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Workplace Practices: Drug and Alcohol

SECTION: HR - Workplace Practices NEXT REVIEW DATE: June 2017
APPROVED: June 2011 REVIEWER: Director of Human Resources
APPROVED BY: William C. Rickle, S.J. REVISION DATE:October 2016

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Wheeling Jesuit University recognizes the health risks associated with controlled substance abuse and alcohol misuse and is committed to supporting students and employees who seek treatment for these conditions. The University also recognizes that controlled substance abuse and alcohol misuse diminish workplace and campus safety and undermine the University's ability to fulfill its missions of education, research, and service. Therefore, the University's purpose in designing this policy is to remain in full compliance with the applicable laws and regulations designed to ensure that the workplace is free of illegal drugs, specifically, the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free School and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. As a recipient of federal contracts and grants, the University certifies to all funding agencies that it promotes and provides a workplace free from illicit drug and alcohol use by complying with the statutory requirements stipulated in both federal and state laws.


2.1 Wheeling Jesuit University strives to prevent the unlawful possession, use, distribution and abuse of drugs and alcohol by students and employees:

2.1.1 The University prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of any controlled substance by students or employees in the workplace and at all University related activities. The prohibition against controlled substances does not include the use of legally prescribed medication that does not adversely affect the employee's performance of University business, endanger the safety of the employee or others, or create an unnecessary risk for the University. If taking necessary medication adversely affects the employee's ability to conduct University business, endangers the safety of the employee or others, or creates an unnecessary risk for the University, the employee is responsible for communicating with his/her supervisor to evaluate temporary job modification/re-assignment during the course of the treatment. Employees are prohibited from being under the influence of drugs while engaged in University business in the workplace.

2.1.2 Administrators, faculty and staff are prohibited from using, being under the influence of, possessing, buying, selling, manufacturing or dispensing an illegal drug (to include possession of drug paraphernalia) while actively engaged in University business, at a University related activity, in the workplace, or operating any University vehicle. Any illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia found on University property will be turned over Campus Security and the Police will be notified; this may result in criminal prosecution.

2.1.3 Administrators, faculty and staff are prohibited from using, selling, manufacturing, distributing, possessing, storing, or dispensing alcohol in the workplace, while engaged in University business, as part of any University-related activity, except as authorized by the president or his designee. Employees are prohibited from being under the influence of alcohol while engaged in University business in the workplace. This does not include the casual use of alcohol or socially acceptable use of alcohol while the employee is not actively engaged in University business outside of or in the workplace after the employee's University business is concluded.

2.1.4 All employees are expected and required to report to their workplace in condition to perform University business and fulfill their responsibilities.

2.2 Definitions

2.2.1 Employee(s) - Administration, faculty, staff, or student employees including graduate assistants.

2.2.2 Workplace - Any on-site (currently the Wheeling Campus, Stone Center or Lantz Farm) or off-site (ex: athletic venue, college fair, recruiting trip, etc.) location in which the University is participating; includes any site for the performance of work done in connection with a specific federal grant or contract as described within the Act which names the University as the place of business.

2.2.3 University-Related Activity - An event or program in the workplace either sponsored by the University or in which the University is participating or the employee is engaged in the performance of University business.

2.2.4 University Business - An activity where the employee is engaged in the performance of his/her responsibilities as defined by his/her job description.

2.2.5 Alcohol - Generally focused on "intoxicating beverages" with the exact definition of "intoxicating" varying from state to state. In West Virginia it is a blood alcohol absorption level in excess of 0.08.

2.2.6 Controlled Substances - Defined in Schedule I through V of the Act and includes any drug whose production,
possession, importation and distribution has been declared by the Controlled Substance Act to be illegal for sale or
use except but those that may be dispensed under a physician's prescription.

2.2.7 Drugs - Shall be defined as those outlined in the Controlled Substance Act.

2.2.8 Illegal Drugs - Shall be defined as drugs that are unlawful to possess, manufacture, sell, or use. A legal drug / controlled substance for one individual is an illegal drug if used by another for whom it was not prescribed.

2.2.9 Conviction - Shall include a finding of guilt, including a plea of nolo contendere, imposition of sentence, or both by any judicial body charged with the responsibility to determine violations of the federal or state criminal drug statutes.

2.2.10 Physician Prescription - Authorization by a physician licensed within the state to disperse drugs and medication, the use of which is assigned to one (1) individual specifically named on the prescription.

