Chapter 2.76


2.76.010    Purpose.

2.76.020    Applicability.

2.76.030    Policy.

2.76.040    Definitions.

2.76.050    Prohibited conduct.

2.76.060    Testing.

2.76.070    Refusal to take an alcohol or drug test.

2.76.080    Securing information from previous employers.

2.76.090    Confidentiality and record retention.

2.76.100    Consequences of engaging in prohibited conduct or positive drug or alcohol tests.

2.76.110    Voluntary referral.

2.76.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this policy is to establish compliance with the Federal Highway Administration regulations requiring drug and alcohol testing for commercial driver’s license holders. Regulations issued by the United States Department of Transportation mandate urine, drug and evidential breath alcohol testing for employees in safety-sensitive positions, including those who are required to hold a commercial driver’s license. This policy sets forth the city alcohol and drug testing program and the testing and reporting requirements as required by those regulations. (Res. 496 § 1(1), 1996).

2.76.020 Applicability.

This policy applies to all employees of the city who are required to have and maintain a commercial driver’s license in order to perform the duties of the job. Contractors performing functions for the city involving the use of a vehicle requiring a commercial driver’s license, will be subject to specific alcohol and drug testing as required by federal regulations. (Res. 496 § 1(2), 1996).

2.76.030 Policy.

The city has a significant interest in the health and safety of its employees and the citizens of the city. In furtherance of that interest, it is the policy of the city to take those steps necessary to ensure that its employees perform their duties and responsibilities free of the influence of drugs and alcohol. Employees are encouraged to seek confidential counseling on problems associated with alcohol and drug abuse. There will be mandatory drug and alcohol testing for employees and job applicants under the circumstances outlined in this policy. (Res. 496 § 1(3), 1996).

2.76.040 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

A. “Accident” means an occurrence involving a commercial vehicle on a public road which results in:

1. A fatality;

2. Bodily injury to a person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or

3. One or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage requiring the vehicle to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other vehicle.

B. “Commercial vehicle” means one that either:

1. Has a gross vehicle weight of over 26,000 pounds (including combined weight if towed unit weighs over 10,000 pounds);

2. Is designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver; or

3. Is used to transport hazardous materials.

C. “Driver” means and includes all employees whose positions may involve driving a commercial vehicle and that require the possession of a commercial driver’s license.

D. Drugs. For the purposes of this policy, in accordance with the applicable federal regulations, “drugs” refers to the following five substances: marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamines.

E. “Medical review officer (MRO)” means the licensed physician responsible for receiving and interpreting laboratory results from the urine drug tests.

F. “Safety-sensitive position” means, for purposes of this policy, positions associated with the driving of commercial vehicles.

G. “Substance abuse professional (SAP)” means a licensed physician, or a licensed or certified psychologist, social worker, employee assistance professional, or addiction counselor (certified by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission) with knowledge of and clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol and drug-related disorders. The SAP is responsible for evaluating employees with positive test results. (Res. 496 § 1(4), 1996).

2.76.050 Prohibited conduct.

The following conduct regarding alcohol and drug use or abuse is prohibited:

A. Alcohol Concentration. An employee may not report for or remain on duty requiring the performance of duties covered under this policy while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater.

B. Alcohol Possession and On-Duty Use of Alcohol. An employee may not possess or use alcohol while on duty or while operating a commercial vehicle.

C. Preduty Use of Alcohol. An employee may not operate a commercial vehicle within four hours after using alcohol. An on-call employee who consumes alcohol within four hours of being called in must acknowledge the use of alcohol and may not report for duty.

D. Alcohol Use Following an Accident. An employee required to take a post-accident alcohol test may not use alcohol for eight hours following the accident, or until a post-accident alcohol test is given, whichever comes first.

E. Use of Drugs. An employee may not report for duty or remain on duty which requires driving a commercial vehicle when the employee has used a drug or drugs, except when the use is pursuant to instructions of a physician who has advised the employee that the substance does not adversely affect the employee’s ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle. Employees who are taking a prescription or over-the-counter medication that may impair their ability to perform their duties safely and effectively should provide written notice from their physician or pharmacist with respect to the effects of such substances.

F. Refusal to Submit to a Required Test. An employee may not refuse to submit to a post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, or follow-up alcohol or drug test as directed by this policy.

G. Positive Drug Test. An employee may not report for duty or remain on duty requiring the performance of duties covered under this policy if the employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol.

H. Tampering with a Required Test. An employee may not tamper with, adulterate, alter, substitute or otherwise obstruct any testing process required under this policy. (Res. 496 § 1(5), 1996).

2.76.060 Testing.

A. Preemployment Drug Testing. All individuals who are covered by this policy must pass a drug test as a post-offer condition of employment-

B. Reasonable Suspicion Testing.

1. Employees subject to this policy shall submit to a drug and/or alcohol test when the city reasonably suspects that this policy may have been or is presently being violated. A referral for testing will be based on contemporaneous, articulable observations. Such referrals will be made by supervisory personnel who have received training concerning the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol use.

2. Alcohol testing for reasonable suspicion may only be conducted just before, during or after an employee operates a commercial vehicle. If removed from duty based on reasonable suspicion of alcohol use and an alcohol test is not administered within eight hours, the employee will not be allowed to perform or continue to perform covered functions until:

a. An alcohol test is administered and the driver’s breath alcohol concentration measures less than 0.02; or

b. Twenty-four hours have elapsed following the determination that there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the employee has violated this policy concerning the use of alcohol.

C. Post-Accident Testing.

1. Following an accident (as defined in SLMC 2.76.040) involving a commercial vehicle, the driver is required to submit to alcohol and drug tests when the driver receives a citation under state or local law for a moving traffic violation, or where a fatality occurs as a result of the accident. Testing should occur as soon as possible, but may not exceed eight hours after the accident for alcohol testing and 32 hours after the accident for drug testing.

