Ohio University Policy and Procedure

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Procedure No.:   41.133

Page No.: 1,2,3,4,5 of 5

Date Issued: 11/01/96

Issued By: Gary North

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The Ohio University Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy and program is designed to prevent drug and alcohol problems within the university setting. The policy and programs are designed to identify problems at the earliest possible stage, motivate the affected individual(s) to seek help, and to direct the individual toward the best assistance available.


The university recognizes that the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs can seriously impair an employee's performance and is therefore a university-wide concern. Due to the university's concern, this Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy is instituted. This policy will permit the university to abide by alcohol and other drugs- related legislation initiated by federal, state, and local governments. Current legislation includes the Drug-free Workplace (41 USC701) and the Drug-free Schools and Communities Act (PL 101-226).

Because faculty, administrators and other supervisors are not trained to diagnose whether any faculty or staff member suffers from alcohol or drug-related problems, referral for diagnosis and treatment will be based on the observed and documented decline of job performance standards. Records pertaining to the diagnosis or treatment of alcohol or drug related offenses or addiction will not be made part of the faculty or staff member's personnel file and will be regarded as strictly confidential in all cases. An appeal or grievance of a personnel action such as suspension or dismissal, will require the presentation of data, including test results from the drug testing program, as part of such appeal or grievance procedure. This action creates a public record of such data.


Alcohol and Other Drugs Awareness Program

Ohio University hereby establishes an alcohol and other drugs awareness program. Under this program, the university will regularly and periodically publish literature warning about the dangers of the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in the workplace or in any environment. The program will specifically cover the following major topics:

  1. Health and safety concerns associated with drug abuse;
  2. University policy regarding illegal drug or alcohol use;
  3. Availability of counseling and assistance for employees;
  4. Penalties that may be imposed for drug or alcohol abuse violations;
  5. Continuing Education programs including:
    • courses,
    • professional development workshops and seminars,
    • literature and video tapes, and
    • knowledge and skills training for supervisors.

Employee Compliance with University Substance Abuse Policy

All Ohio University employees are expected to abide by the terms of this policy. An employee found to be illegally possessing or using alcohol, or other drugs or being under the influence of such, shall be subject to appropriate sanctions. A disciplinary sanction may include the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program. Such sanctions may include referral for prosecution and/or termination of employment. Employees are guaranteed due process.

All university employees shall, as a condition of employment, abide by the following requirements:

  1. Comply with the terms of the university's Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

  2. Notify their administrative supervisor of any criminal alcohol or drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later that five (5) working days after such conviction.

As required by legislation and upon receipt of notice under the preceding paragraph, the university shall notify the federal agency sponsoring grants or contracts with the employee's department. This notification shall take place within ten (10) working days after receiving such conviction notice.

Employee Discipline

Any employee who is chemically dependent will not be disciplined for disclosing this dependency. An employee who does not disclose such information will not be disciplined unless the dependency hinders the ability of the employee to perform on the job. If the dependency adversely affects the employees's job performance or poses a direct threat to the property or safety of the university or fellow employees, such employee shall be subject to sanctions, up to and including termination, consistent with due process. All disciplinary measures involving Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy violations shall be reviewed with University Human Resources prior to issuance. This is to assure consistency and fairness in the implementation.

Upon receipt of a notice of an employee's work-related conviction for the violation of any criminal drug statute, the university shall within thirty (30) working days of receiving such notice:

Appendix A


Checklist for Action:

If an employee at work appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs:

A. An Incident of Intoxication or Impairment

If an employee appears to be intoxicated or otherwise drug-impaired, a supervisor should not touch the employee, unless contact is necessary to protect him or herself. If a physical problem occurs, the supervisor should contact the appropriate safety agency for assistance. Under no circumstances should the employee be left alone. Do not allow the employee to continue working or to drive him or herself home. Offer to drive the employee or to obtain transportation for the employee. If the employee refuses such assistance, the supervisor should call the police or sheriff and advise them that the employee, who is believed to be impaired, is leaving the workplace.

B. Observations

In proving that an employee was under the influence, the supervisor's observations, not a test, are the key elements in the university's case. The supervisor must be able to testify, in detail, what he/she saw that indicated that the employee was under the influence. A supervisor that testifies that the employee "seemed drunk" merely states a conclusion which is unsupported by any factual evidence. The supervisor must be able to testify in concrete terms, such as "the employee was staggering and had slurred speech or had a strong odor of alcohol on his/her breath." When feasible, it may be helpful to have another supervisor observe the behavior.

C. Documentation

Documentation of the incident in which the employee exhibited drunken or drugged behavior is critical to protecting the credibility of the supervisor. If the employee challenges any disciplinary action taken, the supervisor may be called upon to testify months after the incident occurred. The supervisor can avoid having to recall the incident from memory if he/she writes down an account of the incident immediately after it occurs. Those notes should be copied. One copy should be given to upper management and the other copy should be retained by the reporting supervisor.

D. Confidentiality

Supervisors should treat an employee's drug or alcohol problem confidentially. Only those management personnel who have a need to know about the incident should be informed. If only a few people know of an employee's alleged substance abuse, the employer is better able to defend against allegations that the information was handled indiscreetly and will avoid embarrassing the employee.

E. After the Incident

After the immediate "crisis" has been handled, consultation with University Human Resources should occur. The purpose is to discuss the need for further action, including the consideration of having the employee participate in the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).


University Human Resources: 593-1636

University Employee Assistance Program: 593-1888

Dir of Student Srvs
 Maint. Dept.
 Physical Plant
Ex. 111
Local Police (740) 593-6606(740) 773-1191
or 911
(740) 695-0123(740) 687-6680 (740) 532-2345911
Sheriff(740) 593-6633(740) 773-1185(740) 695-2121(740) 653 5223(740) 532-3525(740) 452-3637
Highway Patrol(740) 593 6611(740) 775-7770(740) 695-0915(740) 654-1523(740) 377-4311(740) 453-0541

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Dick Piccard revised this file (https://www.ohio.edu/policy/41-133.html) on March 23, 2016.

Please E-mail any comments or suggestions to "policy@ohio.edu".