The Richland Parish School Board, as a result of its responsibilities to its employees and to the public it serves, has a compelling obligation to eliminate illegal drug and alcohol use from its workplace.  The School Board recognizes the increased risks and dangers when employees use drugs in the workplace.  In an effort to provide a safe, healthful, and productive work environment, the School Board shall establish a drug and alcohol policy for all drivers of a parish owned vehicle or a contract vehicle, whether part-time or full-time, that require a Commercial Driver's License (CDL).  This policy shall establish the administrative scope, personnel procedures, employee training, drug testing guidelines, and employee assistance related to achieving a drug-free workplace.  It is the intent of this policy to comply with current Federal and State statutes, and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations concerning drugs in the workplace and drug testing of employees.




This policy shall apply to all present and future full or part-time drivers, driver applicants, contract drivers, volunteers, and auxiliary personnel employed by or representing the School Board when driving a School Board vehicle or while driving on School Board business a vehicle that requires a CDL.  The School Board requires compliance with this policy as a condition of employment, continued employment, and continuation of contractual agreements with the School Board in the capacity of a driver.


The terms of this policy shall apply to all School Board property including but not limited to School Board land, offices, buildings, structures, installations, work locations, and all fixtures, machinery, and equipment herein.  This policy shall also apply to all owned, leased, or used Richland Parish automobiles, trucks, vehicles, equipment, or other transportation used at or while traveling to and from School Board property during the performance of any School Board business.  The term employee in this policy shall refer to anyone who drives a vehicle owned or contracted by the Richland Parish School Board that requires a CDL.




This is to notify all driver applicants, School Board drivers, and visitors that the unlawful use, abuse, confirmed presence in the body, possessions, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, transfer, storage, concealment, or sale of legal and illegal drugs, controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, or drug related paraphernalia is strictly prohibited during the course and scope of School Board business and/or while on or using School Board property.


More specifically prohibited substances include:



    1. The prescription drugs are prescribed by an authorized medical practitioner for use by the person in possession within the past twelve (12) months and the medication is in its original container.  If the medical practitioner is authorizing use of the prescription for a period longer than twelve (12) months, then a letter from the practitioner is to be placed on file with the School Board Substance Abuse Program Coordinator.

    2. Employees are to take the prescription in the manner prescribed by the prescribing practitioner.  The employee must not allow any other person to consume the prescribed drug.

    3. Over-the-counter medications should be kept in their original container.

    4. Any employee who has been informed that medication could cause adverse side effects while working or where medication indicates such warning must inform his/her supervisor prior to using such substances on the job.  The School Board at all times reserves the right to have a licensed physician determine if use of a prescription drug or medication impairs the employee or in any way makes it unsafe for him/her to perform the duties of his/her job.  In the event of such a finding, the School Board may, with permission, check with the employee's physician to see if alternative medications are available which would not affect the employee's ability to work safely.  The employee may use sick days in the event this situation originates.





In order to accomplish the objectives of this policy, the School Board reserves the right, at all times and in any work area, when circumstances warrant or reasonable cause exists, to conduct unannounced reasonable searches and inspections of School Board facilities.  These searches will be conducted by authorized supervisors or search personnel, including drug detection dogs.  The areas open to search include but are not limited to lockers, briefcases, desks, boxes, bags, lunch boxes, tool chests, vehicles, and other employee's personal effects.


The School Board also reserves the right, in certain circumstances, to require employees to submit to medical or physical examinations or tests.  These procedures may be required at any time as condition of employment or continued employment.  The procedures used may include, but are not limited to, urine drug tests, blood alcohol tests.  Breathalyzer tests or other medical examinations to determine the use of any substance prohibited by this policy or to determine satisfactory fitness for duty.  The tests may be announced or unannounced and may be utilized under the following circumstances.


Pre-employment testing shall be required of any qualified applicant or candidate as a condition of consideration of employment.  Testing may also be required prior to being approved to work at certain facilities, work areas, or as required by law or contract.



