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November 2, 2012

Peru sets penalty for ‘shy bladder’

Taking too long to produce drug-test samples comes with extra charge.

Peru — Peru city employees who cannot produce a urine sample in 15 minutes for required drug tests must now pay a $15 penalty and could face disciplinary action if it takes more than three hours.

The Peru Board of Works Thursday approved the new policy that addresses what the city labeled a “shy bladder,” which the city defines as employees who can’t submit to urine screenings when requested to do so.

Clerk-Treasurer Jackie Gray said the policy stems from recent fee changes made by Indiana Testing Inc. — a state-approved drug testing company the city uses for its screenings.

The company is charging the city $15 for employees who can’t produce a sample in 15 minutes, $30 after an hour and $45 after two hours. The city will pass those charges onto workers.

By requiring employees to pay, Gray said the city hopes to deter workers from using “shy bladder” as an excuse to postpone a drug test.

She noted no employee has ever complained of having the syndrome during a drug screening.

“This is something we’ve never had an instance of,” she said. “It’s never been an issue, and we don’t want it to become an issue.”

After three hours, employees could be sent home from work and forfeit their pay for the day.

Department heads could also take further disciplinary action.

Gray noted the city will continue to pay for normal drug testing.

“In the end, I don’t think this will have much impact on drug screenings, because it’s never been an issue before,” she said.

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