Pubdate: Sun, 09 Jan 2011
Source: High Point Enterprise (NC)
Copyright: 2011 High Point Enterprise
Author: Darrick Ignasiak


DAVIDSON COUNTY - Under a proposal reviewed by the Davidson County
Board of Commissioners this week, approximately 200 of the county's
employees could be subject to random drug testing.

Commissioners on Tuesday will consider updates to the county's
substance abuse policy. The biggest change is random drug testing for
employees who have safety sensitive positions, said Jim Tysinger, the
county's human resources director.

Tysinger said the updates to the policy are needed because it was
written in 1996. Since that time, the U.S. Department of
Transportation has mandated random testing for drivers within the
county's transportation department. "We don't have a major problem
that we are aware of," Tysinger said. "We haven't did the random
testing of safety sensitive positions in the past other than the
drivers, but this will enhance our random testing pool by about 200

Tysinger said the majority of the county's employees will not feel the
impact of the changes, but the county can ask an employee for a drug
test if they show suspicious behavior. Post-accident drug testing also
can be done under the policy. Pre-employment drug testing also will
continue, Tysinger said.

"The purpose of it is to deter drug use," he said. "Somebody who may
consider being at a party and something and participate in activity
may have a second thought if they think, 'Well, we are going to have a
random test at work.' "

Tysinger said the change in Davidson County's policy has nothing to do
with the recent arrest of Thomasville City Manager Kelly Craver on a
pair of drug offenses. He said commissioners were already set to
discuss revisions to the policy before Craver's charge.

"It has nothing whatsoever to do with it," Tysinger

Employees included in the safety sensitive positions include law
enforcement officers, bus and truck drivers, detention officers,
nurses, construction inspectors, in-home aides, caseworkers, fire
marshal, fire inspectors, tax assessors, zoning officers,
groundskeeper technicians and recreation supervisors.
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