Additional testing and changes in these testing guidelines may be required because of obligations to meet changes in federal and state drug laws or to meet contractual agreements.





The goals of all sample collection testing for illegal drugs under this plan are adopted to insure the following:


  1. The collection of samples to be performed under reasonable sanitary conditions.

  2. Samples shall be collected and tested with due regard to the privacy of the individual being tested and in a manner reasonably calculated to prevent substitutions or interference with the collection or testing of reliable samples.

  3. Sample collection shall be documented, and the documentation procedures shall include: (a) labeling of samples so as to reasonably preclude the probability of erroneous identification of test results; (b) an opportunity for an employee to provide notification of any information which is relevant to the test, including identification of currently or recently used prescription and non-prescription drugs or other relevant medical information; and (c) chain of custody initiated.

    Collection, storage and transportation to the place of testing to be performed so as reasonably to preclude the probability of the sample contamination or other alteration; and

  4. Sample testing shall conform to scientifically accepted analytical methods and procedures.  Testing shall include verification and confirmation of any type of positive results by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry assay, or other reliable analytical method, before the results of any test may be used as a basis for any disciplinary consequences.




In accordance with Louisiana Revised Statute §23:1081(11) and Louisiana Revised Statute §23:1601(10)(f), an employee of the Richland Parish School Board has no cause of action for defamation of character, libel, slander, or damage to reputation against the Richland Parish School Board for drug or alcohol testing in accordance with its drug-free workplace program, unless:


  1. Results of that test are disclosed to any person other than the employer and authorized employee or agent of the employer, the tested employee or the tested prospective employee, or appropriate government agency or court;

  2. The information disclosed was based on false results; and

  3. All elements of an action for defamation of character, libel, slander, or damage to reputation as established by statute or jurisprudence are satisfied.




  1. DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR means the individual responsible for implementing and operating the drug testing procedures in accordance with the provisions of this plan and in implementing and operating the Employee Assistance Program within the Richland Parish School Board.  The designated Program Administrator for the Richland Parish School Board is the Director of Transportation. The administrator shall be responsible for implementing, directing, administering, and managing the drug program with the Richland Parish School Board.  The administrator will serve as a principal contact with the laboratory and for collection activities and assuring the effective operation of the testing portion program.  In carrying out his or her responsibilities, the administrator, among other duties:


    1. Arranges for all testing authorized under this program;

    2. Ensures that all employees subject to random testing receive notice as described in this plan, prior to implementation of the program, and that such employees return a signed acknowledgment of receipt form;

    3. Documents, through written inspection reports, all results of laboratory inspections conducted;

    4. Coordinates with and reports to the Superintendent/or School Board on activities and findings that may affect the liability or accuracy of laboratory results;

    5. Publicizes and disseminates drug program educational materials, and oversees training and education sessions regarding drug use and rehabilitation.


  1. MEDICAL REVIEW OFFICER (MRO) means the individual responsible for receiving laboratory results generated from the Richland Parish School Board Drug-Free Workplace Program who is a licensed physician with knowledge of substance abuse disorders and the appropriate medical training to interpret and evaluate all positive test results together with an individuals medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.

  2. ILLEGAL DRUGS means a controlled substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as defined in 21 USC 812 in the United States Code, the possession of which is unlawful under Chapter 13 of that Title.  The term "illegal drugs" does not mean the use of a controlled substance pursuant to a valid prescription or other uses authorized by law.

  3. EMPLOYEE means anyone occupying a position within the school who must have a CDL to perform his/her duties.

  4. VERIFIED POSITIVE TEST RESULT means a test result that was positive on an initial FDA-approved immunoassay test, confirmed by a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry assay, (or other confirmatory tests approved by the Department of Health and Human Services), and reviewed by the Medical Review Officer in accordance with this plan.



