December 29, 2010

Failure of employee to provide a urine sample within the time limits set by federal regulations deemed a refusal to submit to the drug test

Failure of employee to provide a urine sample within the time limits set by federal regulations deemed a refusal to submit to the drug test
NYC Department of Sanitation v C.L.*, OATH Index #760/11

The New York City Department of Sanitation requires employees who are holders of commercial drivers' licenses to submit to random drug testing.

A sanitation worker, C.L. was charged with refusing to submit to a random test as a result of his failing to provide a sufficient urine sample within the time frame allotted by federal regulations.

C.L. then had five days from the date of the test to submit documentation to the Medical Review Officer (MRO) to show why he was unable to provide the required sample within the time period set by the federal regulation.

OATH Administrative Law Judge Ingrid Addison found that the Department had proved the refusal charge. Although Judge Addison indicated that she “was not entirely convinced by the MRO's rationale for rejecting the medical reports submitted by C.L., C.L. failed to present any expert testimony to controvert it.

Thus, the ALJ concluded, C.L.’s failure to produce sufficient urine within the time allotted constituted a refusal as charged.

In addition, Judge Addison found that the immediate follow-up steps taken by C.L. whereupon he sought an independent urine test, rebutted the inference that his urine sample would have tested positive. Accordingly she recommended that C.L. be suspended for 25 days without pay.

* C.L. held a commercial driver’s license and was subject to both Sanitation Department and federal regulations that require random drug testing. Pursuant to such federal regulations, C.L.’s name was been withheld from publication in Judge Addison's determination.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/11_Cases/11-760.pdf

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