41.133: Alcohol and Other Drugs
November 1, 1996
Issued by Gary North
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:
Health and safety concerns associated with drug abuse;
University policy regarding illegal drug or alcohol use;
Availability of counseling and assistance for employees;
Penalties that may be imposed for drug or alcohol abuse violations;
Continuing Education programs including:
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:
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.
Comply with the terms of the university's Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.
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.
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:
1. Take appropriate personnel action against such an employee subject to established disciplinary procedures, up to and including termination, in accordance with requirements of due process; and/or
2. Require such employee to participate satisfactorily in an alcohol or other drugs abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency. If the employee is required to participate in such a program and refuses to do so, the employee will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. The employee who does not satisfactorily complete the assistance/rehabilitation program is also subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
If any disciplinary action under this policy is taken against an employee who is not part of a collective bargaining unit, such employee may formally appeal the action as defined in the University Policies and Procedures Manual. Disciplinary measures against faculty may be appealed to the Faculty Senate as described in Faculty Handbook Section II D.
If disciplinary action under this policy is taken against an employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the action will be subject to the grievance procedure set forth in the bargaining agreement.
The principal investigator of any grant, project, or contract from a federal agency is required to ensure that each employee engaged in the performance of the grant be given a copy of and acknowledge receipt of this policy.
Employee Assistance Program
The university shall operate an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that shall be monitored through University Human Resources. For details of the EAP, refer to Policy 41.130.
Guidelines for Supervisors
Checklist for Action
If an employee at work manifests behaviour such that he or she appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs:
Assess the situation and call for assistance if necessary. If assistance is needed, notify Campus Safety if on campus, the Athens Police Department if within the city of Athens, or the Sheriff's Department if outside the city limits (see Resources for phone numbers at the end of checklist.)
Do not touch the employee.
Document observations and other relevant information fully.
Prohibit the individual from continuing to work and from driving.
Do not leave the impaired employee alone.
Handle information confidentially.
Consult with University Human Resources staff.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
All phone numbers are with Area Code 740
Athens Chillicothe Eastern Lancaster Southern Zanesville University