Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy
Date Enacted or Revised: Enacted July 10, 2018; Revised August 2021
McNeese State University believes the workplace should be free from risks associated with the use of alcohol and drugs and is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for employees, students, and the public. Employees are a valuable resource for conducting University business, therefore their health and safety are of paramount concern. It is further the objective of this policy to protect the well-being and property, not only of University employees and students, but also all others on campus property, including visitors and guests.
McNeese State University’s philosophy is consistent with the State of Louisiana’s long-standing commitment to establish a drug-free workplace. To assist in deterring the use of illegal drugs and alcohol by employees, the Louisiana Legislature enacted laws which provide for the creation and implementation of drug testing programs for state employees. Reference: LA R.S. 49:1001 et seq.
This policy complies with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, Public Law 101-226, Executive Order 12564, Louisiana Revised Statutes, University of Louisiana System Board Policy Number M-(3), and any other applicable state and or federal laws concerning drug testing of employees.
Click here to view the University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Policy.
Policy Statements and Prohibitions
The using, possessing, dispensing, distributing, manufacturing, buying, and selling of illegal drugs, unauthorized controlled substances, look-alikes, act-alikes, inhalants of abuse, designer and synthetic drugs, and any other drugs or substances which may affect a person’s perception, performance, judgment, reactions, or senses while working on or off the premises, or while on University business, including all drugs declared to be illegal under any federal or state law, is prohibited.
The reporting to work or working with detectable amounts in the system of alcoholic or intoxicating beverages which may affect an employee’s mood, senses, responses, motor functions, or alter or affect a person’s perception, performance, judgment, reactions, or senses, the bringing onto University premises, or the possession, transfer, storage, concealment, transportation, promotion, or sale of alcoholic or intoxicating beverages, is prohibited.
The possessing of illegal or unauthorized drugs or other prohibited substances contained in this policy in a University vehicle while on or off duty is prohibited.
Operating a University vehicle or personal vehicle while on duty under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is prohibited.
The possessing or the reporting to work or working with drug-related paraphernalia, including any material or equipment used or designed for use in testing, packaging, storing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body an illegal, unauthorized controlled, or dangerous substance as defined by this policy, is prohibited.
The legal use of prescription drugs (legally controlled substances) prescribed by a licensed physician are permitted; however, employees who occupy positions that are defined as safety- or security-sensitive should immediately inform their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment prior to using certain prescribed drugs or medication while at work under certain conditions, including but not limited to:
- When the drug may cause impairment of job performance of essential functions which may cause harm to self or others; and/or
- When the drug may cause impairment and public safety could be threatened.
The employee is not required to disclose any medical information, prescription information, diagnosis, medical records, or any other health protected information directly to the supervisor. All supervisors should refer employee to, and/or seek guidance from, Human Resources on applicable federal and state laws concerning medical information privacy afforded through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or any other relevant state or federal laws.
McNeese State University reserves the right to have its medical review officer determine if use of a prescription drug or medication by an employee whose position is determined to be Safety/Security sensitive, produces effects which may increase the risk of injury to the employee or other employees or impact public safety. If such a finding is made, the University reserves the right to restrict the work activity of the employee until such time as the Medical Review Officer advises that the employee’s ability to perform his/her job is no longer adversely affected by the consumption of said drug or medication.
Any employee who is convicted of any criminal drug statute must notify the president or his/her designated representative of the conviction within five (5) days and the president or his/her designated representative is to notify federal agencies under contract with McNeese State University within ten (10) days after receiving notice of a conviction.
The following definitions are intended to clarify the prohibited substances and items covered in this policy. Use of the definition in the singular includes the plural. The term “drug” is used interchangeably with the terms chemical or chemical substance, or alcohol for the purposes of this policy.
- ACT-ALIKE DRUGS – Those chemicals not manufactured to closely resemble controlled substances, but which are promoted in the same way, and which contain the same ingredients as look-alike drugs.
- ALCOHOL OR INTOXICATING BEVERAGE – Any liquid that may be consumed, and that has an alcohol content more than 1/2 of 1% by volume.
- CONTROLLED DRUGS – Those drugs or chemical substances placed on a schedule or in special categories to prevent, curtail, or limit their distribution and manufacture as defined by the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, as amended.
- DESIGNER (SYNTHETIC) DRUGS – Those chemical substances that are made in clandestine laboratories where the molecular structure of both legal and illegal drugs is altered to create a drug that is not explicitly banned by federal law.
