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General Description
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
Employee Drug and Alcohol Policy

Document Number: HR--109 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 08/17/2012
Primary Author: Director of Human Resources Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 01/12/2012

General Description

Information about employee drug and alcohol policy relative to HR policy.


Delineation of policy


All faculty, staff, and administrators

Responsibility: Administration
Human Resources

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Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy
Federal statutes
Local statutes
Standard company policies
Standards of good practice
State statutes

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, general



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Policy Provisions

Employee Drug and Alcohol Policy

Cumberland University is committed to providing a safe work environment and to fostering the well-being and health of its employees. That commitment is jeopardized when any Cumberland University employee uses drugs illegally on or off the job, comes to work under the influence, illegally possesses, distributes or sells drugs in the workplace, or abuses alcohol on the job. Therefore, the University has established the following policy, pursuant to T.C.A. Section 50-9-100 et. seq.:

(1) It is a violation of the University's policy for any employee to use, possess, sell, trade, offer for sale, or offer to buy illegal drugs or otherwise engage in the illegal use of drugs on or off the job.

(2)It is a violation of the University's policy for any employee to report to work under the influence of, or while possessing in his or her body, blood or urine, illegal drugs in any detectable amount.

(3) It is a violation of the University's policy for any employee to report to work under the influence of or impaired by alcohol.

(4)It is a violation of the University's policy for any employee to use prescription drugs illegally, i.e., to use prescription drugs that have not been legally obtained or in a manner or for a purpose other than as prescribed. However, nothing in this policy precludes the appropriate use of legally prescribed medications.

(5) Violations of this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.


It is the responsibility of the University's supervisors to counsel employees whenever they see changes in performance or behavior that suggest an employee has a drug problem. Although it is not the supervisor's job to diagnose personal problems, the supervisor should encourage such employees to seek help and advise them about available resources for getting help. Everyone shares responsibility for maintaining a safe work environment, and co-workers should encourage anyone who has a drug problem to seek help.


The goal of this policy is to balance our respect for individuals with the need to maintain a safe, productive and drug-free environment. The intent of this policy is to offer a helping hand to those who need it, while sending a clear message that the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol are incompatible with employment at Cumberland University.


As a condition of employment, employees must abide by the terms of this policy and must notify The University in writing of any conviction of a violation of a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace no later than five calendar days after such conviction.


The University offers resource information on various means of employee assistance in our community, including but not limited to drug and alcohol abuse programs. Employees are encouraged to use this resource file: which is located in the Office of Counseling Services. In addition, we will distribute this information to employees for their confidential use.



General Procedures

Any employee reporting to work visibly impaired will be deemed unable to perform required duties and will not be allowed to work. If possible, the employee's supervisor will first seek another supervisor's opinion to confirm the employee's status. Next, the supervisor will consult privately with the employee to determine the cause of the observation, including whether substance abuse has occurred. If, in the opinion of the supervisor, the employee is considered impaired, the employee will be sent home or to a medical facility by taxi or other safe transportation alternative - depending on the determination of the observed impairment - and accompanied by the supervisor or another employee if necessary. A drug or alcohol test may be in order. An impaired employee will not be allowed to drive. 



Opportunity to Contest or Explain Test Results

Employees who have a positive confirmed drug or alcohol test result may explain or contest the result to the medical review officer within five (5) working days after receiving written notification of the test result from the medical review officer. If an employee's or job applicant's explanation or challenge is unsatisfactory to the medical review officer, the medical review officer shall report a positive test result back to the University. A person may contest the drug test result pursuant to rules adopted by the Tennessee Department of Labor. A retest may be allowed to validate or negate the presence of drugs in the body. 



Confidentiality of Drug Use

The confidentiality of any information received by the employer through a substance abuse testing program shall be maintained, except as otherwise provided by law.



Job Applicant Drug Testing

Job applicants at this University may be subject to testing for substance abuse as a condition of employment. Any applicant with a confirmed positive test result will be denied employment. Applicants may be asked to voluntarily submit to a urinalysis test at a laboratory chosen by this University and to sign a consent agreement releasing the University from liability. If the physician, official or lab personnel have reasonable suspicion to believe that the job applicant has tampered with the specimen, the applicant will not be considered for employment.


