GOLDSBORO — A drug habit could mean the pink slip for city workers in Goldsboro. The city has just announced that nearly all employees will undergo random drug tests.
City leaders hope the policy will make employees think twice about getting high.
We expect some city workers like police officers to be tested for drugs. They handle life and death decisions every day.
But what about Sally Johnson? She's an administrative assistant in city hall. Goldsboro's City Council says she has an impact on people who live here, too.
Effective immediately, she and hundreds of other city workers could find themselves being tested for drugs.
"I don't do drugs, and I'm not going to test positive, so I have nothing to hide. I think safety is an important factor in the workplace," said Johnson.
The new policy says 350 city workers who have not been tested should be. The idea is that anyone can do serious damage if they are under the influence of drugs.
"It can cause safety hazards to the employees and to the citizens, so what we'd like to do is remove them as much as we can and create a workplace that's free of drugs," said human resources director Al King.
Failing the test does not always mean the employee is fired. Some will be allowed to go to a rehab program then come back on a probationary basis once it's complete.
After that, if they fail the drug test a second time they will not be allowed to come back to work.
An expert will randomly test seven employees every month. City leaders hope the fear of getting caught will keep some workers from getting high in the first place.
So far, no employees have filed a complaint against the new policy. The city will pay a private company about $2,000 a year for the tests.