Employee Alcohol and Illegal Drug Use

Policy No: 
5.5
Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
October 2009
Last Revised: 
October 2011
Review Date: 
October 2017
Contact Name: 
Eric White
Contact Title: 
Workforce Strategy
Contact Email: 
eric.white@ohr.gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

Georgia Tech has a vital interest in maintaining safe, healthful, and efficient working conditions for its students and employees. Being under the influence of a drug or alcohol on the job may pose serious safety and health risks not only to the user and to those who work with the user, but also to the public we serve. In compliance with the federal Drug Free School and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 and the Georgia Drug Free Post Secondary Education Act of 1990, Georgia Tech has established this policy on alcohol and illegal drug use. As a condition of employment, Georgia Tech faculty and staff agree to abide by the items of this policy.

Policy Statement: 

The Georgia Institute of Technology is committed to having faculty, staff, and administrators who do not engage in illegal alcohol and drug activities. Georgia Tech will take the necessary steps to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and policies, including the policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, on the abuse of alcohol and drugs by its employees.

It is our goal to educate our employees about wellness and the hazards of alcohol and drug abuse and to provide appropriate referrals to health professionals when problems are reported.

In accordance with federal and state laws and because of the potential detriment to the health and well-being of its employees, all employees (including full-time, part-time, temporary, and intermittent) are prohibited from engaging in the unlawful use, possession, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances (including marijuana) and other dangerous drugs on the campus of Georgia Tech (including all property owned or leased by Georgia Tech) and at all Georgia Tech activities, including approved off-campus events.

Georgia Tech requires its employees to comply with all federal, state, and applicable local laws pertaining to the use, possession, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, and sale of alcohol and controlled substances including marijuana. Employees shall not use any substance in any manner that impairs performance of assigned duties or adversely affects Georgia Tech business.

Federal, state, and local sanctions for those convicted of violating laws prohibiting the unlawful use, sale, possession, and distribution of alcohol or controlled substances include heavy fines, incarceration for various periods of time including life, forfeiture of assets, and suspension or loss of driver, business, or professional licenses. More detailed information on legal sanctions for illegal drug and alcohol activity, as well as availability of training for supervisors to help identify and appropriately handle employee substance abuse problems, may be obtained from the Campus Drug Policy Coordinator in the Office of Human Resources at 404-894-0300.

Scope: 

This policy applies to all departments, all faculty and staff (including contracted employees*) and all job applicants.

*Subcontracts with other organizations may require additional procedures if Georgia Tech employees work under those contracts.

Each member of the Georgia Tech community should be involved in the implementation of, and compliance with, this Policy.

Policy Terms: 

Alcohol
The intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol, or other low molecular weight alcohol including methyl and isopropyl alcohol

Controlled Substance
Any drug or immediate precursor included in the definition of “controlled substance” in the Official Code of Georgia Section 16-13-21 (4), including marijuana, or Schedules I through V of the Federal Controlled Substance Act [21 United States Code 812]

Dangerous Drug
As defined in the Official Code of Georgia Section 16-13-71

Illegal Drug
Marijuana/cannabinoids (THC), cocaine, amphetamines/methamphetamine, opiates or phencyclidine (PCP). The term illegal drug shall not include any drug when used pursuant to a valid prescription or when used as otherwise authorized by state or federal law.

Procedures: 

The Georgia Tech Campus Drug Policy Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that this policy is distributed annually to each employee of Georgia Tech.

Testing
In accordance with federal law, Georgia Tech will conduct pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return to duty, and follow-up to rehabilitation drug testing for employees or applicants whose main duties include: carrying weapons and utilizing arrest powers; providing health care and treatment service; administering medications, driving cars, trucks, vans, and buses and other types of vehicles on state roads and highways to transport patients, passengers and equipment; using or operating heavy machinery and equipment; certain security clearance access (see Appendix A for additional requirements); and providing counseling services often directly related to substance abuse.

All drug testing will be conducted in accordance with federal and state law, Board of Regents policy, and other applicable regulations and procedures. Georgia Tech shall enter into such contracts as may be necessary to provide for testing and verification services. Such testing programs shall give due consideration to security of sample collection, chain of custody requirements, accuracy of testing, and confidentiality of testing results.

