Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You're Fired! But not yet...

When one of our employees ends up in hot water for a serious crime, the first thing we hear is “Why didn’t you can that employee on the spot?” Well, I went to our lawyers and asked that very same question and they fired me! (Joking) They graciously agreed to write a blog post. It kind of makes me feel bad about telling lawyer jokes at a party last night. (I’m kidding, I’m kidding…) Many thanks goes out to the TSA legal team for all they have done for our blog! ~ Blogger Bob

From our Lawyers:

Our Blog readers have asked why TSA simply does not fire an employee “on the spot” when the employee is arrested for a serious crime. Here is a general answer to that question.

Like other Federal employees, TSA employees who have completed a trial period (or probationary period, if applicable) are entitled to certain procedural safeguards and due process prior to removal from their government position.

The procedural safeguards for TSA non-trial period employees are set forth in TSA’s policy on addressing unacceptable performance and conduct. Prior to being removed, an employee is entitled to receive written notice of the agency’s proposal to terminate their employment, entitled to review any and all evidence relied upon, and the employee must be given an opportunity to respond to the alleged misconduct, orally and/or in writing. This is the “due process” referenced above.

TSA must have sufficient factual information to propose an employee’s removal. Arrests are usually based on off-duty misconduct, and TSA will not likely have sufficient information/evidence to immediately initiate a removal, even if the arrest is based on a serious violation of law. TSA officials work closely with Federal, state and/or local law enforcement officials to gather all of the information necessary to take appropriate action. Once the information/evidence is gathered, the proposal to remove is issued and the employee generally has seven days to respond to the proposed removal.

An indefinite suspension is also an option available to TSA management when an employee has been arrested, there is more than a mere suspicion or allegation of misconduct, and management believes prompt action is necessary. An employee who is indefinitely suspended is not in the work place and does not receive pay during the indefinite suspension. In the interim, TSA decides how to address the misconduct.

By placing an employee who has been arrested for a serious crime on indefinite suspension, TSA can protect the security of other TSA employees and the traveling public while taking the time to effectively investigate the misconduct and provide the affected employee with his/her job related procedural safeguards.

In certain cases involving Transportation Security Officers (TSOs), TSA has special authorities, which enable us to act more quickly when TSOs engage in serious misconduct. Specifically, when there is clear evidence that TSOs have engaged in conduct involving theft, illegal drugs or alcohol use on duty, managers may issue what we refer to as a “one step” removal notice, which immediately terminates their employment. Similarly, when the agency becomes aware of allegations of TSOs engaging in serious misconduct but needs to gather additional information, a “one step” indefinite suspension may be used. In these “one step” actions, the employee is provided the opportunity to respond before the “one step” removal or “one-step” indefinite suspension is effected. This opportunity to respond is known as the “pre-decisional” provision under TSA policy and comports with due process requirements. The “one-step” concept allows management to effect the action immediately after the pre-decisional requirement is completed, if appropriate.

In most cases, the agency spokespeople cannot disclose exactly what disciplinary action, if any, is taken against an employee. This is because specific information concerning employees, including any disciplinary action taken, is protected by the Privacy Act, which often constrains us from disclosing the information. Even if we cannot tell the public these details, rest assured that TSA takes such issues very seriously and will take appropriate action to address any misconduct.

This has been a word from our TSA Lawyers.

107 comments:

Andy said...

Thank you for clearing this up for us

MarkVII said...

Thanks for the explanation. I figured that, as government employees, TSA personnel would have a lot of procedural protections.

However, there's a certain irony that a TSA person who's been arrested for a crime or charged with serious misconduct has due process rights, while the flying public does not.

-- A person can be put on the no-fly or selectee list with no prior notification, statement of the charges, or opportunity to confront their accuser. The only procedural protection (TRIP) is available only after the damage is done, and leaves the passenger defending themselves without knowledge of what they're defending against. (This is opposite of what I learned in Civics class in school.)

-- Any screener can prohibit any item at any time for any reason (or no reason), and the passenger has no effective recourse.

-- A passenger is subject to a variety of potential fines (my favorite being for "non-physical contact".) However, checkpoint personnel only seem to receive adverse action in the most egregious cases.

It seems there's one set of rules for the TSA folks and another set of rules for the passengers.

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

RB said...

I fail to understand how a TSO can bring a handgun to work and that not be considered a serious (firing) offense.

Or how a TSO can detain and interrogate a person and that not be a serious (firing) offense.

Or how any TSO who is not trained in drug identification can know that an item is a drug. If not trained then how did they gain the knowledge to identity such things. Personal use?

It seems that TSA's high standards are pretty low with respect to the rest of the world!

Anonymous said...

RB said...

"I fail to understand how a TSO can bring a handgun to work and that not be considered a serious (firing) offense.

Or how a TSO can detain and interrogate a person and that not be a serious (firing) offense.

Or how any TSO who is not trained in drug identification can know that an item is a drug. If not trained then how did they gain the knowledge to identity such things. Personal use?

It seems that TSA's high standards are pretty low with respect to the rest of the world!"

*******************8

Why do you assume the TSO involved in the incident involving the $4,700 was not fired? Where did it say in the blog that he was or was not fired eventually or on the spot? What blog are you reading RB?

Where does it say that a TSO can identify something that may or may not be a drug? (lets ignore the fact that some TSOs have former law enforcement experieance -myself included - or extensive military training where in the course of conducting their duties they have come across drugs). No the best a TSO can do when they suspect something is a drug is contact a LEO.

By the way, in the world we live in today, it would be very hard to go through life and not have seen drugs. I have taken many mandatory drug test at various times in my life, and have passed them all, but know what many drugs look like. Does this mean I was involved in something illegal, as you suggest at the end there?

Are you saying, RB, that if you know what is or is not a drug, then you have done drugs too?

Use a better argument than that, and maybe hold yourself to a higher standard, just as you suggest for TSA.

GSOLTSO said...

This is a pretty good post, it gives the legal basis for nondissemination and outlines the due process, er, process. Great post from the legal eagles, thanks gang!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's just overboard. No wonder you're unable to effectively manage your agency. I don't think any of the rest of American workers get that much slack and as a manager at a business, I wouldn't hesitate to fire an employee immediately for some forms of misconduct. The more I hear from the TSA the more I realize that the entire agency is a waste of tax payer dollars and it should be completed rebooted.

Anonymous said...

Written by TSA:

In most cases, the agency spokespeople cannot disclose exactly what disciplinary action, if any, is taken against an employee. ... rest assured that TSA takes such issues very seriously and will take appropriate action to address any misconduct.


OK, this was actually a better post than most that come out of TSA, BUT, how do you expect the public to believe that there is accountability within TSA, or believe that you take issues seriously, without some sort of public record of disciplinary action?

And a respect for due process for employees is laughable from an agency that gives no due process to passengers on the no-fly list, gives passengers no redress if a TSO decides to arbitrarily prohibit an item that is not a weapon, explosive, or incendiary, tells passengers the Bill of Rights doesn't apply at the checkpoint (MKE incident), and declares perfectly legal items like cash to be contraband.

Law-enforcement is by no means a model of accountability (google "Cheye Calvo" if you don't believe me), but at least in some egregious cases, there is a public announcement of action against offending officers. For example, when Sergeant James Kuehnlein of St. George, MO was caught on video threatening to fabricate charges against innocent driver Brett Darrow, the department was willing to announce his termination.

In extremely egregious cases, such as the reports of making pax pull down their pants at the checkpoint, referring a woman for arrest due to a leather bookmark, confiscating a custom battery pack out of "abundance of caution" after clearing it of being any sort of threat, and forcing the woman with the nipple piercing to strip while audibly laughing at her, terminations were warranted and should have been announced.

And BTW, part of the reason TSA has no credibility with the public is that in the last two cases I described, TSA actually publicly praised the TSOs instead of condemning as they should have. So I'm pretty sure TSA didn't take those incidents seriously.

The reality is that TSA is so out of control and on a power trip, that the only way to fix it is to disband entirely the agency, fire and bar from public service for life everyone from the screening-manager level up, and re-populate airport screening with screeners who have been trained on the Constitution, common sense, and civility as much as they are trained on detecting weapons, explosives, and incendiaries.

Anonymous said...

RB said:

"Or how any TSO who is not trained in drug identification can know that an item is a drug. If not trained then how did they gain the knowledge to identity such things. Personal use?"


Seriously? That's a really weak argument. Anybody who even watches TV semi-regularly could identify most drugs, I would imagine. Let's get real.

Anonymous said...

Why should someone be fired for merely being arrested? An arrest doesn't mean the accused has been shown to have done anything wrong. Talk about a double standard.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
......I don't think any of the rest of American workers get that much slack and as a manager at a business, I wouldn't hesitate to fire an employee immediately for some forms of misconduct.....


I agree- for ESTABLISHED, PROVEN misconduct, termination should be considered. But, if you fire an employee for ALLEGED misconduct that is later proven to be untrue, you better have some REALLY deep pockets. No, crime victims who have had things stolen from their bags don't get "due process". That's what makes them victims. There's no need to make victims out of more people by denying them "due process".

TSO Jacob said...

Anonymous said… ”I don't think any of the rest of American workers get that much slack and as a manager at a business, I wouldn't hesitate to fire an employee immediately for some forms of misconduct.”

I think you missed a piece of the original blog, let’s review: “LIKE OTHER FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, TSA employees who have completed a trial period (or probationary period, if applicable) are entitled to certain procedural safeguards and due process prior to removal from their government position.”

