Resident Wants Drug Testing for All Town Employees

How often and how effectively does the Town of Derry test employees for drug and alcohol abuse?
These questions were brought forth by resident Mike Gill at the June 18 Town Council meeting. Gill brought a petition before the Council asking for the town to establish an alcohol-and drug-free workplace policy, and if there is no town-wide drug testing policy for pre-employment, to establish one.

In the public comment portion of the meeting, Gill recommended that the town establish a drug-and alcohol-free workplace policy, and also have pre-employment drug and alcohol screening for all town departments.
Gill said he had spoken with Human Resources Director Larry Budreau, and commended him for his “prompt and courteous” reply. Budreau said currently the only town-mandated pre-employment screenings are for the Fire Department and for those Public Works employees who carry a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License).

While the Police Department is not mandated by the town to do the screenings, Gill said he had spoken with Chief Ed Garone, who told him the department has established its own pre-employment screening.
Gill produced documents from neighboring Salem and Windham. The Windham policy reads in part: “All candidates for full or part-time positions with the Town will complete a general ‘Authorization to Release Information,’ which must be signed by the candidate and notarized, and a ‘Consent Form’ to submit to a drug screening.”

Salem police require a background investigation, psychological test, polygraph and medical exam with drug screening, Gill said. The Council took Gill’s documentation, including the Salem and Windham policies, and said they would review the material. In a phone call June 20 Budreau confirmed that Fire and Public Works had a screening policy. To be Department of Transportation compliant, he said, employees would undergo pre-employment screening, random screening, post-accident screening and “reasonable suspicion” screening.

“These are the current policies and procedures in place,” Budreau said. He said he was reviewing Gill’s material and would make a recommendation to the Council, but had no further comments at this time.
Gill said his next step would be to draft another petition and obtain signatures. “I understand the frailty of human beings,” Gill said, “so I would like to have something like this in place.”

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