Employees identified for drug testing under this policy shall be provided a specific date and time to report for testing; such date and time shall be as soon as possible, but not later than two (2) business days following the date the individual receives notification to report.

Employees subject to testing due to the duties of their position will be removed from their position or terminated from employment if they decline to submit to a drug test or if they test positive for the use of illegal drugs. Employees subject to testing for reasonable suspicion shall be subject to disciplinary action to include possible termination if they decline to submit to a drug test or if they test positive for the use of illegal drugs.

Georgia Tech reserves the right to conduct alcohol testing on any employee in the case of reasonable suspicion of intoxication while performing employment duties. Employees subject to alcohol testing for reasonable suspicion shall be subject to disciplinary action to include possible termination if they decline to submit to an alcohol test or if they test positive for the use of alcohol while performing employment duties.

Alcohol
The posted advertisement of alcoholic beverages or any other controlled substance or dangerous drug on campus is not permitted. Campus publications are encouraged to eliminate all advertisement of alcoholic beverages. No promotion or advertising on campus of incentive drinking ("happy hours", "2-for-1 specials", unlimited quantities of alcohol available or at reduced prices or free, events focusing on the consumption of alcohol, etc.) is allowed. All campus organizations are encouraged to seek promotional sponsorship and support for campus events from vendors other than purveyors of alcoholic beverages, who target their products toward college age populations.

Employee misconduct related to alcohol use or abuse in violation of this policy will not be tolerated. Any employee who violates this policy, or any state or federal law or policy, regarding the use, possession, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, or sale of alcoholic beverages shall be subject to corrective disciplinary actions and penalties up to and including termination of employment and referral to appropriate federal, state, or local authorities for prosecution in the courts. Employees may be required, at the discretion of Georgia Tech, or as mandated by law, to participate satisfactorily in an alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

Conviction/Informing
An employee who is convicted of any offense involving the manufacture, distribution, sale, or possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug must notify in writing the Georgia Tech Drug Policy Coordinator of such conviction no later than five days after the conviction. If the employee works on Federal grant, Georgia Tech will notify the granting agency within ten (10) calendar days after receiving notice of the conviction from the employee or otherwise receiving actual notice of such conviction.

After a first conviction, any such employee, shall at minimum, be suspended from his/her employment for a period of not less than two months. Any such employee shall be required, as a condition of completion of suspension, to complete a drug abuse treatment and education program approved by Georgia Tech. Upon a second conviction, the employee will be terminated and made ineligible for any state employment for a period of five years.

Pursuant to Georgia state law and Board of Regents Policy 8.2.18, if prior to arrest for an offense involving a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug, an employee notifies his/her immediate supervisor that he/she illegally uses a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug and is receiving or agrees to receive treatment under a drug abuse and education program approved by Georgia Tech, such employee shall be eligible to retain their position for up to one year, provided such employee follows the treatment program and is subject to random drug testing. Retention of such employee is conditioned upon satisfactory job performance and does not affect any disciplinary action for criminal conviction or drug related misconduct on the job. This option is available to employees only once during a five year period and shall not apply to any such employee who has refused to be tested or who was tested positive for a controlled substance, marijuana, or other drug.

Georgia Tech operates programs that provide information and referral to professional services for its faculty and staff on matters related to the abuse of alcohol and drugs. The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, FSAP (404) 894-1225 makes confidential referrals to clinics, physicians, and agencies. The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is provided at no cost to employees; however, the clinics, physicians, or agencies to which an employee is referred may charge for their services.

Responsibilities: 

The responsibilities each party has in connection with the Employee Alcohol and Drug Use Policy are:

Party Responsibility
Chief Human Resources Officer & Performance and Talent Management Ensure compliance with policy.
Legal Affairs Offer assistance with policy interpretation.
OHR Talent Acquisition Offer assistance with policy interpretation.
Related Documents: 
Policy History: 

Last revised by Office of Human Resources October 2011 updated for compliance

Compliance Reporting Date: 
Monday, 31 December 2012
Compliance Reporting Reason: 
Annual notification of Institute policy and programs to employees and students as required by Drug Free Schools and Communities Act. More information can be found at: http://www.higheredcenter.org/mandates/dfsca
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Phone: 404-385-0731