Jan 232011
 
 January 23, 2011  Court, Workplace

John Wesley Hall of FourthAmendment.com does not agree with the court’s decision in Mollo v. Passaic Valley Sewerage Comm’rs. From the unpublished opinion:

Here, PVSC demonstrated that Mollo was aware of the safety concerns inherent in work at its treatment plant and, as an entity, PVSC clearly satisfies PBA Local 304‘s alternative criterion of a “long tradition of close government supervision.” 151 N.J. at 545 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Taking these facts together, Mollo had a diminished expectation of privacy. His duties, though those of a self-described “weed-whacker,” were safety-sensitive: they either required, or could have required, that he engage in tasks—such as the operation of machinery in dangerous places and the use of tools meant to detect whether he and other workers safely could enter certain, possibly dangerous, airspaces—the discharge of which were fraught with risks of serious injury.

John points to the Supreme Court decision in  Von Raab, and says that if they  could differentiate gun-carrying employees from others, why can’t a sewage facility employee who is only handling a “weed wacker” be differentiated from other employees in terms of need for drug-testing?

I see his point.

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