” says he doesn’t “deal with people”, but he “steals ideas” he doesn’t come up with them on his own. He looks to other’s research and tries to “weasel them into our work.”