- DRUG – Any chemical substance, including alcohol, that either produces physical, mental, or emotional change in the user, or one that can alter the mood, perception, or judgment of the individual consuming it.
- DRUG ABUSE – Drug abuse is the use of a drug or chemical substance for other than medical purposes which results in the impaired physical, mental, or emotional well-being of the user.
- DRUG MISUSE – The unintentional or inappropriate use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs or chemical substances, which results in impaired physical, mental, or emotional well-being of the user.
- DRUG-RELATED PARAPHERNALIA – Any material, equipment, or items used or designed for use in testing, packaging, storing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body an illegal, unauthorized controlled, or dangerous substance.
- EMPLOYEE – Executive management, managers, supervisors, full-time employees, part-time employees, contractors, volunteers, and interns.
- ILLEGAL DRUG – Any drug (a) which is not legally obtainable or (b) which is legally obtainable but has not been legally obtained. The term includes prescribed drugs not legally obtained and prescribed drugs not being used for prescribed purposes. The term “illegal drug” includes marijuana.
- LEGAL DRUG – Any prescribed drug or over-the-counter drug or medication which has been legally obtained and is being used for the purpose for which it was prescribed or manufactured.
- LOOK-ALIKE DRUGS – A tablet, capsule, powder, or liquid containing controlled over-the-counter ingredients whose physical appearance resembles various prescription drug products which contain popular substances of abuse and are regulated under the provisions of the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, as amended.
- MEDICAL REVIEW OFFICER – A licensed physician knowledgeable of substance abuse who has received specialized training in interpreting and evaluating test results in conjunction with an individual’s medical history and other relevant biomedical information.
- PRESCRIBED DRUG – Any substance for which a prescription has been written by a licensed medical practitioner for consumption by the individual for whom it is written or ordered.
- PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES – Any of the following substances specified in Schedule I or Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C., 801, 802 (1931 & 1987 Cum. P.P.), to include but are not limited to: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), methadone, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methaqualone, and propoxyphene.
- REASONABLE SUSPICION – Supervisor or management-level employee’s belief based upon objective and articulable facts, based on specific, contemporaneous physical, behavioral, or performance indicators sufficient to lead a prudent person to suspect that any employee is using drugs or alcohol or otherwise is in violation of this policy. Supervisors are trained on Reasonable Suspicion Detection and must have confirmation through Human Resources Director.
- UNDER THE INFLUENCE – For the purposes of this policy an employee is under the Influence if an employee is affected by a drug, chemical substance, or alcohol, or the combination of a drug, chemical substance, or alcohol in any detectable manner. The symptoms or influence are not confined to those consistent with misbehavior nor to obvious impairment of physical or mental ability such as slurred speech or difficulty in maintaining balance. A determination of influence can be established by professional opinion, scientifically valid test, and, as in case of alcohol, by a lay person’s opinion.
McNeese State University reserves the right to require employees to submit to medical evaluations or examinations at any time as a condition of initial or continued employment. Such examinations or evaluations may include, but are not limited to, urine, hair, sweat drug and/or alcohol screens, blood or plasma tests, or saliva/breath tests or other or tests as deemed appropriate to determine the use of illegal/unauthorized drugs or alcohol prohibited by this policy or to establish the employee’s fitness for duty.
Drug/alcohol screening may occur in the following situations:
- Post offer of employment for positions that are deemed safety/security-sensitive
- Random for positions that are deemed safety/security-sensitive
- Post-accident under certain conditions (See Insurance Notice above)
- Reasonable suspicion
- Monitoring as part of a rehabilitation plan
Notice of Disciplinary Actions for Policy Violations
All employees are subject to the following disciplinary actions:
|Policy Violation||Disciplinary Action|
|Refusal to participate in a search or to provide a urine, hair, sweat, blood, saliva, or breath sample||Termination|
|Positive drug result||Disciplinary action up to and including termination|
|Alcohol result > .02||Disciplinary action up to and including termination|
|Substituting, adulterating, or attempting to adulterate a specimen||Termination|
The University is bound to take appropriate disciplinary actions against employees who violate any provision of this policy. Any employee who is found in possession, use, or transportation of any illegal substances, or any of the herein mentioned drugs or chemical substances or who has been convicted of a drug related offense, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Preliminary findings of a policy violation will require that the employee be suspended with pay pending the results of a complete investigation or pending medical officer review. An employee may not return to work with the presence of any prohibited substance in their system and must have a negative test result before returning to employment.
