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Hawkins official’s refusal to comply with drug testing could cost county $17,541

December 15th, 2013 10:24 pm by Jeff Bobo

Hawkins official’s refusal to comply with drug testing  could cost county $17,541

Jeff Thacker

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County Property Assessor Jeff Thacker said he won’t participate in the county’s “Drug Free Workplace” random drug testing program, even if it means losing the state’s 5 percent discount for workman’s comp insurance premiums.

During the current fiscal year that discount amounted to $17,541 for Hawkins County.

Thacker told the Times-News Sunday he is confident that if his employees  were to be  tested at any given time they would come back 100 percent clean, and the decision not to participate was his alone.

He said he’s not convinced that the county program complies with state law, and he said he believes it violates employees’ rights.

Hawkins County’s policy,  adopted earlier this year,  states that only employees who are in “safety sensitive” positions are subject to pre-hiring and random drug testing, and all employees are subject to post-accident drug screens.

Becky Brock, from the Local Government Insurance Pool, told the Hawkins County Commission’s Public Safety Committee Friday that the random drug testing discount is an “all or nothing” deal.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Monday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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