Towns all over New York State are suffering from extremely high municipal liability insurance rates. The Town of Massena is no exception. The Town has recently been notified that, effective January 1, 1986, our insurance carrier reserves the right to cancel the Town's liability insurance in the event that any municipal employee who has a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated or driving while ability impaired is allowed to operate a municipally owned vehicle.
It is necessary, therefore, that the Town institute a new policy with respect to all Town employees who operate municipally owned vehicles and equipment, including but not limited to Town of Massena Highway Department employees.
Effective January 1, 1986, the following policy will go into effect concerning all employees who operate municipally owned vehicles and equipment:
No employee is to consume or use alcoholic beverages, drugs or chemicals during working hours.
If an employee has been drinking after working hours and is called in to work overtime (this includes instances where drivers are called in to clear roads during storms), the employee must notify the supervisor at the time the employee is called. An employee will be deemed unable to work in such circumstances and will forfeit any and all overtime pay/benefits for that pay period.
Any Town highway employee, Town employee or person who acts on a volunteer basis, who operates a municipally owned motor vehicle or equipment, who has been convicted of an alcohol- or drug-related driving offense, i.e., driving while ability impaired (DWAI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), during working hours may be suspended without pay for the amount of time during which his or her license or driving privilege in New York State is suspended or revoked or for a longer period of time. In any event, the employee will not be allowed to operate the municipally owned vehicles at any time during the period.
Any employee who reports for work who has been drinking or who is intoxicated may be sent home without pay and/or discharged from employment.
Any employee whose job involves operating municipally owned vehicles and/or equipment, who has had his or her driving privilege and/or license revoked for a DWI or DWAI conviction may be suspended from Town employment for the time of the revocation/suspension or may be permanently terminated from employment.
All employees will be notified of any future changes enacted by the New York State Legislature which affects them concerning operation of municipal motor vehicles and equipment.
It is the hope of the Town Board that all employees understand the position of the Town. In order to obtain and maintain liability insurance for this municipality, it is necessary that the Board institute measures designed to eliminate all possibility of liability and/or cancellation.
A copy of the conditions of employment is available for review upon the request of any Town employee, during working hours, from said employee's departmental supervisor.