14.1 Employee Health Services
- Employee Health Services, a division of the Department of Human Resources, provides certain in‐house health and wellness services to employees. Medical and health services are provided to certain employees, including physical examinations, treatment for occupational diseases or exposure to hazardous chemicals or conditions, and on‐the‐job injuries or illnesses. The intent of Employee Health Services is to provide an organizational health and wellness program to employees and is not intended to replace employees’ personal physicians and/or personal health management plans.
- There may be times when an employee or group of employees, by the nature of their job or job assignments, must undergo certain medical examinations and/or tests for their own safety and the safety of others. Such examinations and/or tests shall be restricted to only those which are directly related to the safe performance of their job and to maintain the general health and well‐being of such employees, as well as other County employees and the public with whom they are or may have been in contact. The determination as to the type of employee examinations and/or tests will be made by the Director of Human Resources in collaboration with appropriate medical staff of the County’s Employee Health Services Division, in conjunction with and supervised by a medical doctor. The costs for such examinations and/or tests will be borne in full by the County of Henrico. Failure of an employee to submit to such required examinations and/or tests ordered or administered by the County, including failure to complete a required medical questionnaire, may provide just cause for disciplinary action to be taken against that employee, up to and including termination.
The County of Henrico is committed to providing a safe and healthy business environment for employees, citizens, customers, and other visitors to County facilities. Accordingly, County‐owned and County‐leased buildings over which the County Manager has control shall be smoke‐free, including private offices. For purposes of this policy, this also shall include County‐owned vehicles. The smoke-free designation also pertains to vaping, e-cigarettes, and other like devices.
Accordingly, smoking will be prohibited at the designated buildings and surrounding grounds. Those facilities will have a “Smoke Free Environment” sign at each entrance.
For all other County facilities, smoking will be permitted outside only; and shall not occur within 25 feet of entrances to County‐owned and County‐leased buildings.
The County of Henrico recognizes that drug and alcohol abuse are serious problems across America. It is, therefore, the goal of the County to establish and maintain a safe and healthy drug‐ and alcohol‐free workplace for its employees.
The County is committed to assisting employees who may be experiencing problems with drugs or alcohol. Employees with such problems are encouraged to seek counseling or other treatment prior to disciplinary or performance action being taken. The County’s desire to assist employees does not relieve the County of its responsibility to maintain a drug‐ and alcohol‐free workplace.
The use of alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription drugs is not acceptable in the County workplace. Such behavior seriously affects job performance and can create a danger to the public and coworkers. In addition, the use of illegal drugs is not acceptable at any time or place. The policy pertaining to a drug‐ and alcohol‐free workplace must be followed by all County employees.
Policy and Regulations
- The County of Henrico maintains a drug‐ and alcohol‐free workplace for all its employees.
- Pursuant to the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act, no employee shall unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, or use on or in the workplace a controlled substance, as defined in Schedules I through V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. §812).
- As a condition of employment, each employee shall notify his supervisor of his conviction of any criminal drug law no later than five (5) days after such conviction.
- As a condition of employment, each employee shall notify his supervisor of any prescription for any narcotic, marijuana, or cannabis oil, as well as provide a note from the prescribing physician or practitioner indicating that the employee is able to perform all of their current job duties while under the influence of the prescription.
- As a condition of employment, each employee shall abide by the terms of the County’s policies regarding a drug‐ and alcohol‐free workplace.
- The possession and/or consumption of alcohol, marijuana, cannabis oil, and/or illegal drugs in the workplace are prohibited. This prohibition covers the entire period between the time when the employee initially reports to work and the time when the employee finally leaves work at the end of his shift, inclusive of all breaks and meals, without regard to whether the break/meal is taken in or outside of the workplace. Reporting to work under the influence of intoxicants or drugs is prohibited.
- Violation of this policy will result in appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- For purposes of maintaining a workplace free of drugs and alcohol, the County of Henrico reserves the right to search all County workplaces.
