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REVISED DATES:2/28/96, 11/18/98, 6/28/06, 3/28/07, 7/19/13, 2/10/14, 5/31/16


Establish requirements and procedures for uniform drug testing at Seacoast Utility Authority (the “Authority”).

As part of its commitment to safeguard the health of the employees, to provide a safe place for its employees to work, and to promote a drug-free workplace, the Authority has established this policy on the use or abuse of alcohol and drugs by its employees.Substance abuse, while at work or otherwise, seriously endangers the safety of employees, as well as the general public, and creates a variety of workplace problems, including increased injuries on the job, increased absenteeism, increased health care and benefit costs, decreased morale, and a decline in the quality of services provided.Practical experiences have proven that limited quantities of various narcotics, and/or abused prescriptions drugs or alcohol, can impair reflexes and judgment.For these reasons, we have adopted a policy that all employees must report to work completely free from the presence of unauthorized drugs and the effects of alcohol.

This policy is implemented pursuant to the Drug-Free Workplace program under the Florida Workers' Compensation Act (Section 440.102, Florida Statutes) and under Florida's Drug-Free Workplace Act applicable to public entities (Section 112.0455, Florida Statutes).The workers' compensation law generally provides that an employee who is injured in the course and scope of employment, and who tests positive on a drug or alcohol test, or who refuses to be tested, forfeits his/her eligibility for Workers' Compensation medical and indemnity benefits. According to Florida Statute 443.101, an individual who is discharged from employment for drug use as evidence by a positive, confirmed drug test is disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits. This policy represents the Authority’s current position on dealing with the serious problem of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace and is subject to change at the sole discretion of the Authority.


Section 110.502(2), Florida Statutes (F.S.) – Volunteers

Section 112.0455, Florida Statutes (F.S.) – Drug-Free Workplace Act

Section 440.102, Florida Statutes (F.S.) – Drug-Free Workplace Program Requirements

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – Rule 49, Subpart O, 40.307


This Administrative Procedure applies to:

  • All job applicants applying for employment with the Authority.
  • All employees and volunteers on Authority property or out in the public, performing job-related activities/business, or operating an Authority vehicle.Volunteers are considered “employees” for the purposes of the Administrative Procedure.


The definitions and rules set forth in the Florida's Drug Free Workplace Standards will apply to this policy.These definitions and rules are listed in the Drug-free Workplace program which is located in each work group's Safety and Health Manual.


  1. General Information

The Authority is committed to ensuring a drug-free workplace in compliance with section 112.0455, F.S., the Drug-Free Workplace Act. Abusing alcohol or controlled substances is inconsistent with the behavior expected of employees, and subject’s employees and the public to unacceptable risks, and may affect the Authority’s ability to operate effectively and efficiently. The Authority expects employees to conduct themselves, on and off the job, in a manner that does not bring discredit or cause embarrassment to the company. The Authority strictly prohibits employees in the workplace, or engaged in the Authority’s business, from using alcohol, controlled substances and from unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing, or selling controlled substances.

Employees may not possess an open or unsealed container of alcohol, consume or be under the influence of any unlawful drug or alcohol while:

  • conducting the Authority’s business
  • in a company vehicle
  • on any company property

No Authority employee may work, report to work, or return to work after the lunch period or break under the influence of alcohol, any controlled substance or drug.This includes:

  • exhibiting signs of impairment such as slurred speech
  • odor or alcohol on one’s breath
  • incoherent or reduced mental faculty or other signsof physical impairment normally associated with being under the influence of or impaired by alcohol or drugs

Any instance of alcohol or illegal drug use by a person in a safety-sensitive position constitutes interference with job performance and may result in dismissal.