All federal, state and local government employees are provided safeguards against wrongful termination. Wouldn’t it be nice if all employees felt secure in their job because their boss couldn’t fire them on a whim?

Anonymous said...

After a review of Privacy Act materials (such as the OMB PA guidance) I am forced to concede that it looks like the lawyers are right, you can not disclose disciplinary action. That is a true shame, and I believe the law is flawed here. At a minimum, agencies should be required to confirm if a person has been fired or not, especially if the disciplinary action/violation involves a member of the public.

Since TSA's hands seem to be tied, I would suggest anyone that that feels the same petition their representatives for a revision to the privacy act to allow disclosures of disciplinary information.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Wow, that's just overboard. No wonder you're unable to effectively manage your agency. I don't think any of the rest of American workers get that much slack and as a manager at a business, I wouldn't hesitate to fire an employee immediately for some forms of misconduct. The more I hear from the TSA the more I realize that the entire agency is a waste of tax payer dollars and it should be completed rebooted."


Where have you been? This is government, not just TSA. What was written here basically applies to all government.

However, pay special attention to what was written -

"In certain cases involving Transportation Security Officers (TSOs), TSA has special authorities, which enable us to act more quickly when TSOs engage in serious misconduct."

TSA is an "Exempted" workforce. It is actually a bit easier to get fired from TSA than other government agencies.

You say you "wouldn't hesitate to fire an employee immediately for some forms of misconduct". I take it you never really worked with unions? Do you know how hard it is to fire someone from a private industry (not government) when unions are involved.

Anonymous said...

RB stated...
Or how any TSO who is not trained in drug identification can know that an item is a drug. If not trained then how did they gain the knowledge to identity such things. Personal use?
How can you question it being Personal Use??? How many shows out there, including a special on HBO I had to watch in high school called Black Tar Heroin, show what drugs look like. Even MTV shows Jackass's Steve-O smoking large amount of marijuana. So you just ASSUME personal use???? You seem like a real hypocrate! You talk about how TSA makes judgements, and you have nerve to do the same thing about anyone that knows what a drug looks like.
I've never done drugs... but I know what they look like... because most people have been around drugs at one time or another. However, it does not mean for personal use!

RB said...

Are you saying, RB, that if you know what is or is not a drug, then you have done drugs too?

Use a better argument than that, and maybe hold yourself to a higher standard, just as you suggest for TSA.

July 1, 2009 5:03 PM

.................
No, what I am saying is that if some random TSO thinks they have found drugs during a search for something else then they should be able to specify how they had the ability to ID the drugs.

I accept that some TSO's have former police and military backgrounds that would likely include training in this area.

But how about your Kelly Mae (and others with lessor or no training in this area) who says she mainly worked in food service jobs before becoming a TSO?

What I am trying to determine does TSA train its employees in drug identification/detection?

If not then this function is something that TSA is not expecting its employees to get involved in.

Seems to me that just checking for WEI and other prohibited items should keep you guys busy enough.

Anonymous said...

I fail to understand how a TSO can bring a handgun to work and that not be considered a serious (firing) offense.



I fail to understnad why handguns period are allowed to be brought into an airport. I mean, what does one need a gun for on the outside of security for anyway? Oh to feel safe? Yeah right get outta here.

Anonymous said...

Use a better argument than that, and maybe hold yourself to a higher standard, just as you suggest for TSA.

Ouch. You got ownd RB. FInally a real person who has common sense.

KBCraig said...

I fail to understnad why handguns period are allowed to be brought into an airport. I mean, what does one need a gun for on the outside of security for anyway?

Well, let's see... I am travelling from Texas, where I legally own and possess said handgun, to New Hampshire, where I may also legally possess said handgun. For the sake of argument, let's say that I'm travelling to engage in handgun-specific training and/or competition.

Just how do you propose I get my handgun to NH? Teleportation hasn't been perfected (more's the pity; TSA would be out of business!)

Dunstan said...

" Anonymous said...

I fail to understand how a TSO can bring a handgun to work and that not be considered a serious (firing) offense."

"I fail to understnad why handguns period are allowed to be brought into an airport. I mean, what does one need a gun for on the outside of security for anyway? Oh to feel safe? Yeah right get outta here."

Absolutely no reason for a TSA employee to bring a handgun to work. For a gun owner to bring guns during his travels, there are specific rules that allow unloaded weapons in locked cases as checked baggage.

Dunstan said...

"Anonymous said...

Use a better argument than that, and maybe hold yourself to a higher standard, just as you suggest for TSA.

Ouch. You got ownd RB. FInally a real person who has common sense."

Anonymous comments on (his/her own?) anonymous post. How disingenuous. Just what does ownd mean? Absolutely no common sense in that remark, or any meaning, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

"In most cases, the agency spokespeople cannot disclose exactly what disciplinary action, if any, is taken against an employee. This is because specific information concerning employees, including any disciplinary action taken, is protected by the Privacy Act, which often constrains us from disclosing the information. "


Interesting but doesn't conform to real world experience. I've worked with the military and government for over 25 years and I've seen disciplinary actions published in base newspapers, newsletters and bulletin boards for years. They never ID the person, but say things like "employee in the services division was accused of theft, and after investigation, was fired". And these are government GS employees and military personnel, subject to the same Privacy Act you reference.

Given that we don't know who the TSO was in the St Louis incident, I fail to see how we can't be told that he/she/it was fired as long as no "personal" data is released as well.


"Even if we cannot tell the public these details, rest assured that TSA takes such issues very seriously and will take appropriate action to address any misconduct.

Yeah, we can trust you to do the right thing. /sarc off

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Use a better argument than that, and maybe hold yourself to a higher standard, just as you suggest for TSA.

Ouch. You got ownd RB. FInally a real person who has common sense.

July 1, 2009 8:40 PM

.............................
"Got Owned", hardly.

Some Anon person says they can ID drugs because they watched a TV show. That stretches credibility.

If a person is not trained in the identification of drugs in some type of training then I maintain that only personal exposure could account for a persons being able to ID drugs.

Using or being around other people using illegal drugs would seem to be reason to void a security clearance.

Anonymous said...

Just admit it RB. In your usual zeal to slam TSA in any way you can think of, you made a really lame argument about identifying drugs. Voiding a security clearance because you've witnessed someone else doing drugs? That would rule out most people who have been to a rock concert at some point in their lives. Another entry for the lame-o-meter.

Sandra said...

Interesting how the TSA invokes the Privacy Act when it comes to telling us what disciplinary action was taken against the screener, but fails to follow its own PIA when it comes to WBI.

Where are the brochures?

Anonymous said...

You guys need to start treating the public a hell of a lot better. Especially given how lenient you are with your own staff. How come a passenger legally carrying cash or a comic book script is detained and interrogated (and has their ID taken from them!) but a TSO who violates the US constitution gets to go home and marshall a defense to stop himself being fired.

The double standard is infuriating.

Ranger11 said...

Just to clear a few things up. I am A TSA/DHS Regulatory Inspector. I want everyone to know that everybody that either works in, on, or sends cargo through the airport is subject to regulation.

If a law governing individuals is broken, it doesn't matter if it was a TSO, pilot, airline employee, or a passenger, they are all subjected to the same Federal Sanctions.

TSO's have been fined, arrested, and fired for violations of Federal Regulations, the same as any other individual or entity that violates the same regulation.

I have personally investigated cases of misconduct,violations of procedures, and civil rights violations against TSO's and can attest to the fact that they have been subjected to the same punitive and criminal sanctions as everyone else. No matter if the TSO was on duty and violated federal laws, or off duty.

I

Anonymous said...

Ranger11 - then you care to explain why Alvin Crabtree from DEN is not in jail and still has a job with TSA after knowingly and willfully brought a loaded handgun to a checkpoint when he knew it was illegal where others have been charged, convicted, fined and jailed for the same offense?

Sorry TSA but you aren't getting a pass as I saw just a couple of weeks ago checking peoples "papers". Travelers break the rules you come down on them like a 800lb over grown chimp. your own employees do it not a thing happens to them.


Double Standard in the clearest sense.

RB said...

Ranger11 said...

I have personally investigated cases of misconduct,violations of procedures, and civil rights violations against TSO's and can attest to the fact that they have been subjected to the same punitive and criminal sanctions as everyone else. No matter if the TSO was on duty and violated federal laws, or off duty.

I

July 2, 2009 4:54 PM

...............
Want to discuss Denvers Gun Totting Alvin Crabtree?

From reports he is happily still working for TSA.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Just admit it RB. In your usual zeal to slam TSA in any way you can think of, you made a really lame argument about identifying drugs. Voiding a security clearance because you've witnessed someone else doing drugs? That would rule out most people who have been to a rock concert at some point in their lives. Another entry for the lame-o-meter.

July 2, 2009 11:10 AM

So if one goes to a rock concert you saying you get close enough to people using drugs that you are able to identify these drugs. Just how close are you getting?

I think the law would find that a person who is in a place where drugs are being used would be held just as responsible as those using.

Face it, if you know these items are drugs shouldn't you be getting out of there?

Are you claiming that your education about drugs was from close association with others who use drugs?

Does TSA have an Integrity Clause in your employment guidelines?

Anonymous said...

I am convinced that Bob posts all of RB's useless and spiteful comments because he knows each post makes her look hateful and unswayable. Does anybody take RB seriously? I can't recall a time where she had anything to say other than hateful one-liners.

Dunstan said...

An anonymous poster attempted to censor RB:
" Anonymous said...

