River Falls implements new drug, alcohol policy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

Those who are employed with the Town of River Falls now must comply with a drug and alcohol policy.

The town council passed a resolution Tuesday night that provides a method for screening.

Mayor Patricia Gunter said the town has not had any problems with employees and drug and alcohol use.

“We’ve not had any problems,” she said. “We are just setting rules, working towards getting employee policies in place to satisfy insurance requirements.”

Under the resolution, the manufacture, distribution, dispension, possession or use of illegal drugs and of alcohol in the workplace is prohibited.

“The town also recognizes that use and abuse of alcohol and of illegal drugs outside the workplace may also cause problems in the workplace. Furthermore, the off-duty use, possession or sale, especially if it leads to criminal conviction, may bring discredit to the town.

Under the new policy, the town reserves the right to administer a drug screening or breath alcohol test to anyone that there is a reasonable suspicion to believe that he or she is using or possessing illegal drugs or is under the influence of alcohol while working.

Supervisors are required to specify in writing the exact facts, symptoms, and observations of drug and alcohol use.

Additionally, any employees who suffers an on-the-job injury that may result in a workers’ compensation claim will be subject to a drug screen and or breath alcohol test.

If the test results are positive for drug or alcohol use, workers’ compensation benefits may not be paid to the employee.

A drug screen will be performed after each and every on-the-job injury that is treated by a physician.

The injured employee had 12 hours from the time of the injury to submit the required drug screen.

Additionally, the injured employee must submit to the breath alcohol test immediately upon requite absent an overriding cause for delay.

Employees who choose not to comply could lose their employment or face denial of workers’ compensation benefits.

Third, an authorized drive with the town may be given a drug screen and breath alcohol test following any vehicular accident involving commercial or other vehicle owned by the town in which there is loss of life, bodily injury, or significant property damage.

Next, all employees will now be subject to random drug testing.

Two employees will be randomly selected by the testing facility on a bi-monthly basis.

Test results will be disclosed to the mayor and city council.

The test will check for amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opiates, cannabinoids, cocaine, methadone, methaqualone, phencyclidine, propoxyphene, and chemical derivatives of these substances.

The town will pay all expenses incurred for the testing.

With the policy, the town has adopted a zero tolerance policy, and any employee who violates it will be automatically terminated.