2.3 Responsibility for Notification

2.3.1 It is the responsibility of the Human Resources Department to ensure that all new employees are informed of this policy upon entrance to the University and annually thereafter. All employees are required to abide by its terms as a condition of employment.

2.3.2 It is the responsibility of the Dean for Student Development, or his / her designee, to insure that all incoming students are informed of this policy upon admittance to the University and annually thereafter.

2.4 Notice of Conviction and Sanctions

2.4.1 Employees who violate this policy, while on campus as well as any place where the employee is actively engaged in University business both on and off campus, including satellite work sites, either during assigned work hours or after, will be evaluated on a case by case basis and may be subjected to satisfactory completion of an assessment / rehabilitation program, disciplinary action up to and including termination per the University's Corrective Discipline policy, and referral for prosecution. The Human Resources Department will report all subsequent convictions to the appropriate federal funding agency within five (5) days of receiving such notification.

2.4.2 Employees are required to notify the Human Resource Department of any drug-related criminal convictions for violations occurring outside the workplace no later than five (5) days following the conviction. Employees will be evaluated on a case by case basis and may be subjected to satisfactory completion of an assessment / rehabilitation program and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination. The Human Resources Department will report the conviction to the appropriate federal funding agency as required.

2.4.3 Students who violate this policy will have a record of the offense forwarded to the Dean of Student Development or his / her designee. Students who violate any other drug and alcohol laws will be governed by the student handbook on a case by case basis and subjected to possible satisfactory completion of an assessment / rehabilitation program, referral for prosecution, and possible disciplinary action up to an including expulsion.

2.4.4 Both the Division of Student Development and the Human Resource Department will be responsible for ensuring that all sanctions against students and employees are issued within thirty (30) days of receipt of notice. Both offices are ultimately responsible for ensuring adherence to this Policy. An annual review of this Policy to determine effectiveness, revisions, and consistency will be completed by a committee convened by the University's Compliance Team. A report of the Committee's finding, including recommendations, will be forwarded to both offices.

2.5 Legal Sanctions
Local and federal laws prohibit the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, control, sale and distribution of any illegal narcotic or dangerous drugs. These laws carry penalties for violations, including monetary fines and imprisonment. Employees may be subject to employment sanctions per the University's Corrective Discipline Policy and criminal sanctions per federal, state, and local statutes.

2.6 Health Risk
The risks associated with the abuse of drugs or alcohol are numerous and includes physical and mental impairment and
adverse effect on an employee's professional and personal life. Abuse of drugs or alcohol can negatively impact job
performance and attendance and can jeopardize continued employment. Drug or alcohol use can create a health risk for the user, and a safety risk for the user, co-workers, and other members of our community.

2.7 Avoidance and Assistance
Wheeling Jesuit University maintains a drug and alcohol abuse prevention program and offers, to all students and employees, the opportunity for education, counseling, and referrals for those with alcohol and drug-related concerns and issues. Information on the possible health effects or drug and alcohol use, referrals, rehabilitation services, and sanctions is distributed annually to every student and employee and is available in the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, and the Human Resource Department. The University provides access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) free of charge to employees and members of their families; information can be obtained in Human Resources and all contact with the EAP is confidential.

