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  • Prohibition of prescription meds

    I have noticed that as of about a year ago BNSF came out with a list of medications that cannot be taken within certain time limits of going on duty. I have railroaded over 12 years taking one of them without injury, issues or unusual fatigue. I rarely ever laid off. I applied for a Conductor position with BNSF, was given a conditional offer, then had it rescinded after they learned of my medication. I have taken this medication at a low dose for over 30 years with no issues.

    This seems like blantant discrimination. D9es anyone have any knowledge of this fairly new rule? Has anyone successfully challenged it? The one top notch labor/discrimination attorney I spoke with thinks it is very winnable, but charges $350 an hour period. I am inclined to educate myself on this issue before I pursue anything. Anyone have any insight or info on this? Thanks

  • #2
    As far as I know BNSF's list of meds is not a federally mandated list of prohibited substances, so given the fact they are requiring a person to be off the meds for 8 hours yet they provide no consistent predictability with lineups, I would think they would be very vulnerable to a lawsuit. I'm not a lawyer, but the company preaches safety but then fails to take fatigue and crew lineups seriously, they just post pretty pictures and videos about the subject online (how to sleep and eat well) and call it good.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Yardbirdjack View Post
      I have noticed that as of about a year ago BNSF came out with a list of medications that cannot be taken within certain time limits of going on duty. I have railroaded over 12 years taking one of them without injury, issues or unusual fatigue. I rarely ever laid off. I applied for a Conductor position with BNSF, was given a conditional offer, then had it rescinded after they learned of my medication. I have taken this medication at a low dose for over 30 years with no issues.

      This seems like blantant discrimination. D9es anyone have any knowledge of this fairly new rule? Has anyone successfully challenged it? The one top notch labor/discrimination attorney I spoke with thinks it is very winnable, but charges $350 an hour period. I am inclined to educate myself on this issue before I pursue anything. Anyone have any insight or info on this? Thanks
      You'd probably go broke before you could get out of the gate toward a trial or settlement.
      If you haven't already, please see this thread in the BNSF Forum concerning this matter:

      https://www.yardlimits.com/forum/on-duty-log-in-to-view/bnsf-railway/643873-bnsf-medical-restrictions-2017-10
      Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

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      • #4
        Regarding an attorney......get a proper FELA attorney....they won't take the case if it ain't winnable and they won't require you to pay if they are willing to take the case. Only when you win do they get a cut (limited to 25% typically) of your award. But as nsrlink says above....it may not be all that winnable......plenty of public law indicating that policy is policy and we can't do squat about it. That's us on the inside...someone on the outside has a very uphill climb.......
        si hoc non legere potes tu asinus es!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
          Regarding an attorney......get a proper FELA attorney....they won't take the case if it ain't winnable and they won't require you to pay if they are willing to take the case. Only when you win do they get a cut (limited to 25% typically) of your award. But as nsrlink says above....it may not be all that winnable......plenty of public law indicating that policy is policy and we can't do squat about it. That's us on the inside...someone on the outside has a very uphill climb.......
          Even if your case is winnable, if the lawyer feels there is not enough money in it to make it worth his time, he will not take the case.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
            Regarding an attorney......get a proper FELA attorney....they won't take the case if it ain't winnable and they won't require you to pay if they are willing to take the case. Only when you win do they get a cut (limited to 25% typically) of your award. But as nsrlink says above....it may not be all that winnable......plenty of public law indicating that policy is policy and we can't do squat about it. That's us on the inside...someone on the outside has a very uphill climb.......
            Uh, itís not a FELA case. He is not even an employee of the firm he wants to make a claim against. If anything, itís an ADA employment discrimination case. One that he has infinitesimal chance of prevailing on, in my non-lawyer and donít play one on TV opinion.
            ---

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Xpress View Post

              Uh, itís not a FELA case. He is not even an employee of the firm he wants to make a claim against. If anything, itís an ADA employment discrimination case. One that he has infinitesimal chance of prevailing on, in my non-lawyer and donít play one on TV opinion.
              Erm.....did I not say this is an uphill climb?......but most FELA attorneys will take a non FELA case if he sees something in it. For most (but not all) the providers are practicing in all areas of tort law. But I do agree....this may not be litigable...just pointing the OP to a potential good way to go...or the way that might have at least chance of a fart in a windstorm.
              si hoc non legere potes tu asinus es!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
                Regarding an attorney......get a proper FELA attorney....they won't take the case if it ain't winnable and they won't require you to pay if they are willing to take the case. Only when you win do they get a cut (limited to 25% typically) of your award.
                You did a great job of saying that the rules that bind attorneys who agree to take FELA injury cases on a 25% contingency basis would carry over to other areas of their practice such as employment discrimination.
                ---

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Xpress View Post

                  You did a great job of saying that the rules that bind attorneys who agree to take FELA injury cases on a 25% contingency basis would carry over to other areas of their practice such as employment discrimination.
                  Well, I don't know that they do....but it would be nice....but contingency is always the way to go regardless....for if no one will take it on that basis...you know your case is feeble...or will bankrupt you to prove merit.
                  si hoc non legere potes tu asinus es!

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the feedback guys. I going to look for an attorney that will take the case completely on percentage. I need to get moving on that, but thanks for the input. Iíll let you all know what happens.

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