An employee arrested or issued a citation for an alcohol or drug violation, on or off the job,must notifyhis or her immediate supervisor by the end of the first working day following the occurrence.The supervisor shall immediately notifyhis or her division head and Human Resources Manager of the arrest or citation. The division head and the Human Resources Manager, with the consultation and approval of the Executive Director, shall make a determination based on information available to them, as to whether the circumstances constitute a violation of this Administrative Policy, reasonable suspicion that the employee has violated this Administrative Policy, or neither. Failure to notify an appropriate supervisor within the time frame set forth above may result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

The Human Resources Manager coordinates all agency actions addressing alcohol and drug related activity within the Authority.

B.Alcohol Use Prohibitions

1.All employees are prohibited from distributing, dispensing, possessing, using or being impaired, being intoxicated, or under the influence of alcohol while at work, on duty, while operating a company vehicle, or when scheduled for ‘On Call’ duty.

2.Off-duty abuse of alcohol which adversely affects an employees' job performance or which can be expected to cause harm to the Authority’s image or relationship with other employees or the public is prohibited.

3.For the purpose of this policy, an employee is presumed to be impaired, intoxicated, or under the influence of alcohol if a blood test or other testing procedure acceptable pursuant to Florida law shows that the employee has a threshold level at or above .02 percent blood alcohol concentration (or as may be changed by State law) in the blood or BAT sample taken from his/her system at the time of testing or if employee refuses to take an alcohol test.

4.An employee who is perceived to be under the influence of alcohol will be removed immediately from the workplace and may be evaluated by medical personnel, if reasonably available.The Authority will take further action based on medical information, work history, and other relevant factors. The determination of what action is appropriate in each case rests solely with the Authority.

C.Drug Use Prohibitions

1.All employees are prohibited from manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing, or using illegal drugs or other unauthorized substances while on the Authority property (including parking areas and grounds) or while otherwise performing the Authority duties off the Authority property. Included within this prohibition are lawfully controlled substances which have been illegally or improperly obtained. Employees are also prohibited from having any such illegal or unauthorized controlled substances in their systems while at work and from having excessive amounts of otherwise lawful controlled substances in their systems while at work.

2.For the purposes of this policy, an employee is presumed to be impaired by drugs if results of a urine test or other procedure acceptable pursuant to Florida law are positive for the presence of one or more of the illegal substances for which the Authoritymay test or if an employee refuses to take drug test.

3.The proper use of medication as prescribed by an employee's physician is not prohibited; however, the Authority does prohibit the misuse of prescribed medications.Prescription drugs may also affect the safety of the employee, fellow employees, or members of the public. Therefore, any employee who is taking any prescription drug which might impair safety, performance, or any motor functions is obligated to notify his or her supervisor before reporting to work or during the course of work if under the use of such medication. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. It is the employee's responsibility to determine from his/her physician whether a prescribed drug may impair job performance. If the Authority determines that such use does not pose a safety risk, the employee will be permitted to work. If, in the opinion of the supervisor, such use impairs the employee's ability to safely or effectively perform his or her job, the Authority may, at its sole discretion, temporarily reassign the employee or grant a leave of absence during the period of treatment. Improper use of prescription drugs is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Prescription medication must be kept in its original container if such medication is taken during working hours or on the Authority property.

D.Testing - If testing for drugs or alcohol requires use of an employee's personal time a request for overtime pay should be submitted.

E.The Authority shall conduct alcohol and drug tests in the following circumstances:

1.Initial and Original Appointment to Safety-Sensitive Position

a.A drug test is required of all candidates prior to employment or reassignment to a safety-sensitive position, defined as a position which implicates safety considerations for the employee, co-workers or the general public. The offer of employment is “contingent upon a negative drug test result” and the test mustbe performed prior to the candidate’s first day of work.

b.Any job applicant who refuses to submit to drug testing, refuses to sign a consent form, fails to appear for testing, tampers with the test, or fails to pass the pre-employment selection drug test will be ineligible for hire.Such an individual may not reapply for employment with the Authority for at least one (1) year from the date of the drug test.

2.Safety Sensitive Positions

Employees working in safety sensitive positions are subject to being randomly tested for drugs and alcohol.