In some cases of first violation of this policy for positive drug/alcohol test result, an employee may be given, at the discretion of the University, the option to participate satisfactorily in an approved drug or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program in lieu of dismissal. Participation in such an assistance or rehabilitation program is at the expense of the employee. A monitoring plan, for subsequent follow up drug/alcohol testing, will be established as part of any rehabilitation plan. Drug testing for monitoring purposes will extend for at least six months but may go longer as determined by the treating substance abuse provider. This rehabilitation option may not be available for subsequent violations of the policy.
Each violation and alleged violation of this policy will be handled on an individual basis, considering all data, including the risk to self, fellow employees, students, and the public. All disciplinary measures will be carried out in accordance with rules governing those situations specific to employee type.
The University provides assistance to employees with drug/alcohol related problems through its Employee Assistance Program available through insurance providers or through state services. Those employees who voluntarily seek assistance from the assistance program are assured that professional standards of confidentiality will be maintained. You may find information regarding Employee Assistance Programs by contacting the director of human resources and student employment at 337-475-5977 for a confidential appointment.
An applicant for hire in a safety/security sensitive position who tests positive for any substance prohibited by this policy will immediately have the employment offer rescinded.
Requirements for Testing Facility
- Collections and testing will be performed with concern for each employee’s privacy. The results of any drug screening will be considered a confidential record to be disseminated strictly on a “need-to-know” basis or as may be legally required.
- All collections will be performed by approved third party personnel who are familiar with the proper collection procedures of this policy.
- For drug urinalysis, each specimen will be tested to determine the presence of prohibited substances to include but are not limited to: amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, barbiturates, methadone, benzodiazepines, and propoxyphene.
- For cannabinoids, 20 NG/ML will be the screening level for employees to generate a positive screen result.
- All sample collections, storage, and transportation will be performed in accordance with Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) guidelines.
- All positives reported by the laboratory must be confirmed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).
- Testing will be performed by the laboratory chosen by McNeese State University or its testing contractor. The laboratory shall be accredited by the College of American Pathologists, certified by the Department of Health & Human Services, or SAMHSA.
- All alcohol tests will be administered by professionally trained personnel utilizing only approved evidential breath/saliva testing devices.
- A breath/saliva screening test will be administered, and if the result is greater than .02, a second test, a confirmation test, will be performed 15 minutes later (no later than 30 minutes) with an evidential breath device to verify the original screen. If the confirmation test verifies the original positive result, a positive result will be reported to the University.
LA R.S.49:1012: All information, interviews, reports, statements, memoranda, and/or test results received by the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment through its drug testing program are confidential communications and may not be used or received in evidence, obtained in discovery, or disclosed in any public or private proceedings, except in administrative or disciplinary proceedings, or hearings, or civil litigation where drug use by the tested individual is relevant.
Title 49 CFR Section 382.107: Qualitative information regarding results, such as the identification of a substance, will be provided only to the designated medical review officer pursuant to current law who will report results to the director of human resources and student employment. Results of the test will be released to appropriate licensing agencies on a need-to-know basis. All drug test results will be maintained in separate health files with restricted access in accordance with Title 49 CRF Section 382.405.
Compliance with this policy is a condition of employment with McNeese State University. Nothing in this policy will be construed as any guarantee or promise to any applicant or any employee of any employment or any continued employment whatsoever, nor will any provisions of this policy constitute or be interpreted by any party or tribunal to constitute any contractual rights of employment, express or implied, with McNeese State University or any obligation of employment rights created by covenants of good faith and fair dealing, either express or implied.
Nothing in this policy will be interpreted as constituting any waiver of or limitation on McNeese State University’s right to invoke disciplinary measures as may be appropriate, nor will it constitute a waiver of or limitation on employee’s responsibility to protect, guard, and take adequate precautions for his or her own safety and health in the workplace.
This policy may be amended as necessary to meet the requirements applicable laws, statutes, or regulations. It may also be amended as deemed necessary by McNeese State University, or to meet the interests of the objectives of this policy as may be determined, from time to time, by McNeese State University. All rights to further amend, refine, and redefine are specifically reserved to McNeese State University.
This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council, Administrative Advisory Council, and the University Policies webpage.