City of Bridgeport and Local 1159, AFSCME, Council 15
An individual who announces that he is sick after he is asked to take a random drug test can be suspended, if he refuses to take the test that day, even if he immediately goes to the hospital and the emergency room doctor concludes that he is sick. On Aug. 9, 2012, Patrol Sergeant James Myers asked Officer Paul Scillia to take a random drug test. Officer Scillia informed Sergeant Myers that he felt "extremely sick," and he and Sergeant Myers went to St. Vincent's Hospital. An emergency room doctor diagnosed Scillia with dehydration, and he was given fluids. Scillia took three sick days. Scillia received a 30-day suspension and was taken off the SWAT team, because he did not take the random drug test as ordered on Aug. 9, 2012. The union filed a grievance and argued that Scillia should have been excused from taking the random drug test, because he was sick. The majority of arbitrators found, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Scillia essentially refused to take the drug test. The terms of the drug test policy were clear and unambiguous. Arbitrators are not permitted to re-write or to amend the drug test policy, which was the result of arms-length negotiations. Arbitrators voted, 2-1, to deny the grievance. Michel Bayonne represented the city, and Kelly Rommel represented the union.