3.Reasonable Suspicion

a.An employee suspected of alcohol or drug use may be required to undergo reasonable suspicion alcohol and/or drug testing.Reasonable suspicion testing shall not be required except upon recommendation of a supervisor or manager of the employee in question or the Executive Director. The Programs Coordinator or Human Resources Manager coordinates alcohol and drug testing.

Prior to reasonable suspicion, the employee’s supervisor ormanager shall document, in writing,the circumstances forming the basis that reasonable suspicion exists.

The Human Resources Manager shall provide a copy of the documentation to the employee if employee requests a copy.The Human Resource Manager shall maintain the original documentation in the employee’s confidential medical file.No other documentation will be maintained.


Any employee on duty who believes that an Authority employee or coworker is using or has used drug or alcohol in violation of the Drug Free Workplace Policy shall immediately report such matters to his or her supervisor, the Chief Operator, Assistant Chief Operator, Water or Wastewater Department Manager, Director of Operations or Executive Director.


When a supervisor receives a report after hours of an employee suspected of drug or alcohol usage, the supervisor is required to immediately report to the Plant for the direct observation of the employee suspected of drug or alcohol use to observe whetherphysical symptoms or manifestations of being under the influence of a drug or alcohol exist.

If reasonable suspicion exists, the supervisor is to call NMS Management Services, Inc. after hour’s emergency dispatch at (866) 803-4150 for a representative to come out to the Authority facility for on-site testing.The employee supervisor is to remain with the employee until testing is complete.If the employee is impaired, the supervisor is to transport the employee to their place of residence.

Grounds for "Reasonable Suspicion" may be based on the following:

1.Direct observation of drug or alcohol use or of the physical symptoms or manifestations of being under the influence of a drug or alcohol.

2.Abnormal conduct or erratic behavior while at work or deterioration in work performance.

3.A report of drug or alcohol use bya reliable and credible source.

4.Co-worker report of drug or alcohol use.

5.Evidence that an individual has tampered with a drug test during his/her employment with the Authority.

6.Causing or contributing to workplace or vehicular accident which indicates a possible error in judgment or negligence, or results in injury requiring medical attention beyond first aid or results in property damage.

7.Evidence that an employee has used, possessed, sold, solicited or transferred drugs while working or while on the Authority premises, or while operating the Authority vehicles, machinery, or equipment, or while performing the Authority duties.

8.Excessive or unexcused absence or tardiness.

9.Violation or neglect of safety regulations.

10.Violation of other commonly accepted or published rules of conduct.

11.Reporting for work or working in a condition unfit for duty.

4.Post Vehicular, Injury, Illness or Industrial Accident Testing

All employees involved in an on-the-job vehicular accident, industrial accident, or who sustain and are evaluated and/or treated for an on-the-job injury, or cause death or serious injury to another, or cause vehicle damage and/or generates and insurance claim, will be drug tested as soon as reasonably possible following such an incident. Medical treatment will not be withheld or delayed from an employee in order to obtain post-accident drug testing.

Employees’ who leave the scene of an accident and who do not inform their supervisor of the accident and how to reach them for testing purposes, barring medical-related emergencies, will be considered to have refused testing and may be subject to disciplinary action, to and including termination of employment.

5.Routine Fitness for Duty

Any employee will submit to a drug test if the test is conducted as part of a routine employee fitness-for-duty medical examination that is part of the Authority’s established policy or that is scheduled routinely for all members of an employment classification or group.

6.Follow-up Test

An employee with a confirmed positive drug test, who has completed a treatment program, will be required to undergo follow-up testing for a period up to one (1) yearfollowing release from the treatment program.More stringent follow up testing applies to holders of a Commercial Driver’s License.


