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C15.2 Faculty/Staff Alcohol and Drug Policy

Application: This policy applies to all employees.

RIT, in compliance with the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment free from drug and alcohol abuse.


Reporting to work inebriated or becoming inebriated while at work is prohibited. This prohibition applies at RIT-sponsored activities and during the supervision of students at off-campus activities. The manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of alcohol in violation of local, state or federal law is prohibited at RIT.


The manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance in violation of local, state or federal law is prohibited at RIT. An investigation will be made and appropriate actions taken for violations occurring within RIT environs or at RIT sanctioned events.

Employees using legal medications should inform their supervisor or department head if the effects of the medication could interfere with their ability to perform the job in a safe and efficient manner. In this case, the supervisor or department head should attempt if necessary to provide a safer working environment for the affected employees until the use of the medication is no longer required.


The following definitions comply with the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988.

Alcoholic Beverage - Any beverage defined as "alcoholic" by the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

Controlled Substances - Any item or substance, natural or synthetic, defined as a controlled substance by Schedules I-V of the New York State Public Health Law, Section 3306.

Marijuana - Any item or substance defined as cannabis or a derivative thereof by the New York State Public Health Law, Section 3302.

Precursors to Controlled Substance - Unlawful possession of chemical elements with the intent to manufacture controlled substances, as defined in the New York State Penal Law, Article 220.60.

Drug Related Paraphernalia - Possession, sale, or use of items and instruments used in the manufacture, packaging, or administration of controlled substances, as defined in the New York State Penal Law, Articles 220.45; 220.50; 220.55.


An employee whose performance on the job reasonably suggests that the employee is in violation of this policy should be informed of the university policy by his/her supervisor or department head.

The supervisor or department head should then follow the guidelines below:

  • If it appears that the employee may need medical attention as a result of the apparent condition, an ambulance (x3333 or TTYx6654) should be called.

  • If the employee appears to be unable to function normally or perform his/her work, the employee should stop work activities immediately.

  • The department head or supervisor should contact the Department of Human Resources.

  • The employee may be suspended for the remainder of the work day while an investigation is conducted, or disciplinary action may be taken, up to and including termination. Employees holding a Commercial Driver's License, and who perform a safety sensitive function will be required to submit to a drug test immediately.

Before making a decision that may have an impact on the employee's pay or status in his/her position, the supervisor or department head should thoroughly investigate the conditions surrounding the employee's perceived inebriation or drug induced condition.

Supervisors or department heads who knowingly allow anyone under their supervision to violate this policy and/or work while inebriated or under the influence of illegal drugs will also be subject to disciplinary action.

If criminal charges are brought and an employee is convicted of a criminal drug statute for a violation occurring in the workplace, the following steps must be taken in order to be in compliance with the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988:

  • The convicted employee must notify his/her supervisor within five (5) working days.

  • The director of Human Resources and the principal investigator must be notified within (10) ten working days of the conviction.

  • If the employee is paid from a federal grant or contract, proper notice will be provided to the appropriate contracting agency.

Employees who believe that these procedures have been unfairly or improperly implemented in their regard are referred to the Faculty Grievance Procedure (E24.0) or the Staff Grievance Procedure (E30.0).


Specific actions will be taken to work with any employee for violations occurring in the workplace. In addition to (or in lieu of) disciplinary action, the supervisor or department head may require participation in one of the programs listed below:

  • The Employee Assistance Program through the Health Association of Rochester provides assistance and referral to employees and their families in handling problems such as alcoholism and chemical dependency that may cause poor work performance or absenteeism.

  • Substance and Alcohol Intervention Services for the Deaf (SAISD) provides counseling and assistance for the deaf.

Responsible Office:
Department of Human Resources

Effective Date:
Approved 5/13/98 to replace Policy C15.0

Policy History:
Edited August, 2010


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