49 CFR § 209.329 - Assessment considerations.

§ 209.329 Assessment considerations.

(a) Proof of a respondent's willful violation of one of the requirements of parts 213 through 241 (excluding parts 225, 228, and 233) of this title, or of one of the requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapt. 51, or any regulation or order prescribed thereunder, establishes a rebuttable presumption that the respondent is unfit to perform the safety-sensitive functions described in § 209.303. Where such presumption arises, the respondent has the burden of establishing that, taking account of the factors in paragraph (b) of this section, he or she is fit to perform the foregoing safety-sensitive functions for the period and under the other conditions, if any, proposed in the notice of proposed disqualification.

(b) In determining respondent's lack of fitness to perform safety-sensitive functions and the duration and other conditions, if any, of appropriate disqualification orders under §§ 209.309, 209.323, and 209.327, the factors to be considered, to the extent each is pertinent to the respondent's case, include but are not limited to the following:

(1) The nature and circumstances of the violation, including whether the violation was intentional, technical, or inadvertent, was committed willfully, or was frequently repeated;

(2) The adverse impact or the potentially adverse impact of the violation on the health and safety of persons and the safety of property;

(3) The employing railroad's operating rules, safety rules, and repair and maintenance standards;

(4) Repair and maintenance standards adopted by the railroad industry;

(5) The consistency of the conditions of the proposed disqualification with disqualification orders issued against other employees of the employing railroad for the same or similar violations;

(6) Whether the respondent was on notice of any safety regulations that were violated or whether the respondent had been warned about the conduct in question;

(7) The respondent's past record of committing violations of safety regulations, including previous FRA warnings issued, disqualifications imposed, civil penalties assessed, railroad disciplinary actions, and criminal convictions therefor;

(8) The civil penalty scheduled for the violation of the safety regulation in question;

(9) Mitigating circumstances surrounding the violation, such as the existence of an emergency situation endangering persons or property and the need for the respondent to take immediate action; and

(10) Such other factors as may be warranted in the public interest.

[74 FR 23334, May 19, 2009]