I am convinced that Bob posts all of RB's useless and spiteful comments because he knows each post makes her look hateful and unswayable. Does anybody take RB seriously? I can't recall a time where she had anything to say other than hateful one-liners."

I find RB's posts interesting and compelling. Move to North Korea or Iran if you really want to live in an oppressive country that suppresses human rights and free speech, otherwise accept the right of American citizens to express their opinions. What is it about free will and human rights that truly bothers you?

Dunstan said...

Ranger11 said...

"I have personally investigated cases of misconduct,violations of procedures, and civil rights violations against TSO's and can attest to the fact that they have been subjected to the same punitive and criminal sanctions as everyone else. No matter if the TSO was on duty and violated federal laws, or off duty."

I just hope you have support, help, and assistance in what must sometimes seem like the most thankless part of DHS. A giant thumbs up to you.

MarkVII said...

With all the discussion of disciplinary action vs. privacy rights, it's time to revisit the "week at a glance" content. To wit:

"* 3 passengers were arrested after investigations of suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents
* 25 firearms found at checkpoints
* 2 artfully concealed prohibited items found at checkpoints
* 34 incidents that involved a checkpoint closure, terminal evacuation or sterile area breach"

I don't have a problem with the TSA pointing out successes. However, they'd have a bit more credibility if the "week at a glance" also had a recap of actions taken to correct TSA mistakes. Something like:

-- TSA issued written apology to passenger who property was damaged by rough handling at checkpoint, and passenger has been reimbursed for replacement cost of the property.

-- TSO fired for separating a child from adult guardian in violation of SOP. Guardian has received a letter of apology from director of TSA.

Also, let's go back a ways to the "sippy cup incident." The TSA posted the actual checkpoint security video on its web site to bolster its case.

The TSA won't elaborate on disciplinary measures against its own people for various reasons, but can post video of a passenger for all the world to see. Can you say "double standard"?

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I am convinced that Bob posts all of RB's useless and spiteful comments because he knows each post makes her look hateful and unswayable. Does anybody take RB seriously? I can't recall a time where she had anything to say other than hateful one-liners.

July 2, 2009 10:59 PM

Perhaps you don't like RB's postings because the truth about TSA failures are distasteful.

Truth hurts!

TSO Jacob said...

RB said… “Some Anon person says they can ID drugs because they watched a TV show. That stretches credibility. If a person is not trained in the identification of drugs in some type of training then I maintain that only personal exposure could account for a persons being able to ID drugs… I think the law would find that a person who is in a place where drugs are being used would be held just as responsible as those using.”

That last statement doesn’t even make sense. The law does not project responsibility for an individual’s poor choices onto those around them.

As for the credibility of learning about drugs outside of using them I have two points:

1) American culture is overflowing with references to drugs of all varieties. Gas stations, liquor stores and similar stores sell magazines on the subject. Just about every TV show with a teenage or adult audience has presented at least one episode about the “friend” who got into trouble with drugs. Many motion pictures feature drug use or the sale of drugs; one example would be the mainstream hit Blow featuring Johnny Depp. Wear do you think phrases such as “Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” come from?

2) Many of the folks working for TSA are former police officers or other forms of public safety officials. It may be difficult for you to believe, but we do speak to one another, and it’s not hard to remember that pot is a green leafy substance and cocaine is a white powder.

kellymae81 said...

RB said: If a person is not trained in the identification of drugs in some type of training then I maintain that only personal exposure could account for a persons being able to ID drugs.

RB, what don't you understand. We have explained that we as TSO's do not identify drugs. "If" we come across something that looks like it "could" be drugs, LEO's are called over to handle the situation, b/c yes, it is above our training to actually "identify" drugs. I have never done one drug ever in my life, but I still know what some look like for the most part. No, I won't be able to identify every drug and might have unknowingly, passed up plenty, but if it looks suspicious, LEO's are getting called over and "they" identify whether or not it is drugs, end of story.

Kelly

Anonymous said...

RB said: So if one goes to a rock concert you saying you get close enough to people using drugs that you are able to identify these drugs. Just how close are you getting?

Seriously RB, get over yourself. You are waaaaaay too analytical. Do you really believe that just b/c people have not been trained in identifying drugs or have not done drugs, that they have no idea what they look like???? By that standard, should I assume that b/c you have never left your basement, you shouldn't know what sunlight looks like?

GSOLTSO said...

Ok, RB, and others posting along on this thread - I can tell you that TSOs receive discipline like just about any other organization I have ever worked for. I have seen people fired for all kinds of reasons, I have seen people written up for all kinds of reasons and I have seen people verbally counselled for all kinds of reasons. That being said, I would never release the information to an outside source, or even to a coworker that was not involved in the situation to start with. It is common decency and common sense, and for another reason - IT AIN'T NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. That is correct, I said it and will say it as many times as I need to - you don't have to know what disciplinary actions are taken against an employee for any reason. Even if the reason they are fired is you - you shouldn't be informed as to that fact or have it made to seem like they did it for you. If an employee is disciplined in any way, it should come down to that employee, and their supervisory staff, no one else needs to be involved. You gang point out things that I agree with a lot of the time (you also post a bunch o stuff I totally disagree on), that is great because I get a different point of view on things. This is a dead issue, the organization will not post disciplinary actions due to personnel laws, the fact that half of America will sue for a "percieved slight". You guys can beat on this all you want to, but you will not get anywhere simply because it is a wrong request by nature - you don't have a right to hear what happened to TSO A that was disciplined, you don't have a need to hear what happened with TSO B either. This was a fairly thorough and straightforward post, it cites reasoning and process and still you ask the same question in 14 different ways. Let me give you the answer - No.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RB said:

"Or how any TSO who is not trained in drug identification can know that an item is a drug. If not trained then how did they gain the knowledge to identity such things. Personal use?"


Seriously? That's a really weak argument. Anybody who even watches TV semi-regularly could identify most drugs, I would imagine. Let's get real.
********
TSO Ron, I watch ER that doesn't mean I can identify and treat someone who is injured. TV is fantasy and should noot be confused with the real world

Anonymous said...

TSO Jacob said...
2) Many of the folks working for TSA are former police officers or other forms of public safety officials. It may be difficult for you to believe, but we do speak to one another, and it’s not hard to remember that pot is a green leafy substance and cocaine is a white powder.

********
Most TSO's have no law enforcement training. They can't tell the difference between oregano and marijuana or coke and powdered milk.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
I am convinced that Bob posts all of RB's useless and spiteful comments because he knows each post makes her look hateful and unswayable. Does anybody take RB seriously? I can't recall a time where she had anything to say other than hateful one-liners.

July 2, 2009 10:59 PM

Perhaps you don't like RB's postings because the truth about TSA failures are distasteful.

Truth hurts!"


I agree with the comment that RB is simply a spiteful person. That much is evident from what RB has written.

RB makes personal attacks on Bob and others, and seems to a truly sour person. In some way, I do feel a bit sorry; no one should have that much hate inside.

TSM, Been here.... said...

Quoted;
"Also, let's go back a ways to the "sippy cup incident." The TSA posted the actual checkpoint security video on its web site to bolster its case.

The TSA won't elaborate on disciplinary measures against its own people for various reasons, but can post video of a passenger for all the world to see. Can you say "double standard"?

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

July 3, 2009 9:52 AM"
----------------------------
Let's see... Where to start?
This woman went to the media first.
She claimed something happened that didn't. She made an ACCUSATION.
TSA then posted the video WITHOUT NAMING THE PASSENGER to show that her accusation was false.

(and it was pretty funny when the Port Authority Police made her clean it up. Twice.)

Anything else you need cleared up?

RB said...

TSO Jacob said...

RB said... "I think the law would find that a person who is in a place where drugs are being used would be held just as responsible as those using.”

TSO Jacob said... That last statement doesn’t even make sense. The law does not project responsibility for an individual’s poor choices onto those around them.


2) Many of the folks working for TSA are former police officers or other forms of public safety officials. It may be difficult for you to believe, but we do speak to one another, and it’s not hard to remember that pot is a green leafy substance and cocaine is a white powder.

July 3, 2009 11:44 AM

Jacob I suggest you ask a police officer about hanging out where drugs are being used and any liability you might face. You might get a surprise.

People with training in drug identification can probably ID many drugs, no question. I am asking about those with no training. The only way for these people to know what a drug really looks like is through some form of personal knowledge.

Baby Powder and flour are white powders.

Oregano, basil and cumin are green leafy substances.

Are you trained to know the difference?

MarkVII said...

Hi West --

At least in my case, your point is well taken that publishing disciplinary actions against individual employees is a non-starter. As a former Naval officer, I've had to deal with my share of sticky disciplinary situations with Privacy Act implications, and they weren't fun.

This whole discussion has an undercurrent of the perceived lack of accountability within the TSA. My often-used tag line of qui custodiet ipsos custodes (who shall watch the watchers) reflects my opinion on the subject.

That's why I suggested adding sanitized descriptions of accountability measures taken to the "week at a glance" section of the TSA web site. That's also why I'm an advocate for proactive accountability measures, instead of relying on the flying public to use Got Feedback after the damage is already done.

My girlfriend and I avoid flying now, in part because of several bad experiences at the hands of the TSA. I'd be far more inclined to fly if I felt that there were meaningful, proactive accountability measures in place.

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

Anonymous said...

Anon said: Most TSO's have no law enforcement training. They can't tell the difference between oregano and marijuana or coke and powdered milk.

Do you people not listen. TSO's on here, like kellymae for example, has explained that they are not the ones to determine if it is oregano or marijuana. But if they see a bag of "oregano", they are probably going to call LE and LE will determine which it is. TSOs are doing what they are suppose to be doing. Thanks TSA

TSO Jacob said...

Wow! I know this may take a little more common sense then many of you can muster, but, it is not difficult to tell the difference between oregano, baby powder, marijuana, and cocaine. First off, oregano smells like oregano, not like pot. In fact baby powder also has a distinct odor. Secondly, when a TSO happens upon something that seems like an illegal drug we call a LEO. The LEO decides if THEY THINK the substance in question is an illegal drug. Then the LEO sends the substance off to the lab to confirm whether or not the substance is actually illegal. TSA does not train its employees to identify drugs but many TSOs can identify drugs thru outside exposure that has nothing to do with personal use. Although it is possible that you might get drugs passed a TSO who won’t be able to tell that the substance you are carrying is illegal there is also a possibility the TSO you come across will have the knowledge and training to suspect that you are carrying something illegal.

Bruce said...

......I don't think any of the rest of American workers get that much slack and as a manager at a business, I wouldn't hesitate to fire an employee immediately for some forms of misconduct.....

In how many states is employment "at will" and separation can be undertaken at any time by either party? Just because they are federalized?

-- Any screener can prohibit any item at any time for any reason (or no reason), and the passenger has no effective recourse.

Let's remind the entire TSA of their jurisdiction and that the First and Fourth Amendment still apply in a screening area, per U.S. District Court Judge Algenon L. Marbley: The extent of the search went beyond the permissible purpose of detecting weapons and explosives and was instead motivated by a desire to uncover contraband evidencing ordinary criminal wrongdoing.”

Anonymous said...

For those of you who haven't had the joy of working in as many employment styles as I have:
Union Shop - Highly skilled new-guy who work is fast and near perfect gets fired before the highly-skill 'old-hand' whose work is slow and meticulous.
Exempt Shop: Through an act of a lesser deity, the slob that made a major mistake is fired instead of being 'laterally transfered' somewhere else.
Non-Exempt Shop: It's easier to 'laterally transfer' your worthless personnel to another department instead of dealing with the headache of getting them fired.
Private Industry: You're fired.

Anonymous said...

RB said
People with training in drug identification can probably ID many drugs, no question. I am asking about those with no training. The only way for these people to know what a drug really looks like is through some form of personal knowledge.

Baby Powder and flour are white powders.

Oregano, basil and cumin are green leafy substances.

Are you trained to know the difference?
___________________________________

Thats why a TSO calls for an LEO. Everything is suspected. The LEO makes the determination of whether it's illegal or not.

For others,
You don't have to be a drug user to have an idea of what to look for. Most schools discuss drugs with their students.

Besides if a TSO did try drugs in a former life whats the big deal? I remember a president saying "I didn't inhale" did you ask for his resignation?

Anonymous said...

Once again your response leaves me banging my head against the wall. I am a fairly frequent reader of the blog and it seems to me that you have misstated the main objection that has been put forward here. Most posters who have complained about this issue want to know why you can't tell us whether a TSO has been terminated for atrocious conduct if you did not reveal his/her name. I don't think that most of those who are complaining are worried about your inability to fire them on the spot. As long as you're getting the lawyers involved, why in the world can't you cite the relevant laws and put the debate to rest?

And once again, I'm still waiting for your response to two questions:
1) How can you possibly justify your decision to not allow a federal judge access to a document that is presumably provided to thousands of entry-level employees?

2) What independent, peer-reviewed evidence do you have that a person can be reliably trained as a human lie detector (i.e. BDO) in such a short period of time. How can the officer possibly objectively analyze a situation while juggling the competing psychological imperatives to racially profile while avoiding racial profiling? (Please note: I am interested in research that deals with the actual practical implementation of the BDO program, not research that suggests that it is possible to detect deception or criminal intent by studying facial expressions.)

And for the record, I will not "rest assured" just because you have once again repeated the completely empty promise that you hold your employees to the highest standard of professionalism. This is clearly not true.

GSOLTSO said...

Mark VII sez - "This whole discussion has an undercurrent of the perceived lack of accountability within the TSA. My often-used tag line of qui custodiet ipsos custodes (who shall watch the watchers) reflects my opinion on the subject.

That's why I suggested adding sanitized descriptions of accountability measures taken to the "week at a glance" section of the TSA web site. That's also why I'm an advocate for proactive accountability measures, instead of relying on the flying public to use Got Feedback after the damage is already done.

My girlfriend and I avoid flying now, in part because of several bad experiences at the hands of the TSA. I'd be far more inclined to fly if I felt that there were meaningful, proactive accountability measures in place."

Nice post Mark, (seriously, sarc off). I am sorry that you have had bad experiences, it seems that most of the people that post here have had them and press on the issues that pertain to those experiences - That is excellent, that helps us to target problem areas. I can understand that sometimes it seems that there is no accountability from the public point of view. We will agree 100% on the non disclosure of personnel issues, I don't think it should be done anywhere unless there are charges filed (and then it should be the same rights to privacy as anyone else charged with a crime). I don't know that even the sanitized version you speak of would really help much either. On the face it is a decent idea and couold have merit for public awareness and to work on the perception of accountability. One problem the organization may run into by doing that is what if only 1 disciplinary action was taken in a given week, with the current legal mindset in this country right now, that employee could sue (and depending on the jury, make a ton of money) for non anonymous disclosure. I know that may be a bit farfetched, but it is a possibility. Another problem the organization may have is the perception that (say 40 disciplinary actions performed this week) the public may get from that type of publicity. Some would lose their minds saying "look, they had 40 disciplinary actions this week, holy crap thats a lot", when in actuality it was simply some corrective actions taken to remedy identified shortcomings in the TSOs performance. Same problem if you release "we fired 7 employees nationwide" because then the fired employees could sue for disclosure related reasons. I am of the opinion that this is a slippery subject and it would be a problem more than a solution.

Seriously Mark, nice post!

West
TSA Blog Team

Jim Huggins said...

Regarding anonymous disclosure of TSA disciplinary actions, GSOLTSO writes:

One problem the organization may run into by doing that is what if only 1 disciplinary action was taken in a given week, with the current legal mindset in this country right now, that employee could sue (and depending on the jury, make a ton of money) for non anonymous disclosure.


Then TSA could use a larger unit of aggregation (per month, or per quarter). It shouldn't be hard to figure out a large-enough time frame to give greater assurance of anonymity to those in question.

Another problem the organization may have is the perception that (say 40 disciplinary actions performed this week) the public may get from that type of publicity. Some would lose their minds saying "look, they had 40 disciplinary actions this week, holy crap that's a lot", when in actuality it was simply some corrective actions taken to remedy identified shortcomings in the TSOs performance.


Well ... right now, the public is drawing whatever conclusions it wants to draw regarding TSO accountability, in the complete absence of any data from TSA. So, we're left to discuss anecdotes: the TSO in STL who harassed a passenger with $4700, the TSO in DEN who brought a loaded weapon to the checkpoint, the TSO in EWR who circumvented screening to board an airplane, and so on. And with Privacy Act-inspired statements like "appropriate action was taken", everyone is left to speculate as to what action actually was taken ... and more or less everyone draws the conclusions they want to draw. With hard data, at least we'd all have a common basis for a discussion.

And as to mis-interpretation of the data ... well, then TSA can educate us. If 40 disciplinary actions occurred in one week, TSA could break them down in other ways (say, corrective education versus oral warning versus formal punitive action).

Anonymous said...

"rest assured that TSA takes such issues very seriously" Is this a callout to people that read the Consumerist?

Sandra said...

TSM.....wrote:

"This woman went to the media first.
She claimed something happened that didn't. She made an ACCUSATION.
TSA then posted the video WITHOUT NAMING THE PASSENGER to show that her accusation was false."

You missed the entire point of Mark's post.

READ and COMPREHEND

Anonymous said...

What part of the privacy law (please provide a detailed citation) allows you to say "an employee was disciplined" but prohibits you from saying "an employee was terminated?" I don't doubt that the law could be that stupid, but I sure as heck don't trust you to provide an accurate description of the relevant statues. This should be very easy for your lawyers to provide; please ask them to do so.

Anonymous said...

Anon said in part....

For others,
You don't have to be a drug user to have an idea of what to look for.
...........................

The problem is that if a TSO searches a bag attempting to clear an item of concern that they should not be looking for anything else, just the item that alarmed.

It sounds very much like the bounds for Administrative Searches are being exceeded at every opportunity.

TSORon said...

Some Anonymous Poster said:
"TSO Ron, I watch ER that doesn't mean I can identify and treat someone who is injured. TV is fantasy and should noot be confused with the real world"

Sorry Anon, I didn’t write that. I don’t write here anonymously. Never have, never will. I have absolutely no reason to be ashamed of what I write, which is the only reason I can think of why someone would post anonymously.

Anonymous said...

I find RB's posts interesting and compelling. Move to North Korea or Iran if you really want to live in an oppressive country that suppresses human rights and free speech, otherwise accept the right of American citizens to express their opinions. What is it about free will and human rights that truly bothers you?
___________________________________

No one says that RB doesn't have the human right to express free speech. We are just saying that he/she is annoying!

Anonymous said...

taDunstan said...


""Anonymous said...

Use a better argument than that, and maybe hold yourself to a higher standard, just as you suggest for TSA.

Ouch. You got ownd RB. FInally a real person who has common sense."

