DOT squeaks by drug-Test leak

Peter Giaccio Jr., a boilermaker for New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT), sued the department for leaking the results of a random drug test that revealed marijuana use. Giaccio, being in a “safety-sensitive” position, was subject to random testing, which he failed twice. After each test, the DOT placed him on medical leave without pay to get treatment and, after treatment, reinstated him.

In November 2003, Giaccio received a call from his brother, DOT borough commissioner John Giaccio, saying his drug tests would be featured in an upcoming Newsday article.

Later that month, the DOT ordered that locks be placed on all file cabinets containing personnel records. The following day, an exposé appeared in the newspaper citing Giaccio’s drug tests.

The court noted that the locked cabinets suggested that drug tests were kept in personnel files, which violates the ADA. But Giaccio lost his case because he could not show damages resulting from the exposure.

This one was a close call for the DOT. Remember to keep all medical information, including drug-test results, in separate, locked files.