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Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace

Policy Number: HR-11
Effective Date: July 2002
Revisions: June 2002, June 2001, July 2000, July 1999
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President of Student Life & Administrative Services


This policy was established to provide University employees with guidelines prohibiting drug and alcoholic beverage use on University premises, during the normal course of employment, or while conducting University business. The policy also outlines the methods for maintaining a work environment free from the effect of alcohol/drug abuse or other substances that adversely affect the mind or body and communicates to employees that they must report for work and perform assigned duties without any physical or mental impairment which would unreasonably interfere with their ability to perform the essential functions of their job.


The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment and seeks to promote the health and welfare of its employees. The University recognizes the importance of physical and emotional health as it pertains to job performance and overall quality of life. Additionally, the University fully subscribes to the provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Under the Act, all employees are hereby notified of the serious dangers related to drug use in the workplace.

With this in mind, the University has established the following Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace policy:

  1. The University strictly prohibits the selling, purchasing, dispensing, manufacturing, distributing, diverting, stealing, using, possessing and/or being under the influence of non-medically indicated prescription or non-prescription drugs or illegal substances, and/or alcohol on University premises or while conducting University business.
  2. It is a violation of University policy for any employee to possess, sell, trade, or offer for sale illegal drugs or otherwise engage in the illegal use of drugs or alcohol on the job.
  3. It is a violation of University policy for anyone to report to work under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol, i.e. with illegal drugs or alcohol in his/her body.
  4. It is a violation of University policy for anyone to use prescription drugs illegally. Nothing in this policy precludes the appropriate use of legally prescribed medication.
  5. It is a violation of University policy to serve alcohol on University property, except in designated approved areas or events. No minor will be served alcoholic beverages at University approved events.
  6. The University will assist employee’s efforts to remedy temporary physical or mental impairment, which may adversely affect satisfactory and safe job performance and encourages employees with substance abuse problems to seek treatment voluntarily. An Addendum to this policy contains policies on alcohol and other drugs in compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. Employees who violate any aspect of this policy may be subject to action as outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy, up to and including termination.


This policy applies to all University faculty, employees and students.


Prohibited Conduct is defined as selling, purchasing, dispensing, manufacturing, distributing, diverting, stealing, using, processing or being under the influence of non-medically indicated prescription or non-prescription drugs or illegal substances, and/or alcohol on University premises or while conducting University business.

Drug is defined as any legal or illegal substance (including over-the-counter medication, prescribed medication, alcoholic beverages, unprescribed controlled substances, or any other substances) which potentially affects the employee’s productivity and ability to perform duties or which potentially affects the safety and/or well being of the employee or others.

Substance Abuse is defined as the use or misuse of any drug or alcohol in a manner which may reduce employee effectiveness or pose an unsafe condition in the work environment.

Fit for Duty is defined as a physical and mental health status that facilitates the performance of duties competently and efficiently, without impairment, in coordination or skill and the execution of job responsibilities in a safe and effective manner that does not jeopardize the health and safety of others.

Physical or Mental Impairment is defined as a physical or mental condition that affects an employee’s ability to perform his/her job.

Report to Work is defined as reporting to one’s work area at a specified time for the purpose of performing assigned job duties and responsibilities.

During Working Hours is defined as the period which begins with the employee’s starting time and ends with the employee’s quitting time as well as any period when the employee is assigned to be available for work. All work activities are included whether they occur on or outside of the University’s campuses.

Medical Evaluation is defined as an examination which is performed by a University health professional and includes, but is not limited to a history and physical examination and any recommended diagnostic studies including toxicology profiles.


  1. All medical plans that the University sponsors include diagnosis and treatment for use/abuse of controlled substances and employees are encouraged to use such coverage as is required on an individual basis.
  2. At its discretion, the University may require, as a condition of employment, an employee who violates this policy to successfully complete a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program to the extent the program is covered by the individual's health insurance benefits.
  3. The University retains the right to initiate pre-employment drug screening and to test for cause. The University is firmly committed to establishing and maintaining a 'drug-free workplace' and encourages all employees' active participation and compliance.
  4. In accord with Pennsylvania law, the University will, as required, report to the appropriate professional board any substantial evidence that a licensed/certified professional has an active substance addictive disease for which he or she is diverting a controlled substance or is mentally or physically incompetent to carry out the duties of his or her license, regardless of whether or not the employee is receiving treatment.
  5. Any employee who is convicted under a criminal drug statute for a violation of such statute will within five days of such conviction, notify the Human Resources Department.