- Employees who have separated from County employment as a result of a positive drug and/or alcohol test will not be entitled to re‐employment, except in certain circumstances as determined by the Director of Human Resources.
- All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing (see Section 14.3- Guidelines for Reasonable Suspicion Testing for Drugs and Alcohol).
- For CDL holders, marijuana continues to be an illegal substance. Federal Law which governs CDL holders, still recognizes marijuana as an illegal substance, regardless of VA State Code.
- In accordance with VA Code 40.1-27.4, the County will not discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee for such employee’s lawful use of cannabis oil pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a practitioner for the treatment or to eliminate the symptoms of the employee’s diagnosed condition or disease pursuant to 54.1-3408.3.
Unless otherwise noted, employees shall report for testing immediately after being notified of such test. If the test is a Reasonable Suspicion test, they shall be driven to the test immediately after supervisor verification.
- Reasons for testing (Tests are required in the following cases):
- When an applicant for a County position critical to the safety and security of employees or the public has been given a conditional offer of employment subject to a negative drug test result. (Drug Test Only)
- When an employee in a County position critical to the safety and security of employees and/or the public has been selected for a random drug test by a computer‐based program. The percent of employees to be randomly tested as well as the computer‐based program employed shall be determined by the Director of Human Resources at his sole discretion.
The positions that can be randomly tested are as follows:
- Any employee required to possess a Commercial Driver’s License
- Entry Firefighters
- Medical Transport Technicians
- All Sworn Supervisory Fire Personnel
- Entry Police Officers
- Police Officers
- Animal Protection Police Officers
- All Sworn Supervisory Police Personnel
- 9-1-1 Public Safety Dispatchers and 9-1-1 Dispatch Supervisory Personnel
- Police Support Technicians with evidence responsibilities
- Sheriff Deputies
- All Sworn Supervisory Sheriff’s Office Personnel
- When there is reasonable suspicion (as explained in Section 14.3- Guidelines for Reasonable Suspicion Testing for Drugs and Alcohol) that a County employee, regardless of position, is under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.
- When a County employee has been authorized to return to work at the recommendation of the County’s Medical Review Officer and the Director of Human Resources after testing positive for illegal drug and/or alcohol, after referral to the Employee Assistance Program.
- Commercial Driver’s License Holders: As required by the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 and implementing regulations of the Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance and the Federal Highway Administration (49 CFR, Parts 40 and 382, et. al.), all employees and applicants who hold or are offered a position that requires a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as a condition of employment and continued employment, will be tested for drugs under the following conditions:
- Pre‐employment (Drug Test Only)
- Post‐accident (when driving a County vehicle): The employee should be promptly tested for drugs as soon as practicable when:
- There is a fatality as a result of the accident.
- The driver receives a citation within eight (8) hours of the occurrence under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, if the accident involved:
- Bodily injury to any person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or
- One or more vehicles are towed, due to incurred disabling damage as a result of the accident.
- Reasonable suspicion.
|Type of Accident||Citation Issued to CDL Holder||Test Required|
|Bodily injury with immediate medical treatment away from the scene|| Yes
|Disabling damage to any motor vehicle requiring tow away|| Yes
- Drug Tests- The County’s drug testing program will be administered in accordance with applicable law and will be conducted in a confidential manner. Urinalysis will be used for the detection of controlled substances. All employees tested will be required to sign an authorization and consent form, releasing the information to the employer. The testing of the sample will be performed by a laboratory approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), including a NIDA panel screening with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCIMS) confirmation on all positive tests. The panel includes, but is not limited to, screening for amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). The cutoff level for each substance tested will be consistent with those specified by applicable law. The cost for all drug tests ordered will be borne by the County.
- Any employee subject to testing under this policy will be permitted to provide urine specimens in a manner such that the employee is not observed while actually providing the specimen. If there is reason to believe that the employee has altered or substituted the urine specimen provided, then a second sample shall be obtained under the direct observation of a same gender collection site person.