This University will not discriminate against applicants for employment because of a past history of drug or alcohol abuse. It is the current illegal use of drugs and/or abuse of alcohol, preventing employees from performing their jobs properly, that this University will not tolerate.



Employee Drug Testing Procedure

This University has adopted testing practices to identify employees who illegally use drugs on or off the job or who abuse alcohol on the job. It shall be a condition of employment for all employees to submit to substance abuse testing under the following circumstances:


1. When there is reasonable suspicion to believe that an employee is illegally using drugs or abusing alcohol. Reasonable suspicion is based on a belief that an employee is using or has used drugs or alcohol in violation of the employer's policy drawn from specific objective and articulable facts and reasonable inferences drawn from those facts. Among other things, such facts and inferences may be based upon, but not limited to the following:


(A) Observable phenomena while at work such as direct observation of substance abuse or of the physical symptoms or manifestations of being impaired due to substance abuse;

(B) Abnormal conduct or erratic behavior while at work or a significant deterioration in work performance;

(C) A report of substance abuse provided by a reliable and credible source;

(D) Evidence that an individual has tampered with any substance abuse test during his or her employment with the current employer;

(E) Information that an employee has caused, contributed to or been injured in an accident while at work; or

(F) Evidence that an employee has used, possessed, sold, solicited, or transferred drugs while working or while on the employer's premises or while operating the employer's vehicle, machinery, or equipment.


2. When employees have caused, contributed to or been injured in an on-the-job injury that resulted in a loss of work-time, which means any period of time during which an employee stops performing the normal duties of employment and leaves the place of employment to seek care from a licensed medical provider. An employer may send employees for a substance abuse test if they are involved in on-the-job accidents where personal injury or damage to University property occurs.


3. As part of a follow-up program to treatment for drug abuse.


4. Routine fitness-for-duty drug or alcohol testing. A covered employer must require an employee to submit to a drug or alcohol test if the test is conducted as part of a routinely scheduled employee fitness-for-duty medical examination where the examinations are required by: law, regulation, are part of the covered employer's established policy, or one that is scheduled routinely for all members of an employment classification group.



Alcohol Testing

The consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages on this University's premises is prohibited. (University sponsored activities which may include the serving of alcoholic beverages are not included in this provision.) An employee whose normal faculties are impaired due to alcoholic beverages, or whose blood alcohol level tests .08% by weight for non-safety sensitive positions, or .04% for safety sensitive positions, while on duty and/or University business shall be guilty of misconduct, and shall be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.



Employee's Refusal to Submit to Required Substance Abuse Test

Failure to submit to a required substance abuse test also is misconduct shall be subject to discipline up to and including discharge.



Important Information for Job Applicants and Employees

When an employee or job applicant submits to a drug and/or alcohol test, he/she will be given a form by the specimen collector that contains a list of common medications and substances which may alter or affect the outcome of a drug or alcohol test. This form will also have a space for the donor to provide any information that he/she considers relevant to the test, including the identification of currently or recently used prescription or non-prescription medication or other relevant information. The information form should be kept by the job applicant or employee for their personal use.


If the job applicant or employee has a positive confirmed test result, a medical review officer will attempt to contact the individual in order to privately discuss the findings with that person. The job applicant or employee should keep the form as a "reminder“ to discuss this information at that time. The medical review officer will take this information into account when interpreting any positive confirmed test results. The information provided shall be treated as confidential and will not be given to the employer. Employees and job applicants have the right to consult with a medical review officer for technical information regarding prescription and nonprescription medicine.


It is the responsibility of every employee or job applicant to notify the testing laboratory of any administrative or civil action brought pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 50-9-100 et. seq., Drug-Free Workplace Programs.


The provisions of this policy are subject to any applicable collective bargaining agreement or contract and include the right of appeal to the applicable court. 



Substance Abuse Testing for Job Applicants and Employees Will Include a Urinalysis Screen for the Following Drugs

Alcohol: (not required for job applicant testing)

Any "Alcoholic Beverage", includes all liquid medications containing ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Please read the label for content. For example, Vicks Nyquil is 25% (50 proof) ethyl alcohol, Comtrex is 20% (40 proof), Contac Severe Cold Formula Night Strength is 25% (50 proof), and Listerine is 26.9% (54 proof).