Anonymous comments on (his/her own?) anonymous post. How disingenuous. Just what does ownd mean? Absolutely no common sense in that remark, or any meaning, for that matter."

---------------------------

Dunstan you once again you've made a mistake.

I post the comment telling RB to hold him/herself to the same standard ask of TSA. I did not post the other comment claiming RB got "owned". Actually, I wouldn't think of bragging about making RB look foolish. RB does that quiet well by him/herself.

However, does it matter if you belive I commented on my own post? Not really.

But lets say I didn't post as "Anonymous", but registered a name, oh, say TSO Albert, and had made that original post which told RB to have a better standard.

Then imagine I registered a nother name, say, "TSO Jones", and made the second comment that said RB was owned.

Would that somehow make my first post more valid, in your opinion? If your answer is "yes", well, then there is not much help for you.

And as further proof of what I have said is true - that RB needs to use a better argument - well, simply read the blog here since my comment was post. Look how foolish RB has been. Obviously, my advice wasn't taken.

Anonymous said...

Sandra said...

TSM.....wrote:

"This woman went to the media first.
She claimed something happened that didn't. She made an ACCUSATION.
TSA then posted the video WITHOUT NAMING THE PASSENGER to show that her accusation was false."

You missed the entire point of Mark's post.

READ and COMPREHEND"


____________

Good advice about the read and comprehend. Maybe you should take it yourself.

You seemed to miss the point of Mark's post, and of TSM's post as well.

To spell it out for you, Mark suggested that TSA holds private actions taken against its own employees, but didn't hesitate to post online a video regarding a female passenger. Mark claimed this was a double standard. In other words, Mark implied TSA should not have released this video.

However, TSM pointed out that this was done so ONLY after the woman went herself to the media and made false statements about TSA and what happened. TSM pointed out this was a private incident UNTIL the woman made it public. And TSM noted the video was post without naming the passenger, to protect that passengers privacy.

This was not what Mark was suggesting, and what TSM was correcting him about, which you seemed to not understand.

So maybe you should re-read both Mark's and TSM's comments?

Anonymous said...

"I have absolutely no reason to be ashamed of what I write, which is the only reason I can think of why someone would post anonymously."

Too bad you don't follow the example of TSO William Reed, who posts under his full name and location. Guess you lack his stones...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"No one says that RB doesn't have the human right to express free speech. We are just saying that he/she is annoying!"

RB is annoying to YOU in the singular, not WE in the Royal plural, unless you have a certain type of psychological disorder, or your posts are by committee. That would explain quite a bit...

Dunstan said...

Anonymous Said:
"Would that somehow make my first post more valid, in your opinion? If your answer is "yes", well, then there is not much help for you."

ROTFLMAO. That's certainly a rich and rewarding statement considering your current choice of employment, and the fact that you are absolutely and completely clueless about me.
So, forgive me for not taking your opinion of me seriously, but I do find the statement rather funny. Ask me for my opinion, and then choose the answer for me. Really.

I would consider your content more valid if you did post as Albert, it would give you a recognizable voice, rather than simply being a anonymous TSO at the fringes of the crowd. Must be interesting watching people who are going somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Blogger GSOLTSO said...

One problem the organization may run into by doing that is what if only 1 disciplinary action was taken in a given week, with the current legal mindset in this country right now, that employee could sue (and depending on the jury, make a ton of money) for non anonymous disclosure.


Another problem the organization may have is the perception that (say 40 disciplinary actions performed this week) the public may get from that type of publicity. Some would lose their minds saying "look, they had 40 disciplinary actions this week, holy crap thats a lot", when in actuality it was simply some corrective actions taken to remedy identified shortcomings in the TSOs performance.

West
TSA Blog Team

July 5, 2009 3:23 PM

So post employee stats every 6 months to avoid any direct link to a specific employee. As to your “corrective actions taken to remedy identified shortcomings in the TSOs performance.” You can call it what ever you want an employee screwed up and disciplinary action was taken, it doesn’t matter if they are being retrained or they got a written. Its still disciplinary action and yes 40 corrective actions in a week is a lot, no matter how minor.

You’re going to have to grasp the concept that you are a government agency funded by fees from passengers and tax dollars. Which means you are subject to the same scrutiny as any other agency. We have no reason to trust the TSA to take the proper corrective action because it operates with no independent oversight. The TSA subjects passengers to vague policies and allows TSO’s the ability to create policy as needed. If you’re doing everything by the books you should have no concern about public scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

Why the complete silience on a TSO bypassing security?

The report said that all of the people on that flight were rescreened.

With an unscreened person was in the secure area why wasn't the whole terminal cleared and all present screened again?

carp said...

> I don't think any of the rest of
> American workers get that much slack
> and as a manager at a business, I
> wouldn't hesitate to fire an employee
> immediately for some forms of
> misconduct.

Actually... it varies from company to company. Some do have policies such as that.

I see no problem with that, especially if an employee can be put on an administrative leave while the issue is being sorted out. I mean... whats wrong with due process and appeals?

Its not like no manager ever fired someone for petty reasons. I think that allowing such decisions to be reviewed is a good thing.

Hell, where I work, we can not only appeal to management, if unsatisfied, we can request an appeal to an employee review board (basically, a jury picked randomly from employees in other departments).

Admittedly, an organization has to be of a certain size before randomly selected review boards make sense... but... arn't checks and balances a good thing? Have you never seen a manager just abuse his power over an employee in such a way that HE deserves to be smacked down for it? I certainly have.

-Steve

carp said...

> Would that somehow make my first post
> more valid, in your opinion? If your
> answer is "yes", well, then there is
> not much help for you.

Nitpick: on

Actually, it would. I mean, objectively, knowing all the facts, it wouldn't. However, it would add extra "third party" confirmation to anyone who didn't know that both comments came from the same person.

Since the vast majority of posters are posting from a position of ignorance as to who has what accounts, one has to assume that different accounts are different people.

Now... a third party expressing the same idea doesn't actually increase validity in a real sense, however, it has en effect on the the hueristic judgements that we all make in day to day communications.

I would point out... "fact" that a person eats a known quantity of spiders while they sleep during their lifetime originated in an article that was lamenting that people will believe any fact they read. (no joke!)

carp said...

> 2) What independent, peer-reviewed
> evidence do you have that a person can
> be reliably trained as a human lie
> detector (i.e. BDO) in such a short
> period of time.

As an aside, I did some reading on this subject. Partially out of random interest, partially because I play poker.

What was really interesting was reading some of the articles on minor expressions that can indicate lies or other stresses... and then watching political speeches.

Then again, should it be any surprise to find out that politicans lie as a matter of course? Anyone surprized? Really?

Hell reminds me of being told on here that terrorism is definitely a threat: "Congress said so". I laughed so hard at that rock solid evidence.

-Steve

Anonymous said...

Dunstan said...

"Anonymous Said:
"Would that somehow make my first post more valid, in your opinion? If your answer is "yes", well, then there is not much help for you."

ROTFLMAO. That's certainly a rich and rewarding statement considering your current choice of employment, and the fact that you are absolutely and completely clueless about me.
So, forgive me for not taking your opinion of me seriously, but I do find the statement rather funny. Ask me for my opinion, and then choose the answer for me. Really.

I would consider your content more valid if you did post as Albert, it would give you a recognizable voice, rather than simply being a anonymous TSO at the fringes of the crowd. Must be interesting watching people who are going somewhere."

------------------------

Was much of that supposed to be an insult directed at me? I actually find it funny considering you said "the fact that you are absolutely and completely clueless about me", yet also say, "considering your current choice of employment" and that "Must be interesting watching people who are going somewhere".

Everyone together, say "hypocrite!!" lol You would have to assume something about ME to make those statements. Or will you try to talk yourself out of that one?

However, you don't seem to understand what I am saying, which could be my fault, so I will restate it differently.

Ok, if I post under the name "Albert", then you can track what I post. Fine.

But what if I also post under the name "John", "Chris", and "David"? How would any of you know if I did that?

Why, I could represent multiple people on this blog already, and you wouldn't know.

Yet there seems to be an argument here that if a 2nd or a 3rd person supports what someone says on here it is more "valid". Why? Even with a name to post under, everyone here is to some extent anonymous.

And what if I chose to post under the "name" anonymous because of that fact? Maybe its a statement? Actually, it isn't, but how would you know or not know?

My comment that if you NEED a name to a post to make it valid, then there is no hope for you still stands, in my opinion.

Tell you what. I'll create an account under a name and support this post! Then it will be "valid"!!! :D

Nah, I won't do that... maybe...

Anonymous said...

Would that somehow make my first post
> more valid, in your opinion? If your
> answer is "yes", well, then there is
> not much help for you.

Nitpick: on

Actually, it would. I mean, objectively, knowing all the facts, it wouldn't. However, it would add extra "third party" confirmation to anyone who didn't know that both comments came from the same person.

Since the vast majority of posters are posting from a position of ignorance as to who has what accounts, one has to assume that different accounts are different people.

Now... a third party expressing the same idea doesn't actually increase validity in a real sense, however, it has en effect on the the hueristic judgements that we all make in day to day communications.

I would point out... "fact" that a person eats a known quantity of spiders while they sleep during their lifetime originated in an article that was lamenting that people will believe any fact they read. (no joke!)


----------------------------

carp, I can honestly say that this is one of the few times on this blog you and I agree! I just had to pinch myself...

Another way of saying what I said, is that people will believe what they want to believe.