A general notice from the Richland Parish Schools Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator announcing the testing program will be provided to employees at least thirty (30) days prior to the implementation date of this plan.


Each employee shall be asked to acknowledge, in writing, upon receipt of the general notice that he/she has received and read the notice which states that the employee be subject to random testing and that the refusal to submit to testing will result in initiation of disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.  If the employee refuses to sign the acknowledgment, the employee's actions shall be noted on the acknowledgment form.  This acknowledgment, which is advisory only, shall be collected by the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator.  An employee's failure to sign the notice shall not preclude testing of that employee or otherwise affect the implementation of this plan.






An employee may be found to use illegal drugs on the basis of any appropriate evidence including, but not limited to:


    1. Direct observation;

    2. Evidence obtained from an arrest or criminal conviction;

    3. A verified positive test result; or

    4. An employee's voluntary admission.




The Medical Review Officer shall refer an employee found to use illegal drugs or have a sufficient alcohol blood level at work to the Administrator of the Drug Program of the Richland Parish School Board, and if the employee occupies a sensitive position, he or she shall be immediately removed from that position.  At the discretion of the Superintendent of Schools, however, an employee may return to duty if the employee's return would not endanger public health or safety.




Disciplinary action taken against an employee found to use illegal drugs or have a sufficient alcohol blood level may include the full range of disciplinary actions, including removal.  The severity of the action chosen will depend on the circumstances of each case.  The Superintendent of Richland Parish Schools shall initiate disciplinary action against any employee found to use illegal drugs or alcohol.


Such disciplinary action may include any of the following non-exclusive measures, but some disciplinary action must be initiated:


    1. Reprimanding the employee in writing;

    2. Placing the employee in an enforced leave and/or suspension status with or without pay for a period of time to be determined by the administrator;

    3. Suspending the employee until the employee successfully completes a rehabilitation program or until the School Board determines that action other than suspension is more appropriate;

    4. Termination of employee.


Preliminary investigation of a policy violation may require that the employee be placed on suspension pending review of the surrounding circumstances and facts concerning the policy violations.


A school bus operator that tests positive for the presence of alcohol of .08 percent or higher or certain drugs on tests administered in the scope of the operator's employment as a school bus operator shall be prohibited from driving a bus or transporting students in any manner until the Board determines the operator may return to driving.




An employee who refuses to be tested when so required will be subject to the full range of disciplinary action, including dismissal.  NO applicant who refuses to be tested shall be extended an offer of employment.  Attempts to alter or substitute the specimen provided will be deemed a refusal to take the drug test when required.  An employee will also be subject to discharge for:


    1. substituting or tampering with a urine or blood sample;

    2. leaving a treatment program prior to completion; and

    3. not being properly released to work.




The written results of a positive test by the MRO are required to initiate action to discipline any employee found to use illegal drugs in every circumstance, except that such discipline may not be required for an employee who:


    1. Voluntarily admits his or her drug use prior to being identified through other means; and

    2. Completes rehabilitation and thereafter refrains from drug use before being called in or tested in the random selection.


The decision whether to discipline a voluntary referral will be made by the School Board on a case-by-case basis depending upon the facts and circumstances.  Although an absolute bar to discipline cannot be provided for certain positions because of their extreme sensitivity and direct contact with the students of the Richland Parish School System, the Superintendent, in determining whether to discipline, shall consider that the employee has come forward voluntarily.  However, a request for assistance will not excuse an employee from a policy violation immediately prior to or while an actual drug screen blood sampling, search or inspection is being made in the work area or after the urine drug screen or sampling has been completed.




Upon a finding of illegal drug usage, the employee shall be entitled to a hearing before the School Board to appeal the findings.






