Drug and Alcohol Use Policy

Spelman College ("the College" or "Spelman") has a vital interest in maintaining safe, healthful, and productive working conditions for its students, faculty, administrators and staff.  Employees under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol on the job can pose a serious safety risk to themselves or others, and also can cause damage to the College's reputation. Therefore, the possession, use, or sale of, or being under the influence of, any controlled substance or alcohol in the workplace by any Spelman employee is unacceptable except as indicated below in section II.  As described in Spelman's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy, the College is committed to preventing and eradicating drug and alcohol abuse by its students and employees and maintaining a drug-free school and workplace.  In addition to the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy, the College has established the following Drug and Alcohol Use Policy with respect to testing, the use of drugs or alcohol while at work, on Spelman property or while performing College business.

The College has identified certain departments in which compliance with the College's drug and alcohol policies has heightened consequences due to the fact that these departments use heavy and/or dangerous machinery or equipment, have access to student health records, or dispense medicine. These departments are as follows: Public Safety, Student Health Services, and Facilities Management and Services (the "Designated Departments").  As indicated herein, certain provisions of this policy apply only to employees in the Designated Departments.  Unless otherwise noted, this policy applies to all employees of the College, including individuals who are temporary, summer service providers and contractors.  

I.               DEFINITIONS

For purpose of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:

Employee Assistance Program (EAP):  Confidential counseling program that offers assessment, short-term counseling, and referral services to employees and their eligible dependents for a wide range of needs including drug, alcohol, marital counseling, stress management, and mental health problems. Information about Spelman's EAP is available in the Employee Handbook, hard copy format and on the website, and in the Office of Human Resources. Also, information is available at www.MagellanAssist.com or at 1.800.523.5668 or at 1.800.882.7610 for the hearing impaired.

Legal Drugs: Prescribed drugs and over-the-counter drugs which have been legally obtained and are being used solely for the purpose, and by the person, for which they were prescribed. 

Illegal Drugs:  Any drug which (a) is not legally obtainable, including all controlled substances included in Schedule I or II, as defined by section 802(6) of Title 21 of the United States Code, the possession of which is unlawful under chapter 13 of that Title; (b) may be legally obtainable but has not been legally obtained; (c) is being used in a manner or for a purpose other than as prescribed; or (d) is not prescribed for the individual. 

Medical Review Officer:  The individual responsible for receiving laboratory results generated pursuant to the Spelman Drug and Alcohol Use Policy who is a licensed physician with knowledge of substance abuse disorders and the appropriate medical training to interpret and evaluate all positive test results together with an individual's medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.

Confirmed Positive Test Result:  A test result that was positive on an initial FDA-approved immunoassay test, confirmed by a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry assay, (or other confirmatory tests approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), and reviewed and verified by the Medical Review Officer in accordance with this policy and the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.


Using, manufacturing, distributing, possessing or being under the influence of alcohol or an illegal drug on College grounds, or when performing College business is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. However, approved alcoholic substances such as ethanol-containing solutions may be used in the furtherance of scientific teaching and experimentation, chemical protocols or other defined teaching/research objectives and functions.   

 [The College also recognizes that, throughout the year, alcohol may be served at various events such as receptions, social gatherings or holiday functions.  Such events must have an identified host who is responsible for the following:

 Ensures no noticeably intoxicated person is served alcohol,

In the event an individual overindulges, the host ensures alternative transportation is available for the individual,

If the event is scheduled to last more than 2 hours, serving alcoholic beverages must stop at least 45 minutes before the scheduled end time,

Food must be available, and

Non-alcoholic beverages should be continuously available in equal or greater quantity.]



In some circumstances, an employee's use or possession of medication that has been lawfully prescribed for that employee can pose a significant risk to the safety of the employee or others.  The use of, or being under the influence of, any legal drug while at work or on College grounds or on College business is prohibited if such use or influence may affect the safety of the employee, his or her coworkers, students, or members of the public.  An employee taking a legal drug that may impair his or her judgment or capability to safely perform his or her job duties must report use of such legal drug to his or her supervisor or department chair prior to engaging in any work related activity.  An employee who performs work for a government contract or grant must notify the College of a criminal conviction for drug-related activity within five business days of the conviction. 

An employee reporting for work visibly impaired will not be permitted to work.  If in the opinion of his or her supervisor or department chair, an employee is considered impaired, the supervisor or department chair shall contact the Director of Human Resources or the Associate Director of Human Resources who will make a determination of whether there is reasonable suspicion to test the employee for drugs or alcohol.  An impaired employee shall not be permitted to drive. Transportation should be arranged on the employee's behalf.


A.    Types of Testing

1.              A pre-employment drug test will be conducted on all job applicants in the Designated Departments to whom a conditional offer of employment has been extended.  Any offer of employment that an applicant receives is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of this test.

2.              Reasonable suspicion drug or alcohol testing will be conducted whenever the College has a reasonable basis to believe that any College employee is in violation of this policy.  Factors that may be considered in reasonable suspicion testing include, but are not limited to:

(a)   Observed alcohol or drug use on campus or during employees work hours;

(b)  Apparent physical state of impairment, such as poor balance, slurred or incoherent speech, demeanor, or appearance;

(c)   Accidents or other actions that provide reasonable cause.

