FILE:  GAMEB

 

ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE AND TESTING

EMPLOYEES WITH DRIVING RESPONSIBILITIES

 

 

The Plaquemines Parish School Board, as a result of its responsibilities to its employees and to the public it serves, has a compelling obligation to eliminate illegal drug and alcohol use from its workplace.  The School Board recognizes the increased risks and dangers when employees use drugs in the workplace.  In an effort to provide a safe, healthful, and productive work environment, the School Board will act to establish a drug and alcohol policy for all drivers of a parish owned vehicle or a contract vehicle, whether part time or full time.  This policy will establish the administrative scope, personnel procedures, employee training, drug testing guidelines, and employee assistance related to achieving a drug-free workplace.  It is the intent of this policy to comply with current Federal and State statutes, and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations concerning drugs in the workplace and drug-testing of employees.

 

APPLICATION

 

This policy shall apply to all present and future full or part time drivers, driver applicants, contract drivers, volunteers, and auxiliary personnel employed by or representing the School Board when driving a School Board vehicle or while driving on School Board business.  The School Board requires compliance with this policy as a condition of employment, continued employment, and continuation of contractual agreements with the School Board in the capacity of a driver.

 

The terms of this policy shall apply to all School Board property including but not limited to School Board land, offices, buildings, structures, installations, work locations, and all fixtures, machinery, and equipment herein.  This policy shall also apply to all owned, leased, or used automobiles, trucks, vehicles, equipment, or other transportation used at or while traveling to and from School Board property during the performance of any School Board business.  The term employee in this policy shall refer to anyone who drives a vehicle owned or contracted by the Plaquemines Parish School Board.

 

PROHIBITIONS

 

This is to notify all driver applicants, School Board drivers, and visitors that the unlawful use, abuse, confirmed presence in the body, possessions, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, transfer, storage, concealment, or sale of legal and illegal drugs, controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, weapons, stolen property, or drug related paraphernalia is strictly prohibited by during the course and scope of School Board business and/or while on or using School Board property.

 

More specifically prohibited substances include:

 

Illegal Drugs such as, but not limited to, cannabinoids (marijuana, pot, dope, hashish), cocaine (coke, rock, crack, or base), LSD (acid), PCP (angel dust), MDMA (ecstasy), opiates (heroine, smack, black stuff, black tar, opium, morphine), and any other illegal or unlawfully obtained drug.

 

Designer and Synthetic Drugs such as but not limited to, ice, ice cube, crank, china white, synthetic heroine, MDA, Adam, Eve, Love Drug, and any other drugs that are made by altering the molecular structure of both legal and illegal drugs to create a drug not expressly banned by Federal law.

 

Unauthorized or Prohibited Drugs such as but not limited to, nonprescription stimulants, amphetamines, tranquilizers, barbiturates, or any other tablets, capsules, powders, liquids or inhalants containing substances which are regulated by state or federal law or which are intended to mimic such controlled substances.  The term unauthorized includes prescription drugs not legally obtained or not being used for prescribed purposes.  The term unauthorized also includes any abnormal or dangerous substance which may affect or alter a person's perception, performance, reflexes, reaction time, motor skills, mood, or judgment while working.

 

Prescription and Over the Counter Medications including legally obtained controlled substances.  Abuse of a prescribed controlled substance or use of a prescribed controlled substance not prescribed for the employee or employment applicant is prohibited.  Employees and others covered by this policy may maintain prescription drugs and over the counter medications on School Board premises provided:

 

    1. The prescription drugs are prescribed by an authorized medical practitioner for use by the person in possession within the past twelve (12) months and the medication is in its original container.  If the medical practitioner is authorizing use of the prescription for a period of longer than twelve (12) months, then a letter from the practitioner is to be placed on file with the School Board Substance Abuse Program Coordinator.

    2. Employees are to take the prescription in the manner prescribed by the prescribing practitioner.  The employee must not allow any other person to consume the prescribed drug.

    3. Over the counter medications are to be kept in their original container.

    4. Any employee who has been informed that medication could cause adverse side effects while working or where medication indicates such warning, must inform their supervisor prior to using such substances on the job.  The School Board at all times reserves the right to have a licensed physician determine if use of a prescription drug or medication impairs the employee or in any way makes it unsafe for him/her to perform the duties of his/her job.  In the event of such a finding, the School Board may, with permission, check with the employee's physician to see if alternative medications are available which would not affect the employee's ability to work safely.  The employee may use sick days in the event this situation originates.

 

Drug Related Paraphernalia is any unauthorized material, equipment, or item used or designed for use in the ingesting, injecting, inhaling, manufacturing, testing, storing or packaging of a prohibited substance.

 

Unauthorized Possession of firearms, weapons, or explosive or incendiary materials including but not limited to brass knuckles, illegal knives, and other dangerous instruments is strictly prohibited.  No personal firearms are allowed on School Board property, loaded or unloaded, except when authorized for either security or law enforcement purposes.

