Employee Drug and Alcohol Policy
University Policy Number 2219
Categorized: Human Resources and Payroll
Related Law & Policy:
- Policy 2224: Recruitment and Hiring of University Employees
- DHRM Policy 1.05, Alcohol and Other Drugs
- DHRM Policy 1.60, Standards of Conduct
The Employee Drug and Alcohol Policy applies to all administrative and professional faculty, full and part-time classified, and all wage employees of George Mason University, at all University locations.
II. Policy Statement
George Mason University prohibits unauthorized manufacture, distribution, possession, and use of alcohol or other drugs by employees in the workplace. The University also prohibits the impairment of an employee in the workplace due to the use of alcohol or other unauthorized drugs. Employees must comply with federal and state laws and regulations regarding alcohol and other drugs. The illicit use of drugs and alcohol could create a serious threat to the safety and welfare of the university community, as well as undermine the productivity of the workforce.
Alcohol – Any product defined as such in the Alcohol Beverage Control Act, section 4.1-100 of the Code of Virginia, as amended.
Controlled Drug – Any substance defined as such in the Drug Control Act, Chapter 34, Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, and whose manufacture, distribution, dispensation, use, or possession is controlled by law.
Criminal Drug Law – Any criminal law governing the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, use or possession of a controlled drug.
Conviction – A finding of guilty (including a plea of guilty or nolo contendere), or imposition of sentence, or both, by any judicial body charged with the responsibility of determining violations of the federal or state criminal drug laws, alcohol beverage control laws or laws that govern driving while intoxicated.
Employee – All administrative and professional faculty, full and part-time classified, and all wage employees of George Mason University, at all University locations.
Other Drugs – Any substance other than alcohol (e.g. Over the Counter (OTC) or physician prescribed medications) that may be taken in to the body and may impair mental facilities and/or physical performance.
Supervisor – The person immediately responsible for an employee’s workplace and performance.
Workplace – Any state-owned or leased property, or any site where employees are performing official duties.
All University employees are expected to comply with federal and state laws regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs, as well as state regulations and University regulations contained in this policy. Employees found in violation of these laws and regulations shall be subject to the full range of disciplinary actions, including discharge.
All employees will be required to review and sign the Summary of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Policy on Alcohol and Drugs upon appointment. This form shall be kept in the employee’s personnel file.
B. Notification of Convictions
Employees must notify their supervisors of any conviction of:
1. a criminal drug law, based on conduct occurring in or outside of the workplace; or
2. an alcohol beverage control law or law that governs driving while intoxicated, based on conduct occurring in the workplace.
Notification of a conviction must be made no later than five calendar days after such conviction. An employee’s appeal of a conviction does not affect the employee’s obligation to report the conviction. Reporting of convictions is applicable to all employees, regardless of whether their positions were subject to an original background investigation.
C. Violations of University Policy
Each of the following constitutes a violation of this policy:
1. The unlawful or unauthorized manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of alcohol or other drugs in the workplace;
2. Impairment in the workplace from the use of alcohol or other drugs, except for the use of drugs for legitimate medical purposes;
3. A criminal conviction for a:
a. violation of any criminal drug law, based upon conduct occurring either on or off the workplace; or
b. violation of any alcohol beverage control law or law that governs driving while intoxicated, based upon conduct occurring in the workplace; and
4. An employee’s failure to report to his or her supervisor the employee’s conviction of any offense, as required in Section B above.
Any employee who commits a violation of this policy shall be subject to the full range of disciplinary actions, including discharge. The severity of disciplinary action for violations of this policy shall be determined on a case-by-case basis. Mitigating circumstances that may be considered in determining the appropriate discipline include whether the employee seeks assistance for an alcohol or other drug problem.
D. Appropriate Action When Notified of Violations
Supervisors must report and document any incident relating to the possible abuse of alcohol and drugs to the Director of Employee Relations, Human Resources. Any supervisor who knowingly disregards the requirements of this policy, or who is found to have deliberately misused this policy in regard to subordinates, shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Disciplinary action may include required participation in a rehabilitation program and/or drug testing.
Within 30 calendar days of receiving notice of an employee’s criminal conviction, as specified in Section B above, OR of any other violation of this policy, management must:
1. take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee, and/or
2. require the employee to participate satisfactorily in a rehabilitation program if a drug-related conviction is received, or recommend such a program if an alcohol-related conviction is received. An employee’s satisfactory participation in a rehabilitation program shall be determined by management after:
a. the employee’s presentation of adequate documentation (the agency has discretion to determine what documentation will be required); and/or
b. consultation with EAP or with any rehabilitation program, provided that the employee gives his or her consent when the consultation is to be with the rehabilitation program that treated the employee.
Within ten calendar days after receiving notice that an employee covered by the federal Drug Free Workplace Act has been convicted of a criminal drug law violation occurring in the workplace, the agency shall notify any federal contracting or granting agency.
E. Certain Commercial Driver’s License Holders
In accordance with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 and U.S. DOT Rule 49 Parts 40 and 382, George Mason University will conduct mandatory alcohol and drug testing of all University personnel who are required to possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL): (1) To operate a vehicle that is rated to transport more than 15 passengers including the driver, (2) To drive a vehicle with a gross weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, or (3) To drive a motor vehicle of any size that is carrying hazardous material that requires placarding. Mandatory testing for alcohol and illegal drug use is a condition of employment for these individuals. Any violation of this Procedure is a breach of State policy and procedures and subject to the full range of discipline under the Standards of Conduct, including termination. See Employee Drug and Alcohol Procedures.
F. Employees of the Biomedical Research Laboratory
Drug and alcohol screening is also required for all personnel with access to select agents and toxins at the Biomedical Research Laboratory (BRL) at George Mason University. This measure is necessary to protect the public safety. The Code of Virginia §2.2-1201.1 defines high-risk/safety-sensitive positions as those directly responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the general populace or protection of critical infrastructures. See Employee Drug and Alcohol Procedures.
This policy is effective April 18, 2005. This Administrative Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually to become effective upon signature by the Senior Vice President and Provost.
Date of Most Recent Review:
September 24, 2013
VI. Timetable for Review
This Administrative Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually.
Jennifer Wagner Davis
Senior Vice President
Peter N. Stearns
Date approved: September 24, 2013
Revised: August 30, 2018