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City of Lake Wales, Florida Human Resources Department
Personnel Policies

SECTION 2-229 DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE AND ALCOHOL POLICY

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Secs. 2-229.01 Drug-Free Workplace and Alcohol Policy

The City's Drug-Free Workplace Policy is aimed at ensuring "zero" tolerance to illegal drugs at all times and its alcohol-free policy to "zero" tolerance under circumstances that affect or might affect the safety and well being of employees, citizens and others, or the effective operation of City business. This policy is consistent with all Florida State and Federal Laws including Florida Drug-Free Workplace Statutes 440.101 and 440.102, Drug-Free Workplace Program Requirements, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), Chapter 59A-24, Florida Administrative Code, Drug-Free Workplace Standards, and the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act. In addition, all employees required to have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) under Chapter 49 CFP, part 383, are subject to controlled substance and alcohol testing rules established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (revised February 1994), in accordance with 49 CFR, Parts 40, 383, 392, 4, and 392.5. Regulatory penalties for infractions are in addition to disciplinary action including termination of employment. return to top

Secs. 2-229.02 Policy

(a) Illegal Controlled Substances: The City prohibits the use, distribution, possession, manufacture, cultivation, sale or attempt to sell or distribute illegal controlled substances at any time whether on or off duty, whether on or off City property. Illegal controlled substances are defined by applicable State and Federal laws.

(b) Alcohol Abuse: Employees of the City are prohibited from using or possessing alcohol while on duty; while on City premises; while driving a City vehicle, operating a piece of the City's equipment, or being transported in City vehicles at any time; reporting to work under the influence of alcohol; or, from otherwise using alcohol in a manner at any time which adversely affects the business interests of the City.

Note: A sworn employee of the City Police Department, or an employee acting under the direction of such, may have cause in the course of conducting City Business, to acquire and/or manipulate some form of alcohol or drugs for a duty purpose, and not for other non-job related reasons, and such shall be done in accordance with the officer's assigned duties and in accordance with Police Department Policies. return to top

Secs. 2-229.03 Use of Legal Drugs

The use of legal drugs, that are prescribed by licensed physicians for a specific medical purpose is not prohibited. However, such drugs can and often do have a direct impact on the vigilance, judgment and/or coordination of the employee and may adversely affect the employee's job performance and the employee's ability to work in a safe and efficient manner. This is particularly true in safety-sensitive assignments involving the operation of motor vehicles and other moving equipment. Therefore, an employee for whom a licensed physician or dentist prescribes a controlled substance must advise the supervisor immediately in order that an evaluation can be made on the impact, if any, on the safe and efficient operation of the City. Detection of a controlled substance will be presumed to be in violation of this policy unless the employee advises the Supervisor of its medicinal use in advance. The Supervisor must immediately advise the Department Head of such use by the employee. return to top

Secs. 2-229.04 Substances Tested For

(a) With respect to violation of Policy 229.02(B), employees are subject to testing for the detection of alcohol while on duty or while operating or riding in or on a City-owned vehicle. The current positive test threshold for alcohol is .02g%.

(b) Employees will be subject to drug testing for the detection of the following illegal drugs/drug groups, as well as others that may from time to time be declared illegal by state or federal law:

  1. Amphetamines
  2. Barbiturates
  3. Benzodiazepines
  4. Cannabinoids (marijuana)
  5. Cocaine
  6. Methadone
  7. Methaqualone
  8. Opiates (Heroin, Morphine, Codeine)
  9. Phencyclidine (PCP)
  10. Propoxyphene

(c) Circumstances for testing:

  1. Subject to applicable law, all job applicants shall be subject to pre-employment drug testing as a prerequisite to employment with the City. It is the obligation of the job applicant to notify the approved testing facility of any controlled substances prescribed for the job applicant by a physician or dentist.
  2. When an employee is involved at any time directly in an equipment or vehicular work-related accident, or in any unsafe and/or negligent maintenance or operation of the City's equipment or vehicles at any time where in the opinion of the City Manager the employee was at fault or the employee's conduct contributed to the accident.
  3. When reasonable suspicion exists to believe the employee is using drugs or alcohol in violation of this policy. A reasonable suspicion is a belief that an employee is using or has used drugs or alcohol in violation of this policy drawn from specific objective and articulatable facts and reasonable inferences drawn from those facts in light of experience. Among other things, such facts and inferences may be based upon:
    1. Observable phenomena while at work, such as direct observation of drug use or of physical symptoms or manifestations of being under the influence of a drug or alcohol;
    2. Abnormal conduct or erratic behavior while at work or a significant deterioration in work performance;
    3. A report of drug use, provided by a reliable and credible source;
    4. Evidence that an individual has tampered with a drug test during his employment with the City;
    5. Information that an employee has caused, contributed to, or been involved in an accident while at work;
    6. Evidence that an employee has used, possessed, manufactured, cultivated, sold, solicited, or transferred drugs;
    7. Frequent absences from work without a satisfactory explanation.
  4. Unless prohibited by law, as a part of any medical examination required by the City whether or not that medical examination is required by the DOT or any other local, state or federal law or regulation.
  5. Unless prohibited by applicable law, the City reserves the right to test any employee for illegal drugs and alcohol to determine compliance with this policy at any time with or without prior announcement on a random or other basis.
  6. For the purpose of this policy, if a test reveals the presence of alcohol, the employee shall be deemed to have violated the City policy.
  7. Employees and job applicants have the right to consult with the testing laboratory for technical information regarding prescription and non-prescription medications. The name, address and telephone number of the testing laboratory will be provided to the employee or job applicant upon request.
  8. All test results will be kept confidential and will only be provided to managerial employees on a need-to-know basis. return to top
Secs. 2-229.05 Reasonable Suspicion Searches

To discourage the use and/or distribution of illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages in the workplace, upon reasonable suspicion, searches for alcohol, illegal drugs or paraphernalia may be conducted on City property or worksites of employee's personal property including but not limited to any box, bag, or other containers and vehicles brought on to City property at any time. return to top

Secs. 2-229.06 Reporting and Conviction of Alleged Crimes Including Drugs or Alcohol

(a) All employees must report to their Supervisor any arrest, indictment or conviction of a drug or alcohol related violation or alleged violation of law not later than the next work day after the employee becomes aware of it. Failure to so report may result in immediate termination.

(b) Upon conviction of a crime involving illegal drugs, the employee will be immediately terminated.

(c) Without regard to prosecution or conviction by appropriate governmental entities, the City may, at its option, conduct its own independent investigation to determine whether or not there has been a violation of the City's drug and/or alcohol policy. If, in the opinion of the City, it believes a violation has occurred, it will take whatever disciplinary action it deems appropriate regardless of the ultimate outcome of any criminal case that may be brought against the employee. return to top

Secs. 2-229.07 Discipline for Violations of Policy

Employees who violate this policy or who are directed to take a physical examination, blood, breathalyzer, urinalysis or other test allowed by law, and refuse or fail to do so when and as directed; or who, after having taken such examination and/or test are determined to have utilized an illegal controlled substance at any time or to have violated the City's alcohol abuse policy, shall be subject to immediate termination; provided, however, if the presence of an illegal controlled substance is established as a result of the test, the employee or job applicant may, within five (5) working days of receipt of written notification of a positive result, request an opportunity to explain the result to the City and/or the Medical Review Officer. return to top

Secs. 2-229.08 Employee Injured on the Job

Any employee injured on the job who refuses to submit to a drug test, or has a positive confirmation test, in addition to other provision of the policy, may forfeit his eligibility for all Workers' Compensation medical and indemnity benefits depending on applicable law. return to top

Secs. 2-229.09 Employee Assistance Program

(a) The City has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with one of its missions being to assist employees who voluntarily report drug or alcohol related problems, which have not yet adversely affected their job or City operations. Additionally, the City may require any employee in violation of this policy, whether he voluntarily reports his problem or not, to participate in the EAP or other medical and rehabilitative assistance programs as a condition for continued employment. For further information regarding the EAP, contact Human Resources.

  1. Employees Who Voluntarily Ask for Help: Employees with drug or alcohol related problems who wish assistance through the EAP may contact the EAP. If the employee has a satisfactory performance record, the City may grant the employee an unpaid leave of absence for a period determined by the City to participate in a City-approved treatment or rehabilitative program. This employee will be responsible for all expenses resulting from the treatment or program to the extent they are not covered by insurance.
  2. Other Employees: In the event the City discovers a violation of this drug or alcohol policy, or if the City otherwise discovers an alcohol-related problem that adversely affects or may adversely affect the employee's performance or the City's business, the City at its option consistent with applicable law, may proceed to discipline the employee up to and including discharge, or at the City's option, require the employee to undergo approved medical or rehabilitative assistance. The employee will be responsible for all expenses resulting from the treatment or rehabilitation to the extent they are not covered by insurance. In the event the City requires the employee to participate in the Employee Assistance Program, the EAP provider will keep the City fully advised with respect to the employee's participation and medical condition.
  3. Return to work: Employees who are granted a leave of absence under paragraph (1) and (2) above must successfully complete all EAP, medical and other rehabilitative requirements established by the City for them within a reasonable amount of time, in order to be considered for return to work.
  4. Re-testing: Employees allowed to return to work under paragraph (3) shall be subject to re-testing any time without notice and must submit to such test as and when directed by the City. return to top
Secs. 2-229.10 Reporting Violation of the Policy

(a) It is the obligation of every employee of the City to report violations of the City's drug and alcohol abuse policies. Failure to report may subject employees to discipline up to and including discharge.

(b) Any employee who in good faith, based upon reasonable suspicion or observation, reports an alleged violation of these policies, or any supervisory or managerial employee who investigates or takes action in good faith based on reasonable suspicion or observation shall not be harassed, retaliated against, or discriminated against in any manner for making reports, participating in the investigation or because of any reasonable action he takes as a result of the investigation.

(c) Bad Faith Claims. Any knowingly false reporting of a violation of the policies set forth herein shall subject the employee to immediate termination. return to top

Section 2-229 is subject to applicable law and all action taken by members of management hereunder must obtain approval from the Human Resources Director to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.


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