ACLU sues Pawtucket over drug test

Providence, R.I. – The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against the city of Pawtucket, alleging it imposed random drug testing on an employee in violation of state law.

State law prescribes that there must be reasonable suspicion that an employee is impaired on the job before ordering a drug or alcohol test. But on April 6, Pawtucket randomly chose a police matron named Romana Ramos. She submitted to the urine and breath tests when threatened with a 30 day unpaid suspension. Her attorney, Richard Sinapi says she tested negative for both alcohol and drugs.

"Well she felt humiliated, frankly, that somehow she would be selected to take this test," Sinapi says. "Even though the documentation indicates it was random it certainly does impose a certain stigma to it I guess."

The suit asks the court to enjoin the city from future random drug testing. It also requests attorney fees and a minimum of $25,000.