An employee noticing any of the behaviors above and suspecting drug or alcohol abuse may report the behavior to their department chair, supervisor, divisional Vice President or the Director of Human Resources. Such reports shall be made in good faith and upon specific facts and circumstances.  If reasonable suspicion exists, the employee is required to undergo drug and alcohol testing. 

The College will also conduct drug testing to employees in the Designated Departments on a random basis.  Because of the random nature of the process, employees in these departments may be selected more than once during a calendar year. An employee selected for random drug testing may have their testing deferred if a compelling need necessitates a deferral on the grounds that the employee is in a leave status (ex. sick, vacation, official College travel, or leave without pay).

3.              At least once a year for two years, an employee will be required to take a test after successful completion of an EAP or rehabilitation program, to which the employee has been referred by the College.

B.    Substances Tested

1.              When requesting or requiring a drug test, the College will test for the following controlled substances:  (1) Amphetamines, (2) Cannabinoids, (3) Phencyclidine (PCP), (4) Methadone, (5) Methaqualene, (6) Opiates, (7) Barbiturates, (8) Benzodiazepines, (9) Propoxyyphene, or a metabolite of any such substance.

2.              When requesting or requiring an alcohol test, the College will consider an employee with a blood alcohol level of 0.06 or greater to be "impaired."

C.   Collection Procedures and Testing Methods

1.              Employees and applicants being tested will have the opportunity to provide notification of any information that may be considered relevant to the test, including identification of currently or recently used prescription or nonprescription/over-the-counter drugs or other relevant medical information.

2.              All test results will be kept confidential. Records of drug and alcohol testing will be kept in accordance with federal, state and local regulations.  Upon written request, an individual may inspect records relating to his or her drug test and records related to the results of any relevant certification proceedings.

3.              The following rules apply in cases where the College requests or requires a drug or alcohol test:

(a)  A confirmed positive test for drugs or alcohol may result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge;  

(b)  Once notified to take a random or reasonable suspension/for cause test, the employee must complete the test on the day of notification before close of business day for the testing agency (usually 5:00 p.m.). 

(c)   From date of job offer, an individual required to take a pre-employment drug test must complete the test within two business days by close of business for the testing agency (usually 5:00 p.m.).


1.              An individual has the right to refuse to undergo a drug or alcohol test.  An employee who refuses to be tested, however, will be subject to disciplinary action.    

2.              Any applicant who refuses to be tested shall have their conditional offer of employment rescinded.

3.              Attempts to alter or substitute the specimen provided will be deemed a refusal to take the drug or alcohol test when required, and will be subject to disciplinary action or rescission of any offer of employment.


Employees failing a drug or alcohol test, the results of which have been confirmed, shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including the possibility of dismissal. 

An employee failing a drug or alcohol test for the first time during his or her employment at Spelman may be referred to a drug and alcohol treatment program in addition to, or in lieu of, other disciplinary action.  The drug or alcohol treatment program must be approved by the College, and any cost incurred by the employee's participation in the program is his or her responsibility. The duration of the program usually will not exceed sixty (60) days.  If the College refers an employee to a drug or alcohol program, the employee must successfully complete the program and adhere to the guidelines and procedures set forth in the program. Employee must submit to and test negative for a randomly scheduled drug and alcohol test at least once a year for the two years following completion of the program. In some instances, while an employee is participating in an approved program, the employee may be reclassified to another job. This reclassification may impact the employee's pay. However, if reclassification is not feasible, the employee will be placed on a leave of absence without pay, unless sick, vacation or other pay arrangements are available and approved.  


An employee failing a drug or alcohol test for a second time during his or her employment at Spelman will be dismissed.


While the College will ordinarily refer an employee to treatment after a first positive drug or alcohol test, the College reserves the right to dismiss any employee testing positive for drugs and alcohol in its sole discretion.  Circumstances warranting immediate dismissal include, but are not limited to, cases in which the employee testing positive exposed Spelman employees or students to risk of personal injury, damaged Spelman property, violated state, local or federal law, or otherwise engaged in egregious behavior.



The self-referral option allows any employee to step forward and identify him/herself as an illegal drug user or alcohol abuser for the purpose of entering an approved treatment program under the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  In an effort to assist employees who themselves are seeking treatment, the College will not initiate disciplinary action against any employee who meets all four (4) of these conditions:

1.     Voluntarily identifies him/herself as a user of illegal drugs or alcohol prior to being identified through other means;

2.     Completes counseling or rehabilitation through an EAP or other authorized program; and

3.     Thereafter refrains from using illegal drugs; and understands that,

4.     In some instances, while an employee is participating in an approved program, the employee may be reclassified to another job. This reclassification may impact the employee's pay. However, if reclassification is not feasible, the employee will be placed on a leave of absence without pay, unless sick, vacation or other pay arrangements are available and approved.  


This policy will be posted in the Employee Handbook section on the website, and employees will receive a copy of the policy via email. Employees in the Designated Departments shall be asked to acknowledge in writing that they have received and read this policy.  If the employee refuses to sign the acknowledgement, the employee's acknowledgement form will notate the employee received the notice.  An employee's failure to sign the notice shall not preclude testing for that employee.



Employees with questions are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources.  Employees may raise questions or concerns about this policy without fear of reprisal.

Policy No.  702  Effective Date:  2/8/2011