Section: Personnel
Policy Number: 4-16
Policy Name: Substance Abuse Program
Date: August 1996
Revisions: February 1998; September 22, 2003

  1. POLICY

    When a University employee's performance is adversely affected by the use of alcohol and/or drugs, the University's commitments to excellence and the general health and welfare of the University community require that corrective action be taken to rehabilitate such employee or to terminate his or her services, if rehabilitation cannot be accomplished within a reasonable length of time.

    It shall be the policy of the University to assist, whenever possible, in the rehabilitation of any such employee.

    Employees with an alcohol and/or drugs problem are strongly encouraged to discuss the matter with their supervisors, in order that assistance may be provided towards the goal of continued employability.

    When it appears that an employee's job performance is adversely affected by the use of alcohol and/or drugs, the Vice President for Administration, in consultation with the Provost, with respect to the members of the faculty, and in consultation with the Executive Vice President, with respect to all other employees, shall conduct such an investigation as is necessary to determine if there are sufficient job performance problems to indicate that corrective action is required.  

    1. Employees with More Than Two Years of Service (or with tenure)

      When the Vice President for Administration is satisfied from the investigation that corrective action is required with respect to an employee with more than two years of service, he or she shall:   

      1. Arrange one or more conferences among the employee, the Vice President for Administration, the employee's supervisor and unit head to discuss the employee's problems and the kinds of assistance that are available.

      2. If, in the opinion of the Vice President for Administration, the employee's supervisor, and unit head, the employee has an alcohol/drug problem that is adversely affecting job performance, the employee shall become rehabilitated within a reasonable time, either pursuant to counseling and treatment under the auspices of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP), or through a program of rehabilitation, which may include treatment by a psychiatrist retained by the employee at his or her expense. The role of the FSAP is to assist the University administration in evaluating the employee and the circumstances surrounding the case and to assist and advise the employee in making appropriate treatment arrangements.

      3. If the employee elects to attempt rehabilitation with the assistance of the FSAP, the employee may elect admission, at the University's expense, to a University-selected treatment center for not more than thirty days. If the employee elects admission to the treatment center, he or she shall be placed on a leave-with-pay status. Where applicable, the employee shall utilize accumulated sick leave, earned or accrued vacation days, or approved vacation days.

      4. An employee undergoing rehabilitation shall continue normal duties of employment except during the time, if any, when undergoing treatment at a treatment center.

      5. If, during the period of rehabilitation, the employee's job performance is adversely affected because of the use of alcohol and/or drugs, a leave of absence without pay for ninety days shall be given. During such leave of absence, employees who have not previously availed themselves of treatment in a University-selected treatment center are eligible for this option for a period not to exceed thirty days but without pay. If the employee rejects such leave of absence or fails to satisfy the Vice President for Administration and the FSAP that he or she has become rehabilitated during this ninety-day period, termination for cause shall occur in accordance with the University procedures established for the employee. During, or at the conclusion of said ninety-day period, if, in the opinion of the Vice President for Administration and the FSAP, the employee demonstrates adequate evidence of rehabilitation, the employee shall be permitted to return to his or her position of employment, with the understanding that a recurrence of alcohol/drug problems such as to affect job performance shall be cause for termination in accordance with established University procedures.

      6. If the employee, after rehabilitation, again demonstrates that his or her job performance is adversely affected by use of alcohol and/or drugs, the case shall be handled on an ad hoc basis.

      7. The University will assume financial responsibility for confinement to an alcoholic/drug treatment center once only.

      8. If terminated for cause under this policy, the employee may apply for re-employment not earlier than one year following termination, and re-employment shall be considered based on circumstances at that time.

    2. Employees with Less Than Two Years of Service (and who do not have tenure)

      When the Vice President for Administration is satisfied from the investigation that corrective action is required with respect to an employee with less than two years of service, each case shall be handled on an individual basis taking into account the seriousness of the problem and the potential value of the employee if rehabilitated. Such an employee may be terminated for cause without attempted rehabilitation, but ordinarily an effort will be made to assist such an employee to become rehabilitated, utilizing the procedures outlined above, except that the University will not ordinarily undertake the expense of treatment at a treatment center and ordinarily will terminate rather than grant a leave of absence to an employee whose job performance is adversely affected by the use of alcohol during the period of probation.

      Employees on leave with pay status under this policy will be eligible for pay during such leave, provided all other conditions of this policy are met. In addition, any payments made by the University as provided herein covering expense of treatment at a rehabilitation center shall be paid by the University only in those cases where the employee elects admission to a rehabilitation center acceptable to the University. Furthermore, payments made by the University for treatment shall be reduced by any amounts payable through the employee's Health Plan Coverage policy. In no event will the University payment and the Health Plan Coverage payment exceed the amount of the treatment facility's normal fee.

      Nothing in these procedures abrogates established University policies and procedures for dismissal.