Recognizing that there may be employees who have substance abuse issues, the

Authority offers programs to assist in the resolution of these issues and encourages affected employees to seek professional assistance through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which is available to employees and eligible family members. Supervisors, upon being notified by the employee, will then promptly contact Human Resources to initiate a mandatory supervisory referral to EAP. The Authority will not terminate employment, discipline, or discriminate against an employee solely because an employee voluntarily seeks treatment for substance abuse or related issues unless otherwise stated in this Policy.

The Drug/Alcohol Free Workplace Policy requests that an employee complete a program prescribed by the Authority’s EAP provider. Failure to comply with the prescribed treatment program will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

An employee who completes a rehabilitation or employee assistance program as described above, upon returning to work, will be subjected to unannounced mandatory testing at the Authority’s sole discretion for a period of one (1) year from the return to work date.

An employee who is tested for drug or alcohol and confirms positive after completing the program will be immediately terminated from employment with the Authority, and will not be eligible for rehire.


1.At a minimum, employees are tested for the following drugs:

a.Alcohol (booze, drink)

b.Amphetamines (Desoxyn, Dexedrine)

c.Cannabinoids (marijuana, hashish, hashoil, pot, joint, roach, spiff, grass, weed, reefer)

d.Cocaine (coke, blow, nose candy, snow, flake, crack)


f.Opiates (opium, dover's powder, paregoric, parepectolin)

g.Barbiturates (phenobarbital, ruinal, amytal)

h.Benaodiazepines (ativan, azene, clonopin, dalmane, etc.)

i.Methadone (dolophime, methadose)

j.Propoxyphene (darvocet, darvon-n, dolene)

k.Phencyclidine (pcp)

l.Lysergic acid diethylamide (lsd)


2.Employees and job applicants may consult the testing laboratory for

Technical informationregarding prescription and nonprescription

medication that may affect the test results.A listof over-the-counter andprescription drugs that could alter or affect drug test results can befound at:

Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration at

A list of common medications which may alter or affect a drug test is as follows:

  • Alcohol - All liquid medications containing ethyl alcohol (ethanol).Please read the label for alcohol content.As an example, Vick's Nyquil is 25% (50 proof) ethyl alcohol.

Comtrex is 20% (40 proof), Contact Severe Cold Formula Night Strength is 25% (50 proof) and Listerine is 26.9% (54 proof).

  • Amphetamines - Obetrol, Biphetamine, Desoxyn, Dexedrine, Didrex, Ionamine, Fastin.
  • Cannabinoids -Marinol (Dronabinol, THC).
  • Cocaine -Cocaine HC1 topical solution (Roxanne).
  • Phencyclidine - Not legal by prescription.
  • Methaqualone - Not legal by prescription.
  • Opiates - Paregoric, Parepectolin, Donnagel PG, Morphine, Tylenol with Codeine, Empirin with Codeine, APAP with Codeine, Aspirin with Codeine, Robitussin AC, Guiatuss AC, Novahistine DH, Novahistine Expectorant, Dilaudid (Hydromorphone), M-S Contin and Roxanol (morphine sulfate), Percodan, Vicodin, Tussi-organidin, etc.
  • Barbiturates -Phenobarbital, Tuinal, Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, Lotusate, Fiorinal, Fioricet, Esgic, Butisol, Mebaral, Butabarbital, Butalbital, Phrenilin, Triad, etc.
  • Benzodiazepines - Ativan, Azene, Clonopin, Dalmane, Diazepam, Librium, Xanax, Serax, Tranxene, Valium, Verstran, Halcion, Paxipam, Restoril, Centrax.
  • Methadone - Dolophine, Metadose.
  • Propoxyphene - Darvocet, Darvon N, Dolene, etc.


All information, interviews, reports, statements, memoranda, and drug and alcohol tests results, written or otherwise, obtained through drug testing and received by the Human Resources Manager are confidential communications that are maintained in a separate file and may not be used or disclosed except as allowed by Florida law.The Authority, any laboratory, Employee Assistance Program, drug or alcohol treatment program or their agents who receive or have access to this information concerning drug test results shall keep it confidential.