Forms, Policies, & Guides

604 - Substance Abuse

Subject: Substance Abuse

Section: U604

Date: October 17, 2003


To define the University's policy regarding substance abuse and to provide guidelines in handling an employee whose work performance has been impaired by the use of such substances as alcohol or drugs. This statement implements the requirements for a drug-free workplace as required by federal law.


The University recognizes alcohol and drug abuse as potential health, safety, and security problems. The University expects all employees to assist in maintaining a work environment free from the effects of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances. Compliance with this substance abuse policy is made a condition of employment.


  1. The University prohibits employees from the manufacture, possession, use, distribution, sale or purchase of non-prescribed controlled substances and intoxicants while on University premises and from working under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances. The only exception to this provision will apply to moderate consumption and/or possession of alcohol on University premises by legally aged employees at University approved functions (e.g., receptions, parties).
  2. Any employee who violates any aspect of this substance abuse policy, who intentionally abuses prescription drugs, who tampers with the drug testing process or who tests positive to a drug test will be seriously reprimanded, up to and including discharge.
  3. All employees are required to report to their jobs in appropriate mental and physical condition, ready to work. If an employee may be impaired because of taking medication according to a doctor's prescription, (s)he is expected to discuss it with his/her supervisor before commencing work that day. Should the University have reason to verify prescription information with the treating physician, the employee will be expected to authorize release of such information.
  4. As required by federal law, any employee who is convicted of any violation of any criminal drug statute (including misdemeanors) for a violation occurring on University property or during working time shall notify Human Resources within five (5) days of the date of conviction. A conviction includes any plea or finding of guilty, any plea of "nolo contendere" and/or imposition of a fine, jail sentence or other penalty. Pursuant to federal law, if the convicted employee is working on a project funded through a federal contract or grant, the University is required to notify the relevant federal contracting or granting agency within ten (10) days of receiving such notice of conviction.
  5. HR Employee and Labor Relations should be informed by a supervisor when there is reason to believe that an employee's work performance has been impaired due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants. The employee may be referred to the Occupational Health Clinic for drug testing.
  6. Any employee who feels (s)he may have a substance abuse problem is urged to contact his/her supervisor or a representative of HR Employee and Labor Relations. The employee is also urged to seek the services of the Employee Assistance Program. Such an employee will not be disciplined or retaliated against for such contact. The University is interested in a safe workplace, and a healthy and productive workforce, not in punishing employees who come for help.

    An employee who requests treatment or a leave of absence for treatment will not be disciplined for making such a request. An employee may not, however, escape discipline by first requesting such treatment or leave after being selected for testing or violating the University's policies and rules. Requests for such treatment will be kept confidential in accordance with federal and state law.

    The employee must begin and complete satisfactorily an approved treatment program and the ongoing requirements of the program, and consent in writing to the disclosure by the program of its recommendations, any dangers it perceives in connection with the employee's continued performance of his/her job, and whether the employee is complying with, and has successfully completed the program and the ongoing requirements of the program. The employee will also submit to further testing as required by the University.

  7. The University retains full and final discretion on whether, when, and under what conditions an employee may be re-employed after an instance where an employee has violated this substance abuse policy.

Questions regarding this policy should be directed to HR Employee and Labor Relations.

Employees represented by a bargaining unit may be governed by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement.