[Adopted 2-13-1990 (P-35)]
The pervasive presence of alcohol and substance abuse in our society and the adverse effect on employee health, safety, and productivity in the workplace requires the establishment of an effective, fair, and lawful policy governing the Kent County Levy Court.
The Kent County Levy Court, in a positive effort to provide a healthy and safe working environment for all of its employees, has developed a substance abuse policy.
It is therefore expected that all employees will maintain an appropriate level of fitness for duty. All persons covered by this Policy should be aware that violations of the Policy may result in discipline, up to and including termination, or in not being hired. The guidelines and procedures for this Policy are defined as follows, and shall cover all Kent County employees.
Preemployment substance screening.
A substance screening for excessive alcohol use, misused prescription drugs, or illicit drugs, will be required as a condition of employment for all new hires.
A positive confirming second test, on the original screening sample, for alcohol use, misused prescription drugs, or illicit drugs will be the basis for disqualification of the applicant.
If either of the tests is negative, the applicant satisfies the substance level requirements.
An applicant whose test shows a positive result will have 24 hours after receiving notification of the positive result to provide bona fide verification of a current valid prescription.
It is the policy of the Kent County Levy Court that employees shall not:
Report to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Have the odor of alcohol or drugs on their breath, or in their possession, while on duty or "on-call."
Sell or provide drugs or alcohol to any other employee or to any person while such employee is on duty.
Have their ability to work impaired as a result of alcohol or drugs.
Such actions will constitute violation of the established personnel policy, and are cause for disciplinary action up to an including termination.
The appropriate law enforcement agency will be notified of any sale, distribution, possession, and/or use of illegal substances by an employee while on duty, during lunch and other breaks, or at any time while the employee is on a County work site or County working time.
Confirmation of drug or alcohol use or abuse will result in disciplinary action.
While use of medically prescribed or some otherwise legal medications and drugs is not a violation of this Policy, when such drug use adversely affects job performance, the employee will be required to use sick leave, and then a personal leave of absence, if necessary.
When taking medications or drugs which may interfere with the safe and effective performance of duties by a County employee, failure to notify an employee's supervisor before beginning work may result in a disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Discipline for being under the influence of alcohol or nonprescribed controlled substances during non-job-related activities will be based on the employee's work history, previous disciplinary actions, and previous identification of substance use problems.
When an employee's driver's license is suspended due to alcohol or drug use or abuse, and driving is required by the employee's job description, said employee is subject to disciplinary action or termination.
Substance screening for current employees:
Alcohol and/or drug tests of existing employees will only be conducted when there is reasonable suspicion that alcohol or substance abuse is involved in the workplace.
"Reasonable suspicion" shall be based on objective and definitive facts sufficient to lead a reasonable, prudent supervisor to suspect that an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol so that the employee's ability to perform the functions of the job is impaired or so that the employee's ability to perform his or her job safely is reduced.
All charges of reasonable suspicion must be confirmed by a second higher ranking supervisor and/or department manager.
The circumstances in which drug and/or alcohol testing may be required due to a reasonable suspicion of alcohol or drug use or abuse may include the following:
Observed alcohol or drug possession or use during work hours (i.e., drug paraphernalia, remains of marijuana cigarettes, plastic sandwich bags with non-food residue inside.)
Apparent physical state of intoxication or drug-induced impairment of motor functions (i.e., red and watery eyes, dilated pupils, drowsiness or sleeping, slurred speech, hand tremors, inability to walk in a straight path, alcohol on breath).
Incoherent or irrational mental state (i.e., irrational physical altercation, irrational verbal altercation, memory gaps).
Marked changes in personal behavior, or attitude not attributable to other factors (i.e., sudden unexplained changes in mood and personality, changes in disposition, changes in appearance, including inattention to personal hygiene, frequently borrowing money).
Deteriorating work performance or attendance problems not attributable to other factors (i.e., persistent tardiness, persistent absenteeism, an above-average injury rate, regularly claiming sick benefits or worker's compensation).
Employee involvement in an accident during work hours in which a review of the circumstances of the accident or other relevant facts lead to a reasonable suspicion that the employee may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Incriminating information from a reliable source or other employee actions or conduct that leads to a suspicion that the employee is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, suffers from substance abuse, or is in violation of existing County rules concerning the use of substances (i.e., reports by family members or friends about employee's alcohol or drug abuse, unexplained secret meetings with other employees or others).
An employee whose test shows a positive result will have 24 hours after receiving notification of the positive result to provide bona fide verification of a current valid prescription which may have caused the positive result. The prescription must be in the employee's name.
Drug and alcohol use during off-hours will also violate this Policy when such usage impairs job performance, at which time an employee is subject to disciplinary action and the rules regarding reasonable suspicion.
When there is reasonable suspicion of alcohol and/or drug use by an employee involved in serious or repetitive accidents causing death or personal injury to self or others, and/or significant property damage, alcohol and drug tests shall be administered to employees immediately following such work-related incidents. Confirmation of such drug or alcohol use through documented reasonable suspicion and a positive drug/alcohol screen test shall be cause for termination.