2. A driver who is subject to post-accident testing must remain readily available for such testing and may not take any action to interfere with testing or the results of testing. Drivers who do not comply with post-accident testing requirements will be considered to have refused to submit to testing and will be subject to sanctions for refusal to test as provided in this policy.

D. Random Testing. Employees covered by this policy will be subject to random, unannounced alcohol and drug testing.

E. Return to Duty Testing. Employees who have violated this policy, including those who have tested positive on a drug or alcohol test, and who under the discipline policy are allowed to return to work, must test negative prior to being released for duty. A return to duty test following alcohol misuse may not exceed an alcohol concentration of 0.02.

F. Follow-Up Testing. An employee who is referred for assistance related to alcohol misuse and/or use of drugs is subject to unannounced follow-up testing for a period not to exceed 60 months as directed by a substance abuse professional and the city. The number and frequency of follow-up testing will be determined by the substance abuse professional and the city, but will not be less than six tests in the first 12 months following the employee’s return to duty.

G. Retests. Employees who test positive for drugs may request a second test of the remaining portion of the split sample within 72 hours of notification of a positive test result by the medical review officer. (Res. 496 § 1(6), 1996).

2.76.070 Refusal to take an alcohol or drug test.

A. No employee shall refuse to submit to an alcohol or drug test as directed under this policy. A refusal to submit shall include, but is not limited to:

1. A failure to provide adequate breath for testing without a valid medical explanation after the employee has received notice of the requirement for breath testing in accordance with the procedures manual;

2. Failure to provide adequate urine for drug testing without a valid medical explanation after the employee has received notice of the requirement for urine testing in accordance with the procedures manual;

3. Engaging in conduct that obstructs the testing process.

B. Refusal to submit to a test shall be considered the same as a positive test result. (Res. 496 § 1(7), 1996).

2.76.080 Securing information from previous employers.

A. If a person is to be hired into a position subject to this policy and during the previous two years has worked as a driver of a commercial vehicle, that person must authorize a request of all employers of the driver within the past two years to release information on the following:

1. Positive alcohol or drug tests;

2. Refusal to be tested.

B. This information must be obtained before the person is employed by the city. However, if the information has not arrived by the anticipated start date, and if the person has passed the preemployment drug test, the person may be hired and the requested information must be obtained from the previous employers within 14 calendar days of the date of hire. If the information has not been received within the 14 calendar days, the person will not be permitted to drive commercial vehicles until the information has arrived. If the information obtained from previous employer indicates either a positive test or that a refusal to be tested occurred within the past two years, that person will not be permitted to drive commercial vehicles unless subsequent information indicates that an evaluation by a substance abuse professional was made and return to duty testing was administered. (Res. 496 § 1(8), 1996).

2.76.090 Confidentiality and record retention.

All records related to drug and alcohol testing will be maintained in a secure location with controlled access. These records will be kept separate from records pertaining to all other employees. (Res. 496 § 1(9), 1996).

2.76.100 Consequences of engaging in prohibited conduct or positive drug or alcohol tests.

A. Discipline.

1. An employee will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment if:

a. The employee tests positive for a drug or drugs;

b. Results from an alcohol test indicate a blood alcohol level of 0.02 or greater; and/or

c. The employee has engaged in prohibited conduct as outlined in SLMC 2.76.050.

2. All employees regardless of disciplinary action taken will be advised of resources available to the employee in evaluating or resolving problems associated with drug use or alcohol misuse.

3. The provisions of subsections B and C of this section apply to those employees who are not terminated for their policy violations.

B. Positive Test Result and/or Engaging in Prohibited Conduct.

1. If an employee tests positive for drugs or has an alcohol test that indicates a blood alcohol level of 0.04 or greater from a random, reasonable suspicion or post-accident test, or engages in prohibited conduct as outlined in SLMC 2.76.050, the employee will be immediately removed from duties requiring the driving of a commercial vehicle. The employee will not be permitted to return to work unless he/she:

a. Has been evaluated by a qualified substance abuse professional; and

b. If recommended by a substance abuse professional, has properly followed any rehabilitation prescribed; and

c. Has a verified negative result on a return-to-duty alcohol (less than 0.02) and/or drug test.

2. Upon completion of a recommended rehabilitation program and successful return to work, an employee will be subject to follow-up random testing for up to 60 months as recommended by the substance abuse professional and the city, with a minimum of six such unscheduled tests within the first 12 months of returning to duty.

C. Alcohol Concentration of 0.02 but Less Than 0.04. Employees having a breath alcohol concentration of at least 0.02 but less than 0.04, shall be removed from duty requiring the driving of a commercial vehicle for at least 24 hours. (Res. 496 § 1(10), 1996).

2.76.110 Voluntary referral.

A. The city supports employees who volunteer for treatment of alcohol or drug abuse. Employees are encouraged to seek treatment voluntarily. Any employee who comes forth and notifies the city of alcohol or drug abuse problems will be given the assistance extended to employees with any other illness. Any such program, however, may not interfere with the tests required by these rules. For example, a driver may not identify himself/herself as unfit to drive after having been notified of a random or reasonable suspicion test and expect to avoid the consequences for a positive test or a refusal to test. In addition, voluntarily seeking assistance does not excuse any failure to comply with all of the provisions of this policy or other policies of the city.

B. Sick leave, vacation leave or leave of absence without pay may be granted for treatment and rehabilitation as in other illnesses. Insurance coverage for treatment will be provided to the extent of individual coverage. Confidentiality of information will be maintained as much as possible at all times. (Res. 496 § 1(11), 1996).