Random testing means a system of drug testing imposed without individualized suspicion that a particular individual is using illegal drugs, and may either be:


    1. Uniform-unannounced testing of certain employees occupying a specified area, element, or position; or

    2. A statistically random sampling of such employees based on a neutral criterion, such as social security numbers.




    An individual selected for random testing and the individual's supervisor shall be notified the same day the test is scheduled preferably, within one hour of the scheduled testing.  The administrator shall explain to the employee that the employee is under no suspicion of taking drugs and that the employee's name was selected randomly.  However, failure for the administrator to so advise shall not constitute a bar to testing under this plan since the general notice to all employees under the Notification of Drug Testing section has been given.




An employee selected for random drug testing may obtain a deferral of testing if the administrator concurs that a compelling need necessitates a deferral on the grounds that the employee is:


    1. In a leave status (sick, annual, weekly, administrative or leave without pay); or

    2. In an official travel status away from the test site or is about to embark on official travel scheduled prior to the testing notification; or

    3. Involved in an emergency medical situation requiring the need of his or her services.


An employee whose random drug test is deferred will be subject to an unannounced test within the following 30 days.






Reasonable suspicion testing may be based upon among other things:


    1. Observable phenomena, such as direct observation of drug use or possession and/or the physical symptoms of being under the influence of a drug;

    2. A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic behavior;

    3. Arrest or conviction for a drug-related offense, or the identification of any employee as the focus of a criminal investigation into illegal drug possession, use, or trafficking;

    4. Information provided either by reliable and credible sources or independently corroborated: or

    5. Newly discovered evidence that the employee has tampered with previous drug test.


Although reasonable suspicion testing does not require certainty, mere "hunches" are not sufficient to meet this standard.




If an employee is suspected of using illegal drugs or of abusing alcohol, the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator will gather all information facts, and circumstances leading to and supporting this suspicion.  When concurrence by the Administrator that a reasonable suspicion determination has been made, the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator will promptly prepare a written report detailing the circumstances which formed the basis to warrant the testing.  This report shall include the appropriate dates and times of reported drug related incidents, reliable/credible sources of information, rationale leading to the test, and the action taken.




The employee may be asked to provide the urine sample under observation.  If alcohol abuse is suspected, the employee must submit to a blood or breath test, which will be conducted in compliance, as near as possible, with the specimen collection procedures in regards to labeling, identification, and handling of samples.






An "applicant" means any individual tentatively selected or being considered for selection for employment with the Richland Parish School Board as a driver of a commercial vehicle.




Each applicant will be notified that appointment to the position will be contingent upon a negative drug test result and the applicant shall sign an acknowledgment form to this effect.  Failure of the Administrator to make such notice will not preclude applicant testing since it is a requirement for obtaining employee status to submit to urinalysis testing.




The Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator shall direct applicants to an appropriate collection facility.  The drug test must be undertaken as soon after notification as possible and no later than forty-eight (48) hours after notice to the applicant.  The specimen collection shall be conducted in line with the procedures specified in Specimen Collection Procedures section.


Applicants shall be advised of the opportunity to submit medical documentation that may support a legitimate use for a specific drug and that such information will be reviewed only by the Medical Review Officer to determine whether the individual is legally using an otherwise illegal drug.




Upon notification that an individual has been tentatively selected for employment with the Richland Parish School Board, the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator shall assure, after consultation with the Medical Review Officer, that a drug test has been conducted on that individual and determine whether the test result is a verified positive result.




The Richland Parish School Board will decline to extend a final offer of employment to any applicant with a verified positive test result, and such applicant may not reapply to the Richland Parish School Board for a period of six months.  Upon a verified positive test result, the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator shall be directed to object to the applicant on the basis of failure to pass the drug test.  The Administrator shall inform such applicant that a confirmed presence of an illegal drug in the applicant's urine precludes the School Board from hiring the applicant.




The Richland Parish School Board is committed to providing a safe and secure work environment.  Employees involved in on-the-job accidents or who engage in unsafe on-duty, job-related activities that pose a danger to others or the overall operation of the Richland Parish School Board vehicles may be subject to testing.  Based on the circumstances of the accident or unsafe act, the driver may be subject to testing.  Based on the circumstances of the accident or unsafe act, the Administrator may initiate testing when such circumstances involve:


  1. A death or personal injury requiring immediate hospitalization, or

  2. Damage to private property in excess of $500.00, or

  3. Personal injury requiring immediate medical treatment, or

  4. A potentially serious accident or "near miss" situation in which careless acts were performed.




All employees who undergo a counseling or rehabilitation program for illegal drug use will be subject to unannounced testing following completion of such a program for a period of one year.  Such employees shall be tested at the frequency of at least once a month.  The cost of follow up testing shall be paid by the employee.  The Board reserves the right to choose the lab for testing.  If the employee is found to use illegal drugs after the counseling or rehabilitation program, that employee shall be subject to the full range of disciplinary action, including dismissal.






Any individual subject to testing under this plan shall be permitted to provide urine specimens in private and in a rest room stall or similar enclosure so that the employee is not observed while providing the sample.  Collection site personnel of the same gender as the individual tested, however, may observe the individual provide the urine sample when such personnel have reason to believe that the individual may alter or substitute the specimen to be provided when:


    1. The individual:


      1. is being tested pursuant to reasonable suspicion testing;

      2. has previously been found by the Medical Review Officer to be an illegal Drug user; or

      3. has previously tampered with a sample; or


    1. Facts and circumstances suggest that the individual:


      1. is an illegal drug user;

      2. is under the influence of drugs at the time of the test; or

      3. has equipment or implements capable


    1. The specimen:


      1. shows signs of contaminants or having been tampered with.




Failure to appear for testing without a deferral will be considered refusal to participate in testing and will subject an employee to the full range of disciplinary action, including dismissal, and an applicant to the cancellation of an offer of employment.  If an individual fails to appear at the collection site at the assigned time, the collector shall contact the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator to obtain guidance on action to be taken.  Substituting or tampering with a urine sample or blood sample shall also subject an employee to the full range of disciplinary




When a confirmed positive result has been returned by the laboratory, the Medical Review Officer shall perform the following duties.  For example, the Medical Review Officer may choose to conduct employee medical interviews, review employee medical history, or review any other relevant biomedical factors.  The Medical Review Officer must review all medical records made available by the tested employee when a confirmed positive test could have resulted from legally prescribed medication.  Evidence to justify a positive result may include, but is not limited to:


    1. a valid prescription; or

    2. a verification from the individual's physician verifying a valid prescription.

Individuals are not entitled, however, to present evidence to the Medical Review Officer in a trial-type administrative proceeding, although the Medical Review Officer has the discretion to accept evidence in any manner the Medical Review Officer deems most efficient or necessary.  If the Medical Review Officer determines there is not justification for the positive result, such result will then be considered a verified positive test result.  The Medical Review Officer shall immediately contact the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator upon obtaining a verified positive test result.  The positive result will be sent to the Administrator within three (3) working days of verified test results.




To the extent that any of the procedures specified in this section are inconsistent with any of those specified or required by Louisiana Law, such requirements shall supersede the procedures specified in this section, but only to the extent of the inconsistency.





The laboratory may disclose laboratory test results only to the Medical Review Officer or the staff of the Medical Review Officer.  Any positive result which the Medical Review Officer justifies by acceptable or appropriate medical or scientific documentation to account for the result as other than the intentional ingestion of an illegal drug will be treated as a negative test result and may not be released for purposes of identifying illegal drug use.  The Medical Review Officer may maintain only those records necessary for compliance with this plan.  Any records of the Medical Review Officer, including drug test results, may be released to any management official for purposes of auditing the activities of the Medical Review Officer, except that the disclosure of the results of any audit may not include personal identifying information on any employee.

For purposes of this Section, "management official" includes any management, security or personnel official whose duties necessitate review of the test results in order to process adverse personnel action against the employee.