- Alcohol Tests- A test for alcohol shall not be required in order to support a finding that an employee has used alcohol in violation of this policy. Such a finding may be based on other observed facts and conditions. If a test is administered, it shall be of a type consistent with those used by the Police Division to test persons suspected of driving under the influence.
- All employees tested will be required to sign an authorization and consent form, releasing the information to the employer. The cost for all alcohol tests ordered will be borne by the County.
- Refusals- Refusal to submit to any testing, including failure to appear for testing without prior notice acceptable to the County or failure to complete and sign an authorization and consent form, will be considered a positive test result and subject the employee to the full range of disciplinary action, up to and including termination; or in the case of an applicant, the withdrawal of a conditional offer of employment.
Positive Test Results
When a confirmed positive test result for drugs has been returned by the laboratory to the Medical Review Officer, the tested employee will be given an opportunity to provide to the Medical Review Officer appropriate and corroborated information to demonstrate the confirmed positive test result is from a legally prescribed medication or other ingestion. Evidence to justify a positive test result may include, but is not limited to:
- A valid prescription, or
- A written statement from the individual’s physician or practitioner, verifying a valid prescription.
- Once the Medical Review Officer determines the legitimacy of a positive result, the result will then be considered a verified positive test result. The Medical Review Officer will promptly and confidentially notify the Director of Human Resources in writing of the verified positive test result.
- The employee may submit a written request for a retest of the original specimen within 72 hours of being notified by the Medical Review Officer. The retest will be at the employee’s expense.
- If the result of an employee’s alcohol test indicates a presence of alcohol, the employee shall be immediately suspended from duty and promptly transported home, pending disciplinary action.
- A confirmed positive test result for marijuana will be treated in same way as a confirmed positive test result for an illegal drug
Guidelines for Reasonable Suspicion Testing for Drugs and Alcohol
All employees are subject to drug and/or alcohol testing under reasonable suspicion. Positive test results under reasonable suspicion testing will be handled in the same manner as random drug or alcohol tests. An employee shall be required to submit to drug and/or alcohol tests when there is a reasonable suspicion to believe the employee has used or is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. A supervisor will make this decision based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, and/or body odors of the employee. When a supervisor, in his judgment, has reason to believe that an employee has used or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the supervisor should ask another supervisor to corroborate the observations. The following examples, alone or in combination, may comprise reasonable suspicion. This list is intended to be illustrative and is not all‐inclusive:
- Unexplained inability to perform normal job functions.
- Slurred speech.
- Smell of alcohol or drugs on breath/person.
- Any unusual lack of physical coordination or loss of equilibrium.
- Unexplained hyperactivity or depression and withdrawal.
- Unexplained inability to think or reason at the employee’s normal level.
- Unusual or bizarre behavior.
- Possession of alcohol or illegal drugs or the presence of alcohol, alcohol containers, illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia in an area subject to an employee’s control.
- Information obtained from a reliable person with personal knowledge.
During normal working hours (for purposes of these guidelines, normal working hours are considered 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday), if reasonable suspicion is determined, the supervisor shall contact the Director of Human Resources or his designee to discuss the observations and to determine the appropriate course of action. If the employee is to be tested, arrangements will be made with the County’s designated collection center for the necessary drug and/or alcohol tests. The employee will be transported to the testing site. If reasonable suspicion is confirmed outside of normal working hours, then the supervisor shall arrange to have the employee transported to the approved collection site and contact the Director of Human Resources or his designee the next business day to discuss the observations and determine the appropriate course of action.
A written report of the observations leading to the reasonable suspicion test should be done within 24 hours of the observed behavior. All records should immediately be sent to the Director of Human Resources or his designee.
If the employee refuses to be tested, the test will be considered a positive result. The employee shall be immediately suspended from duty and promptly transported home, pending disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- Positive drug/alcohol test results for County positions determined to be critical to the safety and security of employees and/or the public, for purposes of this policy will be grounds for immediate termination.
