Pittsburg county officials were discussing drug-testing procedures during their quarterly meeting in June, held at the Pittsburg County Courthouse. Specifically, Pittsburg District 2 Commissioner Kevin Smith directed county officials not to require their employees to undergo a drug test for a possible drug policy violation if the county official has not received relevant training and certification.
Smith said that if county officials suspect they have an employee who appears to be drunk or impaired and if they want to order a drug test, they need to have completed a class called Reasonable Suspicion offered through the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma. Furthermore, if the county official does not hold the certification, they will need to request for another county official or employee who is certified to observe the employee in question to determine if a drug test should be administered.
According to Smith, the required class and certification is for the county’s protection and also for protection of the county official. He also said that while some individuals may look as if they are impaired by drug or alcohol, this may not be the case. “So many things look like it, such as a diabetic coma and other things,” Smith said. “Be careful is what I’m saying,” said Smith. “Even if you’re pretty sure, get somebody who’s had that class.”
First Deputy Sandra Crenshaw said a copy of Pittsburg County’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy must be given to anyone who is applying for a county job. “We are required to give those to anybody that you’re thinking about hiring,” Crenshaw said. “Everybody has to have a drug test.”
While all county employees are required to take a drug test to go to work, some are excluded from the pool of those who are randomly tested. Most courthouse employees are not required to be included in the random drug testing after they pass the initial test. Moreover, individuals who are included in the random testing pool include those who drive county equipment or other vehicles as part of their jobs.
However, reasonable suspicion testing is to be completed whenever there is a reason to believe that an individual may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the job, but it is imperative that the proper procedure is gone through prior to initiating testing. DATAC knows the importance of Reasonable Suspicion training, for legal defensibility and to ensure fair testing procedures for all involved. You can check out our Reasonable Suspicion training here.