For some people it will be more valid if I post under a name, and my statements will still be valid - to those people - if I assume another identity and support my first statement.

Those are the kind of people I was referring to, but specifically, i was referring to what Dunstan said:

"Anonymous comments on (his/her own?) anonymous post. How disingenuous."


If I really wanted to fool people, I would have post under one assumed name, and then commented under another assumed name. Then Dunstan, seemingly, would have accepted it.

However, since another anonymous person commented on my post - which I post anonymously (as I always do) - Dunstan assumed and/or stated I made BOTH post.

But like I said, and hinted at in the post to which you commented, peolpe, like Dunstan, will believe what they want to believe.

Its actually pretty funny.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

No one says that RB doesn't have the human right to express free speech. We are just saying that he/she is annoying!"

RB is annoying to YOU in the singular, not WE in the Royal plural, unless you have a certain type of psychological disorder, or your posts are by committee. That would explain quite a bit..."

----------------------------

No, RB is annoying to many people on this blog. I did not make the post you are commenting on, but I do support it, and I do believe that the poster was referring to those of us who find RB annoying, but still support his right to flap off at the lips.

I'm pretty sure that is the "we" referred to, and that no "disorder" is involved. Unless listening/reading the rantings of a particular person, RB, can drive one insane?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"I have absolutely no reason to be ashamed of what I write, which is the only reason I can think of why someone would post anonymously."

Too bad you don't follow the example of TSO William Reed, who posts under his full name and location. Guess you lack his stones..."


Did anyone else notice this person post under the name "Anonymous"?

Omer said...

I fail to understand how a TSO can bring a handgun to work and that not be considered a serious (firing) offense.

Anonymous said...

Again, please ask your lawyers to provide a precise citation to the section of the privacy laws that would conceivably allow you to say "appropriate disciplinary action was taken" but prohibit you from saying "of course this employee, who clearly had no understanding of civil liberties or the customer service skills, was fired." You did fire him, didn't you?

MRMyers said...

I would point out that TSA's most used form of corrective action, what many would refer to as a write up, is whats called a "Letter Of Counseling".

This is a written letter that details where the officer screwed up, what part of the SOP applies or the Management Directive and how the issuer, usually the immediate supervisor wants them to correct it.

In this letter it is explicitly stated that it is not a disciplinary action and can not be grieved. These letters are retained in the local airport personnel file and are typically pulled after 6 months to a year if the officer doesn't continue to make the same mistake.

The next level up is what is called a Letter of Reprimand. This is a disciplinary action and has serious implications. It is kept in the officers jacket for two years, locally, and in the federal personnel file for that person at headquarters. It makes them ineligible for promotion and a PASS (raise+bonus) rating. These are grievable through internal processes and are usually quite rare to be issued.

Now I would ask you too consider the following. Since we can not include LOC in the disciplinary action category, we'd be stuck with LOR's.

Also, considering that TSA's screw up's have a habit of getting some media attention either nationally or in local markets, it would be somewhat easy to to put this together in the workforce which would compromise the persons anonymity. Also ignoring that for the moment, if we include only LOR's the number would possibly be so small that the public would doubt its truthfullness.

If we were to rename it to lets say Officer Corrective Actions Taken, and include LOR's and the LOC which as stated above are, you screwed up, heres what you were supposed to do, the number would could possibly be of a size that would lead to issues all its own.

TSA is unique in its role as a government agency. The TSA officer is quite possible the only time an American Citizen will encounter a federal civil servant. I think that we as agency need to acknowledge this that for better or worse, we are the face of the federal government civil system on a person to person basis and our performance so far has been less then stellar.

Again it is a systemic problem in the agency that I could go on for at length, from uniform dress and appearance to retaliation by management, to FSD's concealing issues and officers feeling helpless and doing just their 8 hours trying to keep their heads down in turn.

We can do better and we must.

TSOWilliamreed said...

RB said...

People with training in drug identification can probably ID many drugs, no question. I am asking about those with no training. The only way for these people to know what a drug really looks like is through some form of personal knowledge.

Baby Powder and flour are white powders.

Oregano, basil and cumin are green leafy substances.

Are you trained to know the difference?
----------------

Well aside from the fact every middle school and highschool student in america that goes through health class is beat in the head to death with drugs are bad, what they look like, and what they do to you. In fact some schools have police officers come in, talk about drugs, and actually show the kids what drugs look like so they can look out for them. Its not hard to figure out if what your holding is a drug. If you pull a bag of green leafy substance out of someones bag and turn to look at the passenger and his face goes pale white....probably drugs. But it doesn't really matter what the TSO believes is drugs or not or what kind of training he has in identifying drugs. Because he isnt responisble for identifying the drug, the police officer is. The TSO is going to call the police officer over and its his job to identify the possible narcotic.

Anonymous said...

carp said...

" 2) What independent, peer-reviewed
> evidence do you have that a person can
> be reliably trained as a human lie
> detector (i.e. BDO) in such a short
> period of time.

As an aside, I did some reading on this subject. Partially out of random interest, partially because I play poker.

What was really interesting was reading some of the articles on minor expressions that can indicate lies or other stresses... and then watching political speeches.

Then again, should it be any surprise to find out that politicans lie as a matter of course? Anyone surprized? Really?

Hell reminds me of being told on here that terrorism is definitely a threat: "Congress said so". I laughed so hard at that rock solid evidence."

-------------------------

So based upon what your wrote here, you do think that the BDO training is valid? Or why else would you state the comment about watching political speeches?

And are you sure its that politicians lie, or that people in general are not that honest? Cause we all know everyone around us who isn't a politician is honest, right?

However, you belief that terrorism is not a threat is somewhat laughable. And no, terrorism is not a threat because "Congress said so". Terrorism is a threat because terrorist are still active throughout the world. Since 9/11 there have been multiple attacks inside of the western world - England, Spain, to name just a few.

But noooo, they got us once, and that was it. They wouldn't dream or even think of attempting to attack the United States again, would they?

One last though. You seem to find it laughable that terrorism is a threat because "Congress said so", and yet through out this blog on various occasions critics of TSA have cited letter or reports from Congress that are critical of TSA. So do we now pick and chose what we want to believe? Is Congress a reliable source or is it not? I don't see how you can have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"I have absolutely no reason to be ashamed of what I write, which is the only reason I can think of why someone would post anonymously."

Too bad you don't follow the example of TSO William Reed, who posts under his full name and location. Guess you lack his stones..."


Did anyone else notice this person post under the name "Anonymous"?
___________________________________

I don't care what anyone thinks. I post anon everytime. It is no ones business who I am. Even if I put a first name your still not ganna know me. So whats the point. And I wouldn't post anymore than that anyways, BECAUSE IT IS NO ONES BUSINESS! And if you don't take what I say seriously because of the fact, OH WELL.

RB said...

MRMyers said...

Nice post.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

"I have absolutely no reason to be ashamed of what I write, which is the only reason I can think of why someone would post anonymously."

Too bad you don't follow the example of TSO William Reed, who posts under his full name and location. Guess you lack his stones..."


Did anyone else notice this person post under the name "Anonymous"?
___________________________________

I don't care what anyone thinks. I post anon everytime. It is no ones business who I am. Even if I put a first name your still not ganna know me. So whats the point. And I wouldn't post anymore than that anyways, BECAUSE IT IS NO ONES BUSINESS! And if you don't take what I say seriously because of the fact, OH WELL."


I'm simply pointing out the fact that you seem to have one standard for someone people, perhaps TSO's, and another standard for yourself. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

MRMyers said...

"I would point out that TSA's most used form of corrective action, what many would refer to as a write up, is whats called a "Letter Of Counseling".

This is a written letter that details where the officer screwed up, what part of the SOP applies or the Management Directive and how the issuer, usually the immediate supervisor wants them to correct it.

In this letter it is explicitly stated that it is not a disciplinary action and can not be grieved. These letters are retained in the local airport personnel file and are typically pulled after 6 months to a year if the officer doesn't continue to make the same mistake.

The next level up is what is called a Letter of Reprimand. This is a disciplinary action and has serious implications. It is kept in the officers jacket for two years, locally, and in the federal personnel file for that person at headquarters. It makes them ineligible for promotion and a PASS (raise+bonus) rating. These are grievable through internal processes and are usually quite rare to be issued."

-------------------------------

In the hub where I work, it is a bit different. My hub, which consist of 7 airports.

Per our FSD, a Letter Of Counseling will prevent you from being promoted for 1 year, not just a Letter of Reprimand.

And a Letter of Reprimand will be considered by the FSD when promotions come about for a 2 year period, not just 1. Because of this it would be very difficult to be promoted within that 2 year period, though it no longer affects your PASS after 1 year.

This is per our FSD.

MarkVII said...

Hi West --

Thanks for you compliments on my post and your words of apology. Both mean a lot.

One way or the other, a perception of accountability has to be created. Accountability facilitates trust, and the lack of accountability destroys it.

There's a lot of negative history out there to overcome, and effective accountability measures would help.

Mark
qui custodiet ipsos custodes

TSORon said...

One Anonymous poster said about another:
"Too bad you don't follow the example of TSO William Reed, who posts under his full name and location. Guess you lack his stones..."

Did anyone else notice this person post under the name "Anonymous"?"

Why yes, I did. A classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Which is why I ignored it until someone else said something about it.

Anonymous said...

West Said IT AIN'T NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. That is correct, I said it and will say it as many times as I need to - you don't have to know what disciplinary actions are taken against an employee for any reason. Even if the reason they are fired is you - you shouldn't be informed as to that fact

This type of attitude is EXACTLY whats wrong with TSA. This we are above you little people.

