Court Rules School Bus Driver Who Failed Drug Test Should Get Job Back
The driver on the bus goes puff, puff, puff…
How comfortable are you with a marijuana smoking bus driver bringing your kids to school? Students at a school in upstate New York are being forced to deal with it.
Cynthia DiDomenicantonio, a bus driver for the Shenendehowa School District in Clifton Park, was fired from her job for failing a drug test.
An Appeals Court however, decided the firing was “too severe a punishment”, and have ordered the school to reinstate DiDomenicantonio.
Via the Times Union:
The state’s highest court on Tuesday unanimously upheld an order requiring the reinstatement of a Shenendehowa bus driver who was fired after she failed a random drug test for marijuana.
The Court of Appeals ruling supported the conclusion of an arbitrator who determined the firing of Cynthia DiDomenicantonio on Nov. 10, 2009, was too severe a punishment for the district employee of 10 years.
The school district, represented by attorney Beth Bourassa, had argued that it had adopted a zero-tolerance policy for positive drug tests. The bus driver’s attorney, Daren Rylewicz, countered that such a policy did not exist.
The arbitrator — who became involved after the bus drivers union, the Civil Service Employees Association, challenged the firing — found the dismissal violated the collective bargaining agreement.
The arbitrator ordered DiDomenicantonio reinstated — minus six months of back pay, follow-up drug testing and substance-abuse counseling.
The school district has now gone from having a zero tolerance drug policy, to having zero ability to enforce rules on employees using drugs.
Read that again – the union and the courts thought that a school bus driver caught using drugs, should get no more than a slap on the wrist.
Buckle your seatbelts kids…