  1. Employee’s Responsibility
    1. An employee is responsible for being fit for duty when reporting to work and during working hours. In addition, an employee is expected to maintain a lifestyle which will not negatively impact upon their ability to perform his/her job safely, productively and efficiently; and, for observing the regulations and procedures set forth in this policy.
    2. An employee should notify his/her manager/supervisor when his/her physical or mental condition may affect the performance of duties or may jeopardize personal safety or the safety of others.
    3. An employee who reasonably suspects that another employee is unfit for duty by virtue of his/her observed physical or mental condition or performance of job duties and responsibilities is expected to immediately notify a manager/supervisor.
    4. In cases where the possibly impaired individual is the person’s manager/supervisor, the employee may report to the next higher-level supervisory member or the senior Human Resources office
  2. Manager/Supervisor’s Responsibility
    1. Managers/supervisors are responsible for administering this policy according to the regulations and procedures identified herein. In addition, managers/supervisors are responsible for reinforcing an employee’s understanding of the fitness for duty requirement and for administering this policy in a fair, uniform and consistent manner.
    2. Managers/supervisors and/or co-workers should be aware of the signs of substance abuse, which include, but are not limited to, behavior changes, absenteeism/lateness, noted change in interaction with staff or patients, impairment in job performance, unaccounted drugs missing from University stock or indications of inappropriate medication dispensing. More specific behaviors which may indicate a lack of fitness for duty include, lethargy, slurred or incoherent speech, or speech which differs from the employee’s usual pattern, unusual odor on breath, departures from usual behavior, accidents, lack of manual dexterity or unusual trembling, lack of coordination in body movement, inappropriate response to stimulus, verbal abuse and boisterous behavior toward others, threats of physical harm toward self/others and demonstration of emotional instability and/or hostility, sudden unprecedented change in mood or drastic change in dress or appearance.
    3. The manager/supervisor will request, when possible, the presence of a second manager/supervisor to witness and confirm any observed performance, behavioral and/or conduct problems.
    4. Managers/supervisors and/or co-workers should report unusual behavior or circumstances to the Human Resources Department.
    5. If a manager/supervisor determines that a fitness for duty evaluation is necessary, regardless of the time of day, or day of week, the manager/supervisor will immediately release the employee from duty with pay pending the results of the medical evaluation and final results of an investigation.
      The manager/supervisor will escort the employee to Employee Health or the Hahnemann University Hospital Emergency Room (ER) or nearest ER (if Employee Health is closed) to undergo a medical evaluation. When referring to the ER, the ER Charge or Triage nurse should be contacted. The manager/supervisor or designee will describe to the attending nurse or physician the observed behavior and the employee’s job duties and responsibilities.
    6. An employee who refuses to submit to a medical evaluation, either wholly or in part, will be advised that such refusal is a serious violation of policy and may result in action outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy up to and including termination of employment.
    7. The manager/supervisor should contact the Security Office in those instances where an employee’s behavior poses a threat to any individual’s safety.
  3. Human Resources’ Responsibility
    1. Human Resources will coordinate the efficient and timely administration of the regulations and procedures identified herein.
    2. Managers/Supervisors are encouraged to contact Human Resources for assistance in implementing this policy.
    3. Human Resources will act as a liaison when an employee is required to sign a monitoring agreement for substance abuse. (See Section I of this policy)
  4. Employee Health’s Responsibility (Emergency Department if Employee Health is closed)
    1. Employee Health will complete a medical evaluation on an employee to determine fitness for duty. If indicated, the appropriate tests/screens will be ordered and reviewed by the Employee Health physician. (Please note that Chain of Custody procedures will be followed for drug/alcohol screening).
    2. After completion of the medical evaluation, Employee Health will contact Human Resources with the results of the evaluation and determination of fitness for duty. Human Resources will then contact the employee’s manager/supervisor and determine if a return to work agreement is needed. (See section J of this policy)
    3. If the medical evaluation indicates that the employee is fit for duty, Employee Health will notify the referring manager/supervisor and the employee will be returned to work.
    4. If treatment for substance abuse is necessary, Employee Health will notify Human Resources. Human Resources will coordinate with the department manager/supervisor to place the employee on a leave of absence in order to receive treatment.
    5. Employee Health will also evaluate employees for fitness for duty upon return from a medical leave of absence following treatment.
    6. Employee Health will administer random and for cause drug/alcohol screening for those employees on a monitoring agreement. Employee Health will monitor an employee’s compliance with Return to Work agreements, including the employee’s participation in recommended aftercare programs.
  5. Release From Duty
    1. If after the medical evaluation it is determined that an employee is not fit for duty due to substance abuse, the manager/supervisor will discuss with the employee one or more of the following:
      1. he/she has violated University policy,
      2. he/she will be immediately released from duty, in accord with established policies,