When reasonable suspicion has been adequately established, an immediate disciplinary suspension may be issued.
When reasonable suspicion has been adequately established, refusal to submit immediately to an alcohol and/or drug analysis when requested by management will constitute insubordination.
It is the policy of the County to provide a just procedure for the presentation, consideration, and disposition of employee grievances. Such will be done in accordance with the personnel rules and regulations.
To insure accuracy, employee specimens must be given as soon as possible after charges of drug or alcohol use or abuse have been made. These charges must follow the guidelines for establishing reasonable suspicion.
In establishing reasonable suspicion, the supervisor or an employee suspected of being impaired by alcohol or drugs shall document his or her observations and confirm those observations with a higher ranking supervisor and/or department manager. Following such time, the supervisor and/or department manager may require the suspected, impaired employee to report to a designated physician, clinic, or hospital on the County's time and at the County's expense for a fitness for duty examination, which will include, but not be limited to, urine analysis testing.
Any employee who refuses to submit to said testing will be found in violation of this Policy. In such case, the determination of impairment made by the supervisor and/or department manager will be binding and the employee will be removed from the work site and subject to disciplinary action.
Alcohol and drug tests on employees immediately following work-related incidents that involve serious or repetitive accidents causing death or personal injury to self or others and/or significant property damage, when there is reasonable suspicion that alcohol and/or drug abuse by the employee is involved.
Testing will be done for at least the following substances:
The analysis shall be conducted in accordance with legally established clinical procedures of privacy, which include a defined chain of custody and mandatory consent.
The urinalysis or screening method used is the EMIT method. Gas chromatography is used as a confirming second test if the screening is positive. If either of the tests is negative, the employee has passed.
The Kent County Levy Court recognizes alcohol and/or drug dependency as a treatable condition. An employee whose job performance, health, or behavior has deteriorated as a result of alcohol or drug use may use the employee referral program and health coverage insurance as appropriate. Employees should contact the Personnel Office for additional information.
Volunteer efforts to seek and use such help will not jeopardize an employee's employment status. Such efforts will not appear on his or her personnel records if the employee volunteers prior to documented reasonable suspicion. However, said employees must follow suspension guidelines before returning to work.
Employees receiving treatment for drug or alcohol abuse may use sick leave, vacation leave, and then may be granted a limited leave without pay, or an extended leave without pay in accordance with established personnel policies.
Involvement of an employee in an alcohol and drug program does not suspend disciplinary measures which an employee may be subject to as a result of conduct or behavior which violates work rules or regulation or is contrary to County policy.
Employees placed on suspension from employment due to confirmed abuse of alcohol or drugs shall be required to complete the following before reinstatement to any position with the County government:
Submit at least 15 attendance slips showing proof of daily participation in Alcoholics Anonymous, or another approved rehabilitation organization.
Submit the name and telephone number of the rehabilitation organization sponsor to the County Personnel Director.
Submit the results of at least three drug screening tests beginning of the first day of affiliation with a rehabilitation organization.
Upon completion of the above three items, a meeting attendance will be required at a designated counseling center to determine the condition of applicable disease. Attendance may also be required at meetings with the County Administrator and the Personnel Director to explain the diagnosis. The Personnel Director and the County Administrator will then consider the safety and security of the employee's employment and a decision will be made as to whether a suspension shall be lifted and reinstatement made in some capacity.
Any employee who has a positive substance screening must be given a return-to-duty substance screening before resuming duties. Additional unannounced screenings may be required by the Levy Court for up to 60 months after duties have been resumed. All costs of such return-to-duty screenings and treatment shall be the responsibility of the employee.
It is the policy of the Levy Court not to conduct random testing of existing employees. However, the County shall require unannounced retesting of employees who have agreed to such testing as part of a disciplinary action or rehabilitation program.
Laboratory reports or test results shall be maintained in an employee's confidential medical file. The reports or test results may be disclosed to a designated person in County management on a strictly need-to-know basis and to the tested employee upon request.
[Adopted 2-9-1999 (P-76)]
This Policy prohibits smoking in all County-owned or -controlled buildings and vehicles, regulates smoking breaks by County employees, and establishes the provisions of the Delaware Clean Indoor Air Act regulations.
Smoking by employees or the public is prohibited in all public areas and offices within County-owned or -controlled buildings and in County-owned vehicles.
Smoking shall only be permitted in specific areas outside County-owned and -controlled buildings. The County will not incur any expense to make structural or physical modifications to accommodate individual smoking preferences.
Smoking by employees shall be limited to permitted breaks and rest periods of short duration or during the scheduled meal period. Lengthy or an excessive number of smoking breaks is prohibited.
Enforcement of this Policy shall be the responsibility of each department head. Complaints, disputes or objections arising from this Policy shall be directed to the affected department head or the Personnel Office.
Employees violating this Policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, but employees exercising their rights under the Delaware Clean Indoor Air Act shall not be subject to retaliation or any adverse personnel action.
This Policy shall be displayed in all normal employee posting areas and "no smoking" signs shall be installed where appropriate.