The verified positive test results or negative test results of the Richland Parish School Board may not be disclosed without the prior written consent of such employee, unless the


    1. to the Medical Review Officer;

    2. to the Drug-Free Workplace Program Administrator; or his or her appointee;

    3. pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction or where required by Louisiana State Government to defend against any challenge against any adverse personnel action;

    4. to any supervisor or management official in the Richland Parish School Board having authority to take adverse personnel action against such employee, such as the Superintendent and members of the School Board.



    Any employee who is the subject of a drug test shall, upon written request, have access to any records relating to

    1. such employee's drug test; and

    2. the results of any relevant certification, review, or revocation of certification proceedings.

Except as authorized by law, an applicant who is the subject of a drug test, however, shall not be entitled to this information.


    All drug testing information specifically relating to individuals is confidential and should be treated as such by anyone authorized to review or compile program records.  In order to efficiently implement this order and to make information readily retrievable, the Drug Program Administrator shall maintain all records relating to reasonable suspicion testing, suspicion of tampering with evidence, and any other authorized documentation necessary to implement this order.


    The Richland Parish School Board shall establish or amend a record keeping system to maintain the records of the Richland Parish School Board Drug Free Workplace Program consistent with this plan.  The record keeping system should capture sufficient documents to meet the operational and statistical needs of this plan, and include:

    1. Notices of verified positive test results referred by the Medical Review Officer;

    2. Written materials justifying reasonable suspicion testing or evidence that an individual may have altered or tampered with a specimen; and

    3. Other documents the Drug Free Workplace Program Administrator, Medical Review Officer, Superintendent of Richland Parish School Board, or Medical Counseling Officer deems necessary for efficient compliance with this plan.





    The drug testing program shall have one or more designated collection sites which have all necessary personnel, materials, equipment, facilities, and supervision to provide for the collection, security, temporary storage, and shipping or transportation of urine specimens to a certified drug testing laboratory.


    The drug testing program shall provide for the designated collection site to be secure.  If a collection site facility is dedicated solely to urine collection, it shall be secure at all times.  If a facility cannot be dedicated solely to drug testing, the portion of the facility used for testing shall be secured during drug testing.


    Chain of custody standardized forms shall be properly executed by authorized collection site personnel upon receipt of specimens.  Handling and transportation of urine specimens from one authorized individual or place to another shall always be accomplished through chain of custody procedures.  Every effort shall be made to minimize the number of persons handling specimens.


    No unauthorized personnel shall be permitted in any part of the designated collection site when urine specimens are collected or stored.


    Agencies shall take precautions to ensure that a urine specimen not be adulterated or diluted during the collection procedure and that information on the urine bottle and in the record book can identify the individual from whom the specimen was obtained and correctly identified.


    To the maximum extent possible, collection site personnel shall keep the individual's specimen bottle within sight both before and after the individual has urinated.  After the specimen is collected, it shall be properly scaled and labeled.  An approved chain of custody form shall be used for maintaining control and accountability of each specimen from the point of collection to final disposition of the specimen.  The date and purpose shall be documented on an approved chain of custody form each time a specimen is handled or transferred, and every individual in the chain shall be identified.  Every effort shall be made to minimize the number of persons handling specimens.


    Collection site personnel shall arrange to ship the collected specimens to the drug testing laboratory.



Ref:    49 USC 5331 (The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991)

49 CFR 10 (Maintenance of and Access to Records Pertaining to Individuals)

49 CFR 40.1 et seq. (Procedures For Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs)

49 CFR 382 (Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing)

49 CFR 391 (Qualifications of Drivers and Longer Combination Vehicle Driver Instructors)

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:81, 23:897, 23:1081, 23:1601, 49:1001, 49:1002, 49:1005, 49:1011, 49:1012, 49:1015

Board Minutes, 11-1-94


Richland Parish School Board