Riviera Beach Ex-Employee Sues City Over Drug Test He (Probably) Passed | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Riviera Beach Ex-Employee Sues City Over Drug Test He (Probably) Passed

Mike Hunter, a man who used to work for Riviera Beach running the public-access TV channel, is suing the city over a drug test. 

He took the test, was told the results were negative, then decided it had been unconstitutional to test him in the first place, canceled the test, and got fired for "refusing" a drug test.

He may actually have a case. His suit hinges on state law that requires "reasonable suspicion" for drug testing of non-safety-related employees, he says. 

The suit says he "reluctantly" agreed to take a drug test on February 4, 2009, at the direction of the city's HR director, Doretha Perry. There was no permanent city manager at the time, and Perry's son Troy, the fire chief, had been in a dispute with Hunter previously.

Hunter asked Perry for documentation of why she suspected him of drug use (he says he's never come to work under the influence). She said another employee had said his "eyes were glassy and he smelled like marijuana" but couldn't recall who had reported this to her, according to the suit.

Hunter says he worked three miles from Perry's office and never reported directly to her. 

Anyhoo, he took the drug test, and a Concentra employee told him the urine test was negative and that the hair test would take some time to process. But after mulling this over for a while, Hunter determined that the drug test had violated his First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. 

A serious nugget in Hunter's allegations: "Perry... admitted on record to drug testing previous employees based on uncorroborated tips, rumors or gut feelings."

He asked around in the city offices and couldn't get anyone to go against Perry's call to drug-test him. So he contacted the clinic, and they told him he could cancel the results under privacy laws. 

Long story short... "In March 2009 over a month after the illegal drug test... the Defendants retaliated against plaintiff by suspending him for writing the revocation letter to Concentra and exercising his right to revoke the rights to his protected medical info." After an administrative hearing that he says was dominated by Perry's own testimony, he was fired.

It gets weirder: Hunter says (though he has not provided evidence to the Pulp) that months after he was fired, the city sent him a letter on Concentra letterhead saying the hair test was positive. He says it's fake: "I contacted Concentra regarding it, and they said they don't even send stuff out like that." Hudson says Concentra then sent him a letter, also on their letterhead, saying his hair test had been nullified because of malfunctioning equipment.

Hudson is representing himself in federal court, on constitutional grounds. He has no plans to smoke marijuana beforehand.

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Stefan Kamph
Contact: Stefan Kamph

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