Amphetamines: "speed“, "uppers“, etc.


Cannabinoids: THC, marijuana, hashish, "pot“, "grass“, "hash“, etc.


Cocaine: "coke“, "crack“, etc.


Phencyclidine: PCP, "angel dust“


Opiates: Narcotics, Heroin, Codeine, Morphine, "smack“, dope, etc.



University Sanctions

The University has a significant interest in ensuring the health and safety, continued good performance, and attendance of its employees. In furtherance of this goal, the University has established the following rules and regulations regarding the use, sale, or possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, and/or controlled substances.  The obligations set forth in these rules and regulations constitute conditions of employment.

1. The illegal use, sale, or possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances on or off University premises may constitute grounds for immediate discharge.

2. If an employee reports to work under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, he/she will not be allowed to work and will be notified of disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

3. An employee arrested or charged by the police with a drug law violation of any sort is required to notify the University of such arrest or charge no later than the next work day following the arrest or charge. Failure to make such report may constitute grounds for dismissal. Conviction of a crime outside the workplace may render an employee of Cumberland University unsuitable for continued employment. For this reason, Cumberland University reserves the right to discharge the employee if an individual is convicted of any crime, even if the crime did not occur on Cumberland time or premises.

4. The legal use of drugs prescribed by a licensed physician may be permitted, provided such usage is consistent with job safety. For example, if a prescribed

medication is labeled "Do not drive or operate machinery while using this

medication,“ an employee would not be permitted to operate company vehicles. The University will make a reasonable accommodation, if possible, for the use of prescription medications. However, if use of the medication poses a direct threat to safety that cannot be eliminated by a reasonable accommodation, the employee will not be permitted to perform duties that conflict with the safety considerations.



State and Federal Sanctions

This document contains a summary of state and federal sanctions for the unlawful use of illicit drugs and alcohol. Portions of the summary were provided by the federal government, and while the summary is a good faith effort to provide information, Cumberland does not guarantee its accuracy.


State of Tennessee Sanctions Under state law, it is unlawful for any person less than twenty-one (21) years of age to buy, possess, transport (unless in the course of their employment), or consume alcoholic beverages, including wine or beer. It is also unlawful for any adult to buy alcoholic beverages for or furnish them for any purpose to anyone less than twenty-one years of age. These offenses are classified Class A Misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment for not more than eleven months and twenty-nine days, or a fine of not more than $2,500, or both. (T.C.A. ß 1-3-113, 39-15-404, 57-5-301.) The offense of public intoxication is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than thirty days or a fine of not more than $50, or both. (T.C.A. ß 39-17-310.) Under Tennessee law, the offense of possession or casual exchange of a controlled substance (such as marijuana) is punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor (eleven months twenty-nine days and/or a fine of $2,500). For the third and subsequent offense of possession of 1/2 oz. or less of marijuana, punishment is one to six years of imprisonment and a $3,000 fine. If there is an exchange from a person over twenty-one years of age to a person under twenty-one, and the older person is at least two years older than the younger, and the older person knows that the younger is under twenty-one years of age, then the offense is classified as a felony. (T.C.A. ß 39-17-417, 21 U.S.C. ß 801, et seq.; T.C.A. ß 39-17-417.) Possession of more than 1/2 oz. of marijuana under circumstances where intent to resell may be implicit is punishable by one to six years of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine for the first offense.


State penalties for possession of substantial quantities of a controlled substance or for manufacturing or distribution range up to a maximum of fifteen to sixty years of imprisonment and a $500,000 fine. (Title 39, T.C.A., Chapter 17.) For example, possession of more than twenty-six grams of cocaine is punishable by eight to thirty years of imprisonment and a $200,000 fine for the first offense.


The state may, under certain circumstances, impound a vehicle used to transport or conceal controlled substances.


United States Penalties and Sanctions for Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance 21 U.S.C. 844(a)

First conviction: Up to one year imprisonment and fine of at least $1,000 but not more than $100,000, or both.


After one prior drug conviction: At least fifteen days in prison, not to exceed two years, and fine of at least $2,500 but not more than $250,000, or both.


After two or more prior drug convictions: At least ninety days in prison, not to exceed three years, and fine of at least $5,000 but not more than $250,000, or both.