      3. he/she must follow-up with the recommendations of the medical evaluation by the physician in order to return to work and be re-evaluated for fitness for duty,
      4. a return-to-work agreement may be required upon his/her return to work.
    2. The employee’s confidentiality will be respected and only necessary job restrictions and limitations will be disclosed to responsible managers/supervisors. This information will include a determination regarding fitness for duty, and any medical restrictions or conditions which may affect job performance and/or safety in the work environment.
    3. In those situations where an employee is being released from duty, the manager/supervisor is advised to assist the employee in leaving the premises and arriving home safely, via Security, by contacting family members, providing cab fare or making comparable arrangements as necessary.
  6. Performance Improvement
    1. The manager/supervisor should consult with his/her senior management and the Human Resources Department when performance improvement action is indicated.
    2. Employees who refuse to schedule a medical exam will be subject to action outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy up to and including termination. The terms of any such action will be guided by the policy on Performance Improvement.
    3. An employee who fails to observe the procedures set forth in this policy will be subject to action outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy. The type of action may vary depending upon the nature, frequency and seriousness of the offense. Violation of this policy may result in a written warning with probation or termination of employment.
    4. Whenever performance improvement has already been initiated for a particular employee, it will be continued regardless of health problems identified by the employee. Length of service and past performance may be considered throughout the performance improvement process.
    5. If an employee refuses or does not attempt to correct a substance abuse problem that affects job performance, s/he will be subject to action up to and including termination.
    6. This policy shall in no way be construed as a restriction of the University’s rights to take action outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy including termination of employment or to limit the use of monitoring methods to promote efficiency and safety in the work environment.
  7. Leave of Absence Employees referred for treatment may apply for a leave of absence for the purpose of treatment only. If an employee is admitted into a treatment program, the department manager/supervisor should initiate the employee change form for a medical leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) procedures.
  8. Return to Work After Medical Leave
    1. The University reserves the right to send an employee to Employee Health for a medical evaluation, scheduled by his/her manager/supervisor or Human Resources, for the purpose of determining fitness for duty after a medical leave and prior to job re-entry.
    2. An employee is responsible for providing complete and accurate information and for submitting to the medical evaluation.
    3. If it is determined that further follow-up is needed, the employee is responsible for carrying out the directives of Employee Health.
    4. Rehabilitated employees may reapply or return from leave of absence once they have completed their course of treatment and/or have received medical clearance to return to work from the treatment provider in consultation with Employee Health.
  9. Substance Abuse Return to Work Agreements Monitoring conditions (please refer to attached agreement) will be placed on employees returning from rehabilitation for substance abuse for a minimum period of one year and up to three years (to be reviewed, revised or discontinued thereafter by Employee Health, the department manager/supervisor and Human Resources), including, but not limited to, monitoring agreements which may provide for:
    1. Successful completion of appropriate treatment program and presentation of documentation verifying same to Employee Health.
    2. Continued contact with recommended therapists and other health care providers as deemed appropriate by Employee Health.
    3. Medical monitoring, including random and for cause blood and urine testing, through Employee Health (please note that Chain of Custody procedures will be followed).
    4. Blood and/or urine testing when behavior is suggestive of possible impairment while employee is at work (please note that Chain of Custody procedures will be followed).
      Automatic dismissal upon evidence of one positive blood or urine test.
    5. Report by the employee, upon the next workday, of any medically prescribed treatment with a controlled substance that may limit the employee’s ability to perform on the job. This information will be shared with Employee Health only.
    6. Employee Health will monitor compliance for aftercare as recommended by the employee’s treatment facility.
    7. Failure to comply with the terms of the monitoring agreement will result in action up to and including termination.
    8. Expectation of acceptable job performance and conduct.
  10. A copy of the monitoring agreement will be kept in a confidential file in Human Resources. The employee’s manager/supervisor will be notified. All efforts will be made to keep the monitoring agreement confidential.
  11. Prohibited conduct whether on or off the job, may adversely affect an employee’s job performance and jeopardize the safety of others. An employee’s participation in prohibited conduct constitutes grounds for action outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy up to and including termination and such conduct may be brought to the attention of the appropriate criminal authorities.
  12. Any employee undergoing medically prescribed treatment with a controlled substance that may limit the employee’s ability to perform on the job must report that treatment to Employee Health prior to beginning work. This information will be shared with the department manager/supervisor only where appropriate.

Inquiries regarding this policy can be directed to the Human Resources Department.