 

Unauthorized use, possession, removal, theft, conversion, or misappropriation of School Board property, including but not limited to, supplies, materials, facilities, tools, equipment, documents and proprietary information is prohibited.

 

ENFORCEMENT

 

In order to accomplish the objectives of this policy, the School Board reserves the right, at all times and in any work area, when circumstances warrant or reasonable cause exists, to conduct unannounced reasonable searches and inspections of School Board facilities.  These searches will be conducted by authorized supervisors or search personnel, including drug detection dogs.  The areas open to search include but are not limited to lockers, briefcases, desks, boxes, lunch boxes, tool chests, vehicles, and other employee's personal effects.

 

The School Board also reserves the right, in certain circumstances, to require employees to submit to medical or physical examinations or tests.  These procedures may be required at any time as a condition of employment or continued employment.  The procedures used may include, but are not limited to, urine drug tests, blood alcohol tests, breathalizer tests, or other medical examination to determine the use of any substance prohibited by this policy or to determine satisfactory fitness for duty.  The tests may be announced or unannounced and may be utilized under the following circumstances:

 

Pre-employment testing shall be required of any qualified applicant or candidate as a condition of consideration of employment.  Testing may also be required prior to being approved to work at certain facilities, work areas, or as required by law or contract.

 

Any post-accident occurrence on the job which requires the evaluation of a physician, or following a serious accident or near miss incident in which safety precautions were violated, or School Board property was damaged, may require drug testing of the involved individuals.  Drug testing will be performed in accordance with pertinent regulations.

 

Reasonable suspicion testing will be conducted when a supervisor has observed signs of possible intoxication or signs of using or being under the influence of prohibited substances, drugs or employee's physical condition or behavior leads the supervisor to have concern for the employee's safety or the safety and well-being of other employees or the public.  All supervisory personnel will take part in a School Board sponsored training program to assist them in identifying and addressing illegal drug or alcohol use by employees or others while working.  All drivers will undergo a substance abuse and policy education program.

 

Random testing will be used for all employees to detect and to prevent substance abuse.  This type of testing is particularly warranted for employees directly involved with public safety or in security sensitive positions.  All employees who drive vehicles owned or contracted by the School Board, whether part time or full time, are eligible to be tested.

 

Post counseling, post rehabilitation or return to work medical examinations may include drug tests if the employee is returning to work after a long illness, disabling injury, or after completion of a drug and/or alcohol treatment program.

 

Government required testing may be utilized by the School Board where mandated by the Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, or other agencies.  The regulations apply to all drivers of commercial vehicles involved in interstate commerce.

 

Additional testing and changes in these testing guidelines may be required because of obligations to meet changes in federal and state drug laws or to meet contractual agreements.

 

Collecting and testing procedures shall conform to all applicable state and federal guidelines and those as prescribed by the Department of Transportation.  All searches, inspections, collections, and maintenance of test records shall be performed with due regard to the individual's privacy.  The results of any tests will be considered confidential and the information will only be shared with those having a direct need to know and as may be required to support civil or criminal investigations.

 

Public Law 102-143 Title V, Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act requires that the School Board comply with certain guidelines in order to limit substance abuse in the workplace.  The Law requires the School Board to provide training and continuing education on drug abuse related issues.  The School Board shall also provide its employees with a list of resources where the employee may go for drug abuse counseling and rehabilitation.  The Law also requires that the employee notify his employer of any conviction for drug related offenses within five (5) days of such conviction.

 

NOTICE OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION FOR POLICY VIOLATIONS

 

Failure to comply with the provisions of this policy shall be grounds for disciplinary action including but not limited to written reprimands, changes in job assignments, suspensions from work and discharge.

 

An employee shall be subject to immediate discharge if the employee refuses to cooperate with any of the enforcement provisions of the policy or is believed to have tampered or purposefully tried to alter the outcome of drug and alcohol tests.  Additionally, the employee may be discharged if found using, manufacturing, selling, or distributing drugs or alcohol while on School Board premises.  Any employee arrested for a drug related offense has five (5) working days from the day of the arrest to notify the School Board.  Should an employee at any time be convicted of a drug related offense, they will be terminated immediately.

 

Any employee having an initial confirmed positive test result for drugs or alcohol, who is not involved in a civil or criminal violation of the law, shall be terminated.

 

Adopted:  November 1, 2010

 

 

Ref:    PL 102-143 (Title V, Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act)

49 USC 5331 (The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991)

49 CFR 10 (Maintenance of and Access to Records Pertaining to Individuals)

49 CFR 40.1 et seq. (Procedures For Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs)

49 CFR 382 (Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing)

49 CFR 391 (Qualifications of Drivers and Longer Combination Vehicle Driver Instructors)

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. ยงยง17:81, 23:897, 23:1081, 23:1601, 49:1001, 49:1002, 49:1005, 49:1011, 49:1012, 49:1015, 49:1111

 

Plaquemines Parish School Board