Let me tell you a secret west, you are an employee if the United States Government. OUR tax dollars pay your salary and for all the little gizmo's that ya'll can't live without, like the "puffer" machines rotting in a warehouse.

Since the Government is not a real entity like you and I, it is made up of its citizens.

YOU WORK FOR THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY. I'll say it again, YOU work for the citizens of this country.

You are NOT our overlord or master, you are an EMPLOYEE!

Those airports you work in, belong to the citizens in the communities in which the exist.

This whole HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THE ALMIGHTY TSA? Makes me sick.

Doctors, Nurses, EMT's, Lawyers, and other licensed professionals all have the full names and charges and disciplinary actions published publicly if they are found guilty of an ethics or procedural violation, why is TSA so secretive? What do you have to hide?

BTW Mark, this is the best quote I have seen in some time, hope you don't mind if I use it:

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..

"Let me tell you a secret west, you are an employee if the United States Government. OUR tax dollars pay your salary and for all the little gizmo's that ya'll can't live without, like the "puffer" machines rotting in a warehouse."


Anyone else notice how anonymous seems to ignore the fact that employees at TSA pay taxes too?

So it's not exactly true that your tax dollars ALONE pay for government salaries and equipment, and you shouldn't try to make it seem so.

Anonymous said...

"Why yes, I did. A classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Which is why I ignored it until someone else said something about it."

Unless the anonymous poster was presenting themselves has a TSA employee, the comparison is of apples and oranges, not pots and kettles. TSORon: Always wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...


""Why yes, I did. A classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Which is why I ignored it until someone else said something about it."

Unless the anonymous poster was presenting themselves has a TSA employee, the comparison is of apples and oranges, not pots and kettles. TSORon: Always wrong."

-----------------------------

Why is TSORon wrong? Why the double standard?

TSORon replied to a comment I made regarding a person who was critical of an anonymous TSA employee (I believe) for posting anonymous when the critic him/herself post anonymous.

How is that not "A classic case of the pot calling the kettle black", as TSORon said.

Can you explain why an "anonymous poster ... presenting themselves [as] a TSA employee" (your words) make this not true? I mean, an answer other than you just saying TSORon is wrong?

Anonymous said...

Seems fliers have more to fear from TSA Terrorist than OBL terrorist.

Another "Background Check" success:

"Brian Burton, 27, and Antwon Simmons, 26, stole a laptop and cell phone from the decoy luggage as it moved through Kennedy Airport, Port Authority officials said.

"When air travelers check their luggage with an airline, there is an implicit trust that their bags and their contents will meet them at their destination," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. "The defendants are accused of betraying that trust."

Burton, an officer with the Transportation Security Administration, was videotaped July 7 pilfering through the Miami-bound suitcase in an airport screening room while Simmons, a baggage handler, looked on.




http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/07/15/2009-07-15_sting_nabs_stickyfingered_jfk_airport_workers_going_through_luggage.html#ixzz0LKmzHfJi&D

Anonymous said...

"Can you explain why an "anonymous poster ... presenting themselves [as] a TSA employee" (your words) make this not true? I mean, an answer other than you just saying TSORon is wrong?"

By presenting himself as a TSO without any identifying information beyond his first name, Ron asks asks for whatever authority and expertise he imagines his status confers, without even the level of accountability that exists at an airport checkpoint. That stands in contrast to the example of William Reed, who shares his full name and the airport he works at. The difference between those claiming to be TSOs and those who are citizens not affiliated with TSA is obvious and apparent.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for an actual citation from the relevant privacy laws that you claim prevent you from telling us that an employee was dismissed while allowing you to say that "appropriate disciplinary action was taken." The law may very well say this, but there's no way I'm just going to take your word for it.

Tomas said...

Well, yet another "TSA Officer" caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

From the article:

"Burton, an officer with the Transportation Security Administration, was videotaped July 7 pilfering through the Miami-bound suitcase in an airport screening room while Simmons, a baggage handler, looked on.

The thieves also switched the luggage tags, hoping to conceal their handiwork, officials said."

Sting Nabs Airport Workers.

Hopefully there will be a new EoS post on this development...

Tom (1 of 5-6)

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "This type of attitude is EXACTLY whats wrong with TSA. This we are above you little people.

Let me tell you a secret west, you are an employee if the United States Government. OUR tax dollars pay your salary and for all the little gizmo's that ya'll can't live without, like the "puffer" machines rotting in a warehouse.

Since the Government is not a real entity like you and I, it is made up of its citizens.

YOU WORK FOR THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY. I'll say it again, YOU work for the citizens of this country.

You are NOT our overlord or master, you are an EMPLOYEE!

Those airports you work in, belong to the citizens in the communities in which the exist.

This whole HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THE ALMIGHTY TSA? Makes me sick.

Doctors, Nurses, EMT's, Lawyers, and other licensed professionals all have the full names and charges and disciplinary actions published publicly if they are found guilty of an ethics or procedural violation, why is TSA so secretive? What do you have to hide?"


Ummmm dial back your overreact o meter there anon. On this issue, it is absolutely NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what disciplinary actions are taken. Yes I work for the citizens of the USA, I work for the Federal Government, and yes you pay some of my salary. This does not entitle you or ANYONE not involved in my chain of supervisory staff to any information other than the fact that I work here and maybe what position I have. when an employee is disciplined internally with no formal LEO charges brought against them, then you are not entitled to anything other than a blanket statement that "appropriate action has been taken", IF that. I do not think I am better than any other person, and I do not "Lord" over anything. I am entitled to the same protections as any other employee SHOULD be. If someone publishes personnel info about you at your job, then I hope you sue them till their eyeballs fall out or you own the company. If someone publishes personnel info about me, then I would. Just because I am a government employee, does not mean that I have surrendered my rights to protection under the law. You also seem to have forgotten that I pay taxes just like you do and it was nice of you to use the word OUR because youare right OUR taxes pay for TSA. I am not happy when the organization uses something that is later proven to be ineffective or more costly than orginally estimated, but it happens, at least with the portals, they have recognized the problem and taken steps to correct it (did anyone really give them credit for that? no, thanks for trying). I will not change my position on this and if you are offended by that...tough. I will agree with posters that make valid points and point out areas for improvement, and things of that nature - I will not agree with you when you point out that the employees are actually being afforded the protections accorded them by law.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Still waiting for an actual citation from the relevant privacy laws that you claim prevent you from telling us that an employee was dismissed while allowing you to say that "appropriate disciplinary action was taken." The law may very well say this, but there's no way I'm just going to take your word for it."

The law is commonly referred to as "The Privacy Act". It prevents the disclosure of personnel (among other forms of information) info to others without the permission of the individual unless it falls under the 12 exceptions listed here http://206.131.241.18/app_DM/act_getfiles.cfm?relnum=3453 (sorry gang, I am still not up to speed on the link process and have lost my directions for posting them). The basic information on the Privacy Act is located here http://206.131.241.18/app_DM/act_getfiles.cfm?relnum=3453 . There is no question about the law, it states clearly that the records are protected and that unless the individual releases the information or it falls under the 12 exceptions, then it is not to be released. Sorry I missed that question earlier.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

I am not happy when the organization uses something that is later proven to be ineffective or more costly than orginally estimated, but it happens, at least with the portals, they have recognized the problem and taken steps to correct it (did anyone really give them credit for that? no, thanks for trying).

West
TSA Blog Team

July 16, 2009 4:36 PM
........................

Let me see if I understand this short bit of your commnets West.

Your complaining that the public has not thanked TSA for trashing millions of dollars of equipement that doesn't work.

We should be thankful that TSA didn't do a proper job of testing the equipment and having the vendor prove the equipment would work in the intended invironment?

I have to wonder how many former TSA employees are now employeed by that vendor.

Nope West, I don't see any reason to thank TSA for doing an unacceptable job and wasting millions of taxpayers dollars.

Seems the more proper course would be to demand that TSA hold the people who purchased these systems accountable for their actions.

A 4x8 jail cell seems like the proper place for them.

RB said...

The law is commonly referred to as "The Privacy Act". It prevents the disclosure of personnel (among other forms of information) info to others without the permission of the individual unless it falls under the 12 exceptions listed here http://206.131.241.18/app_DM/act_getfiles.cfm?relnum=3453 (sorry gang, I am still not up to speed on the link process and have lost my directions for posting them). The basic information on the Privacy Act is located here http://206.131.241.18/app_DM/act_getfiles.cfm?relnum=3453 . There is no question about the law, it states clearly that the records are protected and that unless the individual releases the information or it falls under the 12 exceptions, then it is not to be released. Sorry I missed that question earlier.

West
TSA Blog Team

July 16, 2009 5:22 PM

West, is the Privacy Act law you mention the same law that requires the government to provide notice before collecting any personally identifiable?

Seems TSA collects information from people daily and does not provide the required notice.

So TSA can ignore this law as it wishes, is that the case?

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "Still waiting for an actual citation from the relevant privacy laws that you claim prevent you from telling us that an employee was dismissed while allowing you to say that "appropriate disciplinary action was taken." The law may very well say this, but there's no way I'm just going to take your word for it."

