The Catholic University of America

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy (Staff and Faculty)


Approved by: President
History: Issued              -- December 1990  
  Revised            -- November 10, 2014  
  Last Reviewed --
Related Policies: Student Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
Additional References: Employee Assistance Program
Responsible Official: Associate VP/Chief Human Resources Officer tel. (202) 319-5050

I.          Introduction

This policy became effective Aug. 1, 1990, and implements the Drug Free Workplace Act (41 U.S.C. 701) and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (20 U.S.C. 1145g).

The risks associated with the abuse of drugs or alcohol are numerous and include physical and mental impairment, and effects on an employee's professional and personal life. Abuse of drugs or alcohol can negatively impact job performance and attendance and can jeopardize continued employment. Drug or alcohol use can create a health risk for the user, and a safety risk for the user, co-workers and other members of the University community.

Local and federal laws prohibit the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, control, sale and dispensation of any illegal narcotic or dangerous drugs (“controlled substances”). These laws carry penalties for violations, including monetary fines and imprisonment.

II.        Policy 

A.         Prohibitions 

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance or alcohol by an employee (staff or faculty) on University property or as any part of a University-sponsored program off campus is strictly prohibited.  

Note that the University does not permit marijuana for any purpose.  Employees who qualify under local law to use marijuana may not possess, store, use or share marijuana on University owned or controlled property or during University sponsored events. 

B          Notification Requirements 

As a condition of enrollment and employment, each faculty member and staff member will abide by the terms of this policy and will notify the Provost (in the case of faculty) or the AVP for Human Resources (in the case of staff) no later than five days after any conviction for a criminal drug statute offense or alcohol offense committed on University property or as any part of a University-sponsored program off campus. Failure to comply with these conditions will be grounds for disciplinary action.  

Faculty or staff members who are required to drive University vehicles as an essential job function must notify the Provost (in the case of faculty) or the AVP for Human Resources (in the case of staff) no later than five days after any conviction for a criminal alcohol driving offense.   

C.         Disciplinary Action 

Individuals whose work performance is impaired as a result of use or abuse of drugs or alcohol (either on or off campus); who illegally use or abuse drugs or alcohol on campus or on University business; who violate any provision of the University's employment rules or who have been convicted of violating any criminal drug statute while on University property or while participating in a University-sponsored program off campus are subject to disciplinary action. This may include termination of employment and referral to law enforcement authorities. Disciplinary action or required participation in a rehabilitation program for employees will be determined and implemented by the Provost in consultation with the General Counsel (in the case of faculty) or by the cognizant Vice President in consultation with the General Counsel and AVP for Human Resources (in the case of staff). Any such actions will be in compliance with the Faculty Handbook, union contracts and other specific University policies and regulations regarding termination of employees. 

The University cooperates fully with law enforcement authorities. Violations of this alcohol and drug policy which are also violations of federal or local law may be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. In such situations, cases may proceed concurrently at the University and in the criminal justice system. 

D.         Employee Assistance 

Employees (staff and faculty) who are struggling with alcohol or drugs are strongly encouraged to seek assistance.  The University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available free of charge to employees and their families on a confidential basis, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Employees who have a concern about drug or alcohol abuse are strongly encouraged to contact the EAP for assistance in finding resources to help with the problem. Additional information is available in the Office of Human Resources.