Monday, December 14, 2009

Truck drivers with positive drug tests should not file lawsuits … period.

Consider these facts:

  • A city garbage truck driver is injured on the job.
  • When he goes to the ER for treatment, a blood test reveals cocaine in his system.
  • Upon returning to work following a workers’ compensation leave of absence, he agreed to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings as a condition of his employment.
  • He did not attend the meetings.
  • When it was discovered that he was trying to surreptitiously tape record his follow-up conference with the city, he received a five-day suspension.

How do you think the subsequent law suit filed by this employee against the city turned out? Garofolo v. City of Fairview Park (8th Dist. 12/10/09) [PDF] has the details. The short answer (surprise) is that the employee lost:

Garofolo offers no legal basis for his argument that appellees should have ignored the disclosure of his positive drug test and that he should not have been subjected to the substance abuse program or other measures taken by appellees. We find the argument that the appellees should not have acted upon the information to be disingenuous in light of Garofolo’s safety-sensitive position and DOT requirements. Indeed, once provided with the information, Fairview Park had a clear interest in creating a safe working environment.

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