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College Policy Number/Title:

In certain situations, employees or prospective employees of Howard Community College will be tested for alcohol and/or drug usage or impairment.  One situation is where an employee’s or prospective employee’s essential job functions include the performance of duties that call for a drug screening; for example, driving a type of vehicle on campus business for which the Motor Vehicle Administration requires or recommends such a screening.  In these cases, a prospective employee will be tested at an employer-selected medical site prior to hire and will not be hired if a positive test results.  An existing employee with such essential job functions may be sent periodically for a drug test at an employer-selected medical site, either with or without advance notice, and will not be allowed to perform the relevant duties until a favorable result is obtained.  Furthermore, an unfavorable test outcome may result in an existing employee being referred to the Employee Assistance Program and/or discipline, including termination.  Follow-up tests, either with or without advance notice, may occur after the initial screening, regardless of whether the initial screening is favorable or unfavorable.

An alcohol or drug screening may also occur when there is reasonable suspicion that an employee is unfit for duty due to alcohol and/or drug usage, or when an employee has been involved in an accident that occurs on college property or otherwise on college time, or which involves college motor vehicles or equipment.  Under 63.11-Drug-Free Campus Policy and 63.10.11-Fitness To Work Procedure, an employee is required to be in the proper mental and physical condition to work or that employee should be removed from the worksite.  Reasonable suspicion will be based on direct, first-hand observation and not on rumor, speculation, or unsubstantiated information from others.  Reasonable suspicion may result from observation of an employee’s behavior or physical symptoms, including erratic behavior, odor of alcohol or illegal drugs, a pattern of abnormal conduct, deteriorating work performance, excessive absenteeism, and/or tardiness.  A supervisor or co-worker who observes signs of an employee’s possible substance-related impairment while on work time should document the specific observations and notify the office of human resources immediately, if the observation occurs during normal operating hours of the office of human resources.     

Human resources will arrange for an immediate drug/alcohol screening at an employer-selected medical site.  An employee’s refusal to consent to an immediate screening may subject the employee to disciplinary action, including termination.  Following the test, if the results are not immediately available, the employee will be on paid administrative leave until the results of the test are available.  If the employee is found not to have been impaired due to use of drugs or alcohol, then the employee will be allowed to return to work on his/her normal shift immediately with no deduction of pay or accrued leave.  If the employee is found to have been impaired due to drugs or alcohol, then s/he may be subject to a referral to the Employee Assistance Program and/or disciplinary action, up to and possibly including termination. 

If the reasonable suspicion occurs during a work shift when the office of human resources is not open, the employee’s on-duty supervisor will need to contact the employer-selected medical site/service directly to arrange for the drug/alcohol screening.  Other aspects of the testing process will be the same as those noted in the preceding paragraph.

All drug and alcohol testing will be performed in accordance with applicable law.  If an employee tests positive, the college, after confirmation of the test, will provide the employee with a copy of the test result, a notice of the employee’s right to retest the sample at the employee’s expense, a copy of the documents, 63.11-Drug-Free Campus Policy and 63.10.11-Fitness To Work Procedure, and a notice of the disciplinary action, if any, to be taken following the positive test result. 

Further information regarding the testing process, including the locations of testing sites/services and scenarios for testing during different days/times, are available on the human resources intranet page.  In all situations where reasonable suspicion of drug/alcohol is present, it is critical that the employee be provided with transportation to the medical testing site and that transportation from the testing site to the employee’s home afterwards, or back to work, be arranged.  If necessary, the college is responsible for paying for the cost of arranged transportation.  All initial testing costs will be incurred by the employing department at the college, and all results of drug/alcohol tests will be kept confidential.

An employee who voluntarily seeks assistance for a substance abuse problem before the problem affects job performance and before a positive test is confirmed will not be subject to disciplinary procedures for reporting such a problem.  In such a case, the employee will confidentially be referred to the college’s Employee Assistance Program and given reasonable accommodation to treat the problem to the extent required by law.

All information regarding an employee or prospective employee’s testing process, test results, consequences of test results, and/or attempts to obtain assistance in overcoming substance abuse problems must be kept confidential by the supervisor, those in the chain of command above the supervisor, and human resources. 

Effective Date:  04/08/11