Last year Utah received an A-plus rating by the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, which is based in Washington, D.C., for the state's drug-testing law and its "pro-employer, pro-employee" efforts to combat drugs on the job.
Now city governments along the Wasatch Front are also trying to make the grade (see box).Kaysville is the latest to implement a drug-testing policy covering city employees. Several cities in Salt Lake County have adopted strict drug-testing requirements, but Kaysville is believed to be among the first in Davis County take such a step.
With larger cities and large private employers requiring drug testing, Kaysville officials say their policy is partially designed to protect the city and its residents from people seeking employment with a smaller city - just to avoid drug testing.
"I don't believe in mandatory testing. It's an invasion of privacy," said Kaysville Mayor Brit Howard. "But it is necessary for public safety."
Ironically, Kaysville's new personnel policy requires drug testing for all new appointees to city jobs - excluding elected officials.
Current employees promoted or transferred to new positions also must undergo the test, according to city administrator John Thacker. Ditto for current employees suspected of drug use.
"It's based on reasonable suspicion," said Thacker. An employee acting erratically or involved in an accident, for example, can be required to submit to a drug test.Thacker said the policy has already been used, with one worker that went from part-time to full-time employment. No employees have objected to the test - at least that he's aware of.
If Murray employees object to the city's drug-testing policy, they too are keeping silent.
"We haven't had any complaints. Not at all," said Benita Mitchell, human resource analyst.
Sandy employees have been a little more vocal.
"A small number of employees have expressed some concern, but they have been more related to the physical exam than the drug test," said Sandy Mayor Larry Smith.
In Sandy, all management, police, fire and public works employees undergo a physical exam and drug screening every two years, Smith said. On hire, all new employees are drug tested.
On more than one occasion, a person hasn't been hired because of test results.
"No one has lost his or her job because of it, but there has been some required treatment and rehabilitation because of the testing," Smith said.
The city, Smith said, won't be as understanding with employees who test positive for drugs a second time. They'll be fired.
Towns that test, and ones that don't
Bluffdale: No policy.
Bountiful: No policy.
Centerville: No policy, but city manager David Hales said it has been discussed among staff members and will probably be raised with the council in the future.
Clearfield: No policy.
Clinton City: No policy.
Davis County: Complies with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, in that any employee using, possessing or distributing drugs in the workplace is subject to disciplinary action, ranging from counseling through suspension and possibly termination. But the county doesn't screen new employees or those suspected of using drugs.Draper: No policy enforced.
Farmington: No policy.
Fruit Heights: No formal policy, but does require new city employees to submit a current driving record, which would show any DUI or other alcohol or substance abuse related driving convictions.
Kaysville: Requires drug testing for all new appointees to city jobs, excluding elected officials. This includes current employees promoted or transferred to new positions.
Midvale: No policy.
Murray: Drug screening is part of pre-employment physicial examination. Present employees undergo a drug test when promoted and upon reasonable suspicion.
North Salt Lake: No policy.
Riverton: No policy, but City Council is discussing possibility of implementing one.
Sandy: All employees involved in management, police, fire, public works and anyone who operates vehicles and equipment must undergo a physical exam and drug screening every two years. On hire, all employees are tested for drugs.
Salt Lake City: Tests all people who are offered a job, regardless of what the job is. Results are kept confidential, but people who fail the test are not hired. Last year, 24 people failed. Once they pass the test, employees aren't tested again even if they are promoted or given other jobs. Employees, however, may be retested if the city feels it has reasonable cause. If the employee fails the test, the city puts them in a rehabilitation program.
Salt Lake County: Tests anyone hired for jobs requiring a commercial driver's license, such as public works people, recreation workers, aging services people who drive meals, firefighters and deputy sheriffs. The county also tests any employee it has cause to suspect of being an addict. If the employee fails, the county offers to put them through a rehabilitation program.
South Jordan: All new employes are tested on hire. Existing employees are tested randomly.
South Salt Lake: No policy now exists, but it's under discussion by the city staff.
Syracuse: No policy.
West Bountiful: No policy.
West Point City: No policy.
West Valley City: No policy.
Woods Cross: No policy.