- Positive drug/alcohol test results for all CDL holders in positions requiring a CDL will be grounds for immediate termination.
- Positive drug/alcohol test results for all supervisory personnel will be grounds for immediate termination.
- Positive drug/alcohol test results for probationary employees will be grounds for immediate termination.
- Positive drug/alcohol test results for applicants will result in withdrawal of conditional offer of employment.
- Positive drug/alcohol test results for all employees not covered above will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and any other measures deemed necessary, including but not limited to EAP.
Substance Abuse Referral / Return to Work
Before being allowed to return to work, an eligible employee shall have followed all instructions provided by the Department of Human Resources, including but not limited to the following:
- Received an evaluation from a substance abuse professional:
- Stopped using illegal drugs
- Successfully participated in an approved rehabilitation program required by a substance abuse professional
- Taken a return‐to‐duty drug test with a negative result and
- Taken a return-to-duty alcohol test with a negative result.
- Upon release to return to work, the employee will be subject to a minimum six (6) unannounced re‐tests in the first 12 months and continued testing for 60 months.
- Failure to comply with any and all of the above will be the basis for discipline, up to and including termination.
The laboratory may disclose laboratory test results only to the Medical Review Officer. Any positive result which the Medical Review Officer justifies, by acceptable and appropriate medical or scientific documentation, to account for the result as other than the intentional ingestion of drugs or alcohol will be treated as a negative test result and may not be released for purposes of identifying drug use or misuse.
All drug testing information specifically relating to employees and applicants is confidential and should be treated as such by anyone authorized to review such information. The Director of Human Resources shall maintain all relevant records in accordance with applicable regulations, acts, and codes.
All records and information of any personnel actions involving an employee with positive test results shall be maintained in confidential and secured files in the Department of Human Resources and disseminated only to authorized individuals on a confirmed need-to-know basis, as determined by the Director of Human Resources in accordance with applicable regulations, acts, and codes. Employees who are in a suspension status or who have tested positive for drugs and/or alcohol may not have the same FMLA job status protection as other employees.
Time and Leave Usage
- An employee may use unpaid and paid breaks for lactation. If the time needed exceeds the paid and unpaid breaks provided by the county, the employee may use unpaid time or may use annual leave, floating holiday leave, and compensation time. The employee may also request to work longer days to avoid the use of paid leave or docked (unpaid) leave, when possible.
- Employers are required to give a reasonable break time and other reasonable accommodations for lactation. A reasonable break time and accommodations for each employee will be determined through an interactive process between the supervisor and employee, and if necessary, Human Resources. Each request will be evaluated on a case‐by‐case basis taking into account, among other things, the employee’s needs and job duties. Break time used for lactation is not considered FMLA time. Expressing milk at work does not constitute bonding with or caring for a newborn child and is not typically associated with a serious health condition under the FMLA. FMLA leave is not used for reasons not covered by the FMLA.
- The accommodation for lactation is reviewed and must be approved by Human Resources for compliance with applicable laws, rules, etc. Human Resources may be contacted at 501-4273.
If an employee’s department does not have a private area for lactation, the department shall provide a space temporarily created or converted into a space, other than a bathroom, for expressing milk when needed.
- Employees are responsible for the proper storage of perishable items. If a department has a refrigerator and it is for employee use, an employee may confirm with their supervisor their ability to use it.
- If a department doesn’t have a refrigerator, an employee will have to provide their own storage and will need to confirm with their supervisor what is appropriate.
Employees must notify their department and Human Resources Employee Relations of their need for an accommodation related to lactation at least 5 workdays prior to return to work. (Human Resources can be reached at 501-4273.) The notification allows for the department to prepare and allows for smoother transition. An employee shall provide information such as the break times needed for lactation, the likely duration of those times, how the employee intends to store the milk, and any other information the employee believes will be helpful. The employee’s supervisor should follow up with a written document or email outlining the plan. The employee shall communicate changes in schedule with their supervisor.