Special sentencing provisions for possession of crack cocaine:

Mandatory at least five years in prison, not to exceed twenty years, and fine of up to $250,000, or both, if:

(a) First conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds five grams.

(b) Second crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds three grams.

(c) Third or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds one gram.


21 U.S.C. 853(a) (2) and 881(a)(7)

Forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if that offense is punishable by more than one year imprisonment. (See special sentencing provisions re: crack.)


21 U.S.C. 881(a) (4)

Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance. [An automobile may be impounded in cases involving any controlled substance in any amount.


21 U.S.C. 844(a)


21 U.S.C. 853(a)

Civil fine of up to $10,000 (pending adoption of final regulations).

Denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to one year for first offense, up to five years for second and subsequent offenses.


18 U.S.C. 922(g)

Ineligibility to receive or purchase a firearm.



Revocation of certain federal licenses and benefits, e.g., pilot licenses, public housing tenancy, are vested within the authorities of individual federal agencies. Violations of federal trafficking laws that involve either (1) distribution or possession of controlled substances at or near a school or university campus, or (2) distribution of controlled substances to persons lees than twenty-one (21) years of age, incurs doubled penalties under federal law.



Health Risks

Effects of alcohol abuse

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person?s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol can produce the same serious effects.


Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver. Some studies suggest that brain cells are actually permanently lost and killed by high levels of alcohol.  Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than others of becoming alcoholics.


Effects of illicit drugs

Stimulants (amphetamines/cocaine): Amphetamines, and their new derivatives "crystal,“ "ice“ and Ecstasy, have short and long-term health effects. Long-term health effects include insomnia, impotence, seizures, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions and death. These compounds are very addictive and may also produce psychotic and violent behavior. Cocaine, crack and related forms can produce nasal bleeding, psychosis, seizures and death. Most forms of stimulants have a high risk of physical and psychological dependence.

Depressants (barbiturates/heroin/tranquilizers): Depressants are usually used for their sedative or hypnotic effects. They can also cause jaundice, nausea, depression, seizures, impotence, depression of the respiratory and circulatory systems, coma and death. Most of these drugs have a high risk of physical and psychological dependence, and some can be fatal if mixed with alcohol or other depressants. Withdrawal can produce convulsions or even coma. Overdose is common and can result in death. Needle-drug users are in a high-risk group for infection with human immunodeficiency virus, or AIDS.


Other Drugs (cannabis/hallucinogens): Marijuana and related compounds can produce an altered sense of reality. Marijuana is usually smoked, and like tobacco, it is very toxic to the lungs. Disorders of memory (loss) and of mood often occur in chronic users. Hallucinogens such as LSD and PCP are used to produce "altered states“ to escape reality.  They are very dangerous and can cause psychosis.



Counseling Resources

Employees of Cumberland University may be required to enroll in and successfully complete, at the employee's expense, a treatment program as a condition of continued employment. Local area resources include, but are not limited to:


1. Emergency 911

2. University Medical Center 615-444-8262

3. Cumberland Mental Health Center 615-444-4300 or 615-444-4343, 24 hr line

4. College Street Fellowship House 615-449-3891

5. Alcoholics Anonymous 615-831-1050

6. Alcoholics Anonymous Referral Service  and Treatment Program 24-hr Helpline 800-711-6375

7. Narcotics Anonymous Helpline 800-677-1462  or 615-251-7462

8. Drug Helpline 800-662-HELP (4357)

9. The Alcohol and Drug Council of Middle Tennessee 615-269-0029

10. McFarland Hospital 615-449-0500


This listing does not reflect the promotion or referral of these facilities by Cumberland University.



Closing Statement

Cumberland University seeks to provide a drug-free workplace that promotes a safe work environment. The conduct of the employees affects the service the University provides to its employees and to the students. If employees use drugs and/or alcohol while at work or if they come to work impaired, their ability to perform their job is diminished and the employee of Cumberland University may endanger his/her own safety as well as the safety of others.


The following documents regarding drug policy can be found in Appendix B: Pre-Employment Drug Testing Consent and Release Form, Employee Acknowledgement Form, and Letter to All Employees from the President regarding drug policy.


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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure
Compliance with federal mandate

Consequences: Further training
Job Termination
Loss of privileges

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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Director of Human Resources

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