It is the policy of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Bennington School District, Inc., Mount Anthony School District, North Bennington Graded School District, Pownal School District, Shaftsbury School District, and Woodford School District will only contract with company that will comply with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991. If transportation employees are district employees, districts will comply.
1. Administrative Responsibilities
The Superintendent or his or her designee will implement procedures to conduct alcohol and drug tests for all safety sensitive transportation employees as required by the Testing Act.
2. Specific Categories of Employees Subject to Testing
This policy applies to safety sensitive employees. Safety sensitive employees are those who hold commercial drivers’ licenses or who operate vehicles which may only be operated by holders of commercial drivers’ licenses, or those who perform safety sensitive functions as defined in federal regulations. “Performing a safety-sensitive function” means that a driver is, among other things: inspecting equipment, driving the vehicle, loading or unloading the vehicle, repairing, or obtaining assistance for a disabled vehicle.
3. Why an employee will be tested
Employees will be tested for five prohibited drugs: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine. Tests will also be conducted for specific prohibited alcohol related conduct while performing in safety sensitive functions as required by federal regulations. Federal regulations presently prohibit the performance of safety sensitive functions while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater as indicated by an alcohol breath test, while using alcohol, or within four hours after using alcohol. The performance of driving functions is prohibited within 24 hours of a test showing alcohol concentrations between 0.02 and 0.04.
4. When an employee will be tested
Employees will be tested as follows:
A. Pre-employment tests will be conducted before applicants are hired or after an offer to hire, but before actually performing safety-sensitive functions for the first time. Employees will also be tested when transferring from a non-safety sensitive position to a safety-sensitive position.
B. Post-accident tests will be conducted after accidents (as defined by federal regulation) on employees whose performance could have contributed to the accident.
C. Reasonable suspicion tests will be conducted when a trained supervisor observes behavior or appearance that is characteristic of alcohol misuse or prohibited drug use.
D. Random tests will be conducted on an unannounced basis just before, during or just after performance of safety sensitive functions.
E. Return to duty and follow-up tests will be conducted when an individual who has violated prohibited alcohol or drug conduct standards returns to performing safety sensitive duties. Follow-up tests will be unannounced and at least 6 tests will be conducted in the first 12 months after an employee returns to duty. Follow-up testing may be extended for up to 60 months following return to duty.
5. Refusal to take tests
Refusal to submit to testing as required by this policy will constitute a verified drug or alcohol test result. An employee who refuses a required test will be subject to the same sanctions as an employee who tests positively for drug or alcohol misuse.
6. Consequences of alcohol misuse
Employees who engage in prohibited alcohol conduct will, at a minimum, be immediately removed from safety sensitive functions. Employees who have engaged in alcohol misuse will not be returned to safety sensitive duties until they have been evaluated by a substance abuse professional designated by the District and have complied with any treatment recommendations to assist them with an alcohol problem. In addition, employees who engage in prohibited alcohol conduct may be subject to further disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
7. Consequences of drug use
Employees who test positively for drug use will, at a minimum, be immediately removed from safety sensitive duty when a physician designated as the District’s Medical Review Officer has interviewed the employee and determined that the positive drug test resulted from the unauthorized use of a controlled substance. If the positive test result is determined by the Medical Review Officer to be caused by authorized use of a controlled substance, the employee will not be removed from the safety sensitive position. An employee will not be returned to safety sensitive duties until he/she has been evaluated by a substance abuse professional designated by the District or a Medical Review Officer, has complied with rehabilitation recommendations, and has a negative result on a return to duty test. Follow-up testing will be conducted to monitor the returned employee’s continued abstinence from drug use. In addition, employees who engage in the unauthorized use of controlled substances may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
8. Employee education programs
The Superintendent or his or her designee will provide information and educational materials to safety sensitive employees and supervisors of safety sensitive employees on the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse and treatment resources in accord with the requirements of the Testing Act. At a minimum, supervisors of safety sensitive employees will annually be required to attend at least one hour of training on the signs and symptoms of drug use and an additional hour on the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse.
9. Rehabilitation and treatment programs
Unless otherwise agreed through collective bargaining with employees, the District will not pay for the rehabilitation and treatment of any employee who has tested positive for drug or alcohol use, whether or not such rehabilitation and treatment is made a precondition of that employee’s continued employment or return to a safety sensitive position.
10. Cost of testing
Unless otherwise agreed through collective bargaining with employees, the District will not pay for tests required by the Testing Act or this policy, with the exception of Pownal School District, who owns their own buses and contracts with Vermont Bus & Trucking. Vermont Bus & Trucking is responsible for managing the drug testing program and the random selection for employees to be tested. Pownal Elementary pays a fee to Vermont Bus & Trucking and also pays for the random testing of employees. Newly hired employees will be responsible for paying for their pre-hire test. In addition, anyone who tested positively for drug and alcohol will be responsible for paying for all required follow-up testing.
11. Dissemination of policy procedures
Each employee covered by this policy, and a representative of a recognized local employee organization designated by an employee, will be provided with written notice of the District’s anti-drug and anti-alcohol policies and procedures.
49 U.S.C. §§ 5331, 31306 (Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991)
49 C.F.R. Parts 40, 382, 391, 392, 395 and 653