2.8 Drug Testing

2.8.1 As a private employer the University will drug test employees in three (3) scenarios:

  • Post-Offer Pre-Employment: Post-offer pre-employment testing is a part of the general physical required of all
    employees in Physical Plant, Campus Security and Transportation (Bus Drivers as part of the CDL
    requirements) and is scheduled after a conditional offer of employment has been made; applicants are not hired if they fail to produce a negative test. In Baughman v. Wal-Mart Stores, the West Virginia Supreme Court held an employer requiring applicants to submit to a drug test was not a violation of privacy; however, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibits the use of pre-employment testing for alcohol use.
  • Reasonable Suspicion: All University employees may be subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing.
    Reasonable suspicion is sometimes referred to as "probable-cause" or "for-cause" and is conducted after
    supervisors document observable signs, symptoms or behavior that lead them to suspect drug use or a drugfree workplace policy violation. The University maintains clear, consistent guidelines regarding behavior that justifies drug and alcohol testing. Employees who are suspected of drug use or a policy violation will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of reasonable suspicion testing. The West Virginia Supreme Court has held that testing would be legal if it was based on a reasonable, good faith, and objective belief that an employee was using drugs, or if testing was limited to employees whose job duties involve public safety or the safety of others. A report of reasonable suspicion provided by reliable and credible source indicators (two supervisors making independent assessments of the employee) to consider in conjunction with other relevant information, including explanations from the employee, include, but are not limited to:
    • The physical symptoms or manifestations of drugs or alcohol use such as:
      • altered or slurred speech or repeated incoherent statements;
      • dilated or constricted pupils;
      • flushed skin, excessive sweating;
      • excessive drowsiness or loss of consciousness without reasonable explanation;
      • unexplained, abrupt or radical changes in behavior such as violent outbursts, hyperactivity, extreme suspiciousness, frequent and/or extreme fluctuations of mood swings without reasonable explanation;
      • Inability to walk steadily or in a straight line, or perform normal manual functions essential to an employee's position without reasonable explanation;
      • unexplained, prolonged or frequent disappearances from the work area;
      • accidents or near-accidents on the job that appear related to unexplained sensory or motor skill malfunctions;
      • smell of alcoholic beverage on the employee when employee is expected to be performing job duties; and
      • the direct observation of drugs or alcohol use while at work or on duty.
  • Post-Accident: If property damage or personal injury result from accidents, testing will help determine whether drugs and/or alcohol were a factor. The criteria that will trigger a post-accident test includes: fatalities; injuries that require anyone to be removed from the scene for medical care via ambulance; and, damage to University vehicles or property that requires the vehicle being towed. The test must be administered as part of the treatment if an employee is removed by ambulance and no later than twelve (12) hours after a vehicular accident. Employees will be placed on paid administrative leave (unless the accident has the employee off on workers compensation) pending the results of the test.

2.8.2 The University adheres to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing (also called SAMHSA guidelines) and utilizes the services of an approved testing facility with a Medical Review Officer (MRO) available to evaluate test results. Urinalysis is the chosen means of testing.

2.8.3 The University will test according to SAMHSA's guidelines for five illicit drugs and alcohol. The five illicit drugs are:

  • Amphetamines (including meth and ecstasy)
  • THC (cannabinoids, marijuana, hash which are not legal in West Virginia)
  • Cocaine (coke, crack)
  • Opiates (heroin, codeine, hydrocodone)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

However, as a private employer, the University is not limited in the number of substances it can test for and may include drugs that individuals legitimately and/or therapeutically take based on a physician's prescription. Therefore, in addition to those five (5), the University also includes the following:

  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers like Valium, Librium, Xanax)
  • Propoxyphene
  • Methadone (often used to treat heroin addiction)
  • Methaqualone
  • Oxycodone
  • pH/nitrites

2.8.4 The University procedure includes:

  • Chain of Custody: A chain-of-custody form is used to document the handling and storage of a sample from the time it is collected until the time it is disposed. It links an individual to his or her sample and is written proof of all that happens to the specimen while at the collection site and the laboratory.
  • Split Sample: A split sample is created when an initial urine sample is split into two. One sample is used for the initial screen and, if positive, the second sample is used for the confirmation test. If there is a positive result, the individual being tested may request the confirmation test be done at a different laboratory. DOT's alcohol and drug-testing regulations require all tests be performed using a "split sample" collection process.
  • Initial Screen: The first analysis done on a sample is called an initial screen. This one test alone is not
    always accurate or reliable; there is a possibility of a false positive. Thus, in the event that the initial screen
    is positive, a second confirmatory test will be done.
  • Confirmation Test: A second, confirmation test (by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or GC/MS) is highly accurate and provides specificity to help rule out any false positives (mistakes) from the initial screen. A positive test results means that the initial screen and confirmation test results agreed. In the event that the initial screen and confirmation test are both positive, the MRO, a licensed medical doctor who has special training in the area of substance abuse, then reviews the results, makes sure the chain-of-custody procedures were followed, and contacts the individual to make sure there are no medical or other reasons for the result. It is only at this point that the MRO may report a positive test result to the employer. Certain medications can sometimes cause a positive result. If this is the case, and a doctor prescribed the medicine and the employee used it in the proper amount, the test is reported as negative.

2.8.5 Employees who test positive will be disciplined according to the Corrective Discipline policy. The employee will remain on paid administrative leave until such time as the appropriate level of discipline is administered. If the employee tests negative, then the employee will be notified to return to work at the beginning of his/her next scheduled day of work.

2.8.6 Employees undergoing a test must sign a release to pass the information to the University; failure to sign will be taken as a positive.


The Director of Human Resources, in conjunction with the President of the University or designee, has the authority to approve changes or exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice, provided such changes are in compliance with legal or regulatory requirements, University compliance program requirements, and other policy guidelines.


Corrective Action Policy
Employee Assistance Program
US Department of Labor

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