The law is commonly referred to as "The Privacy Act". It prevents the disclosure of personnel (among other forms of information) info to others without the permission of the individual unless it falls under the 12 exceptions listed here http://206.131.241.18/app_DM/act_getfiles.cfm?relnum=3453 (sorry gang, I am still not up to speed on the link process and have lost my directions for posting them). The basic information on the Privacy Act is located here http://206.131.241.18/app_DM/act_getfiles.cfm?relnum=3453 . There is no question about the law, it states clearly that the records are protected and that unless the individual releases the information or it falls under the 12 exceptions, then it is not to be released. Sorry I missed that question earlier.

West
TSA Blog Team

West,
Thanks very much for responding to my question. However, I'm still a bit confused. If the privacy law prohibits you from disclosing the specific disciplinary action taken against a given employee, how does it permit you to say that "appropriate action was taken." Wouldn't the very fact that "action was taken" violate the privacy laws? Or is it the case that you (i.e. TSA, blog staff, Bob, etc.) are claiming that "appropriate action was taken" without any actual knowledge that sanctions were applied? If so, is it your contention that (even without direct knowledge of the details), TSA always responds appropriately to such situations?

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "West,
Thanks very much for responding to my question. However, I'm still a bit confused. If the privacy law prohibits you from disclosing the specific disciplinary action taken against a given employee, how does it permit you to say that "appropriate action was taken." Wouldn't the very fact that "action was taken" violate the privacy laws? Or is it the case that you (i.e. TSA, blog staff, Bob, etc.) are claiming that "appropriate action was taken" without any actual knowledge that sanctions were applied? If so, is it your contention that (even without direct knowledge of the details), TSA always responds appropriately to such situations?"

I have no personal knowledge of what particular discipline was taken, as I am not in the individuals chain of supervisory members. I actually do not wish to know what actions are taken specifically, and a statement that "appropriate actions was taken" or something to that effect is allowable because it does not identify any action, or the person themselves. It is a blanket statement that actions were taken to correct an inappropriate action by an Officer. It is the same type of statement that should be used in ANY situation (whether government or private industry) when charges are not filed.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

have no personal knowledge of what particular discipline was taken, as I am not in the individuals chain of supervisory members. I actually do not wish to know what actions are taken specifically, and a statement that "appropriate actions was taken" or something to that effect is allowable because it does not identify any action, or the person themselves. It is a blanket statement that actions were taken to correct an inappropriate action by an Officer. It is the same type of statement that should be used in ANY situation (whether government or private industry) when charges are not filed.

West
TSA Blog Team

July 23, 2009 4:09 AM
.............................
Appropriate Action could mean that no action was taken also.

Can you explain why actions against other public servants are often stated in newspapers and on the local evening news?

Your argument is weak West.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "Appropriate Action could mean that no action was taken also.

Can you explain why actions against other public servants are often stated in newspapers and on the local evening news?

Your argument is weak West."

I do not know what to tell you about other agencies, newspapers, etc. I know that I believe it is wrong to publish anything that is handled internally without charges in any situation, period, no exceptions. I am also the one that says charge people for things under the law, no exceptions. My argument is actually quite sound RB, because I have quoted the particular regulations that cover it, whereas you merely indicate a desire for something that is not actually supposed to be given out in the first place. I do not agree with disclosing anything about anyone without their consent or without them having charges brought against them under any circumstances (whether it applies to a person at TSA or McDonalds or Target or Wal Mart, or any other place of business). All the information yiou need is included in the aforementioned Privacy Act, if you would care to read it, and I still say - It Ain't None of Your Business what disciplinary actions are taken in non-charged offenses.

West
TSA Blog Team

Tomas said...

While I can see both sides of the "disclosure" argument (my wife and I used to edit and publish the "Auburn Argus" - the local IFGE newsletter), but comparing federal TSOs to Wal*Mart and Target employees expectations of privacy is a bit of a stretch.

For example, sticking purely within government employees called officers, if a local law enforcement officer is involved in a questionable interaction with the public, before charges are ever mentioned - usually before the end of their shift, they are often placed on restricted duty or administrative leave, or on a desk job, or whatever euphemism is currently in vogue to indicate they are no longer on the front line, face to face with the public they serve.

On the eleven o'clock news is their agency, name, rank, usual duty, possible impropriety, and the fact they are currently not allowed to do their job until after an investigation to see if they actually did anything wrong.

That same info, but in more detail, is often printed the next morning in the local newspapers, and most of the media websites in the area have something about it.

If government employees serving the public at city, county, and state levels are rightfully subjected to that level of reportage, why is it that one does not hear at least the same level of information about federal officers from any agency unless they are already charged?

There really is too much insulation placed between the public's servants and the public that employs them at the federal level.

I can understand not divulging internal disciplinary actions in detail, but as a public employee as opposed to private employee, some level of accountability should exist to assure the public that possible infractions, even of just agency rules that could never result in legal charges, are being properly and swiftly corrected in an appropriate manner.

Tom (1 of 5-6)

GSOLTSO said...

Tomas sez - "For example, sticking purely within government employees called officers, if a local law enforcement officer is involved in a questionable interaction with the public, before charges are ever mentioned - usually before the end of their shift, they are often placed on restricted duty or administrative leave, or on a desk job, or whatever euphemism is currently in vogue to indicate they are no longer on the front line, face to face with the public they serve."

I can see what you are getting at there Tom, it is fact that a lot of PDs or other govt agencies spread their info across the pages of local news institutions, but there is a fundamental difference between a Law Enforcement Officer and a TSO. TSOs have no detention ability, no powers of arrest, and only control access to certain areas. An LEO has the ability to take your freedoms away based solely on his judgment and learning of the applicble laws, the LEO also has the ability to detain you without immediate recourse if there is something out of the norm. I understand what you are saying about public servants, but I disagree wholeheartedly. I do not think that you have the right to know anything about my work history or any other persons work history without formal charges or permission. I also do not think that comparing the different employment locations (Walmart, Target, TSA, etc) is a stretch at all, just because I took a job with the feds does not mean I have surrendered my rights as a citizen of this country. I pay taxes just like other taxpayers, I vote just like other voters, I spend my money just like other citizens, and I don't think becuase I work as a fed I give those rights up. BTW, I don't think thre should be information released about ANYONE (regardless of work location) unless there are formal charges, safety issues, or permission from the person - under ANY circumstances. You do not have a right to know everyone elses business just because they hold a title Officer. Just like I don't have a right to dig up any information on you without a valid reason or need to know (probably an inadequate comparison since you are probably not a fed, but you get the idea). I just think that by releasing info about a personnel issue in any way, we are setting the organization up for lawsuits that could be easily prevented by NOT releasing the info. I know if I had done nothing wrong, and wound up with the organization spreading information about my personnel file over the airwaves, that I would find me a pit viper with a law degree and then we would both go buy an island when we got through (and rightly so). Just like if there were a person wrongly slandered by any other organization then the organization should pay for it dearly. Just my opinion - it is worth what it cost ya!

West
TSA Blog Team

Pair-a-Docs said...

RB said...

TSO Jacob said...

RB said... "I think the law would find that a person who is in a place where drugs are being used would be held just as responsible as those using.”

TSO Jacob said... That last statement doesn’t even make sense. The law does not project responsibility for an individual’s poor choices onto those around them.


2) Many of the folks working for TSA are former police officers or other forms of public safety officials. It may be difficult for you to believe, but we do speak to one another, and it’s not hard to remember that pot is a green leafy substance and cocaine is a white powder.

July 3, 2009 11:44 AM

Jacob I suggest you ask a police officer about hanging out where drugs are being used and any liability you might face. You might get a surprise.

People with training in drug identification can probably ID many drugs, no question. I am asking about those with no training. The only way for these people to know what a drug really looks like is through some form of personal knowledge.

Baby Powder and flour are white powders.

Oregano, basil and cumin are green leafy substances.

Are you trained to know the difference?

July 4, 2009 11:17 AM

--------------

RB, I might not know the difference between leafy green cooking herbs and marijuana. I might not know the difference between baby powder and cocaine or heroin. But somehow I doubt that you would transport your leafy green cooking herbs or baby powder in baggies taped to your thighs or in your bra, and I sincerely doubt that you would wrap up your powdered milk in 2.2 lb. bricks taped up to look like the kilo bricks the drug dealers carry in the trunks of their cars in the movies.

Although as angry as you appear to be, you might do just that in order to spite the TSO who questioned it and called law enforcement, and you would probably find a way to sue for unlawful detainment when the field tests came out negative. That'd be your style based on the content (and intent) of your posts.

Article said...

I guess this only makes sense. Reckless firing can lead to headaches even if it's for an obviously valid reason. Gotta love lawyers.

David Deangello said...

Or how any TSO who is not trained in drug identification can know that an item is a drug. If not trained then how did they gain the knowledge to identity such things. Personal use?

RB- Ok your argument was decent up till the "personal use?" part. But i agree, you do need formal training to properly identify drugs.

Jordan said...

@Omer

I agree with your assessment of the situation, but I guess there is a lot of legal jargon at play.

Ayn R. Key said...

You know, you can post information without violating the rights of the employees if you do it the right way. Such as:

Any employee caught doing X will have their employment terminated.

You should do a whole blog entry on that topic.

A = 2 week suspension
B = Pay cut and demotion
C = Arrest
D = Termination after investigation, paid suspension during investigation.
E = Termination after investigation, unpaid suspension during investigation
F = Hours cut
G = Hours cut to zero but still considered an employee

etc.

I'm sure you can do it. I'm also sure you won't.

Anonymous said...

What if an employee is wrongfully arrested, fights the case of theft and wins, but was Indefinitely Suspended. Can that person get their job back?