Each year, Gardner administers 24 random drug tests, and during the past eight years there has only been one failed test.
“This means the failure rate for one in eight years is 0.521 percent,” said Amy Nasta, deputy city administrator.
In accordance with the City of Gardner Personnel Policies, all individuals require an initial drug test as a condition of employment with the city.
Elected positions are not subject to the policy.
After employment, the city only initiates random testing for cause.
“Our random pool consists only of employees whose job descriptions require a commercial driver’s license,” Nasta said. The city contracts with Corporate Care to manage the Department of Transportation (DOT) random pool.
Employees who don’t have a CDL (police, administrative, clerical, administrative) are excluded from random tests.
Those positions which do receive random drug tests are:
Utility Electric Distribution Division:
Manager, Maintenance Worker, Lineman and Meterman (including journeyman and apprentice, leads and seniors)
Public Works Fleet & Streets Division:
Mechanic, Maintenance Worker, Crew Leader and Senior Maintenance Worker
Utility Line Maintenance Division:
Superintendent, Senior Maintenance and Maintenance Worker.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets the rates (percentage and frequency) for DOT-covered employees.
The random testing for drugs is through a urine sample, and alcohol is through a breath test.
Approximately 24 random tests are performed per year. There has been one failed test in the past eight years which is the timeframe that the coordinator began working for the city.
“This means the failure rate for one in eight years is 0.521 percent,” Nasta said about the tests administered.
Each year, Gardner’s risk coordinator coordinates two hours of supervisor training to help supervisors understand how to recognize and document signs of drug or alcohol abuse.
The following actions are taken for failed drug or alcohol tests:
• The city would handle any positive tests with guidance from legal counsel on a case-by-case basis.
• Any employee that falls under DOT guidelines is handled in full accordance with DOT regulations.
• The city’s policy conforms to the federal requirements established for alcohol and drug testing of all safety sensitive employees as set out in the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, Public Law 102-143, Title V.
• EAP and treatment programs are used under DOT; an employee can’t be in a safety-sensitive position until they have cleared the treatment program and been cleared by EAP.
• A Safety Sensitive Employee is defined as any employee who operates a commercial motor vehicle and holds a commercial driver’s license.
• Discipline would, again, be case-by-case and with guidance from legal counsel but is up to and including termination.