UK Human Resources
Policy # 13.0: Drug Abuse
The University of Kentucky is committed to providing a healthy and safe workplace for its employees. Conduct that is a violation of this policy poses unacceptable risk and disregard for the health, safety and welfare of co-workers, students and the total University community.
- The unlawful possession, use, dispensation, distribution or manufacture of controlled substances by employees, while on University property or on University business, is prohibited.
- Any employee who engages in the unlawful possession, use, dispensation, distribution or manufacture of controlled substances, while on University property or on University business or who is convicted of a criminal drug statute violation which occurred in the workplace or while on University business is subject to corrective action up to, and including, termination of employment.
- The legal use of prescribed medicines under the direction of a licensed physician is permitted. Employees in selected positions, designated by the Univeristy, are required to make such use known to an appropriate University representative (see departmental operating procedures). Employees using prescribed medicines should consult with a physician concerning the safe use of the drug during working hours.
Authority for enforcement of this policy is vested with the Provost or the appropriate Executive Vice President in coordination with the Vice President of Human Resources, or designee.
The University provides educational programs for its employees as well as general information on the following:
- The dangers of drug use and abuse in the workplace;
- University Drug-Free Workplace Policy;
- The availability of drug counseling, rehabilitation and employee assistance programs; and
- The penalties for violation of the University drug abuse policy.
In the University system, whenever a supervisor witnesses the unlawful possession, use, dispensation, distribution or manufacture of controlled substances by an employee, that supervisor shall
- Immediately notify the appropriate police authority;
- Suspend the employee pending investigation; and
- Inform the Vice President of Human Resources, or designee.
- An investigation shall be conducted to determine whether there has been a violation of this policy.
If the evidence confirms the staff employee has violated this policy, the Vice President of Human Resources, or designee, shall determine the appropriate sanction that may include the following:
- Corrective action up to, and including, termination of employment; or
- Referral to the employee assistance program (REFER) or a drug rehabilitative program.
For student employees, if evidence confirms the student employee has violated this policy, the Vice President of Human Resources, or designee, shall determine the appropriate sanction in accordance with the student employee’s status as an at-will employee.
Note: Nothing in this policy shall be construed to prohibit or interfere with whatever appropriate corrective action which may be taken in accordance with the student employee's student status, as provided by the Code of Student Conduct.
Whenever a supervisor notices an employee with overt signs of mental or physical impairment, thought secondary to substance abuse, or when job-related behavior or work performance suggests substance abuse, the supervisor shall refer employees to the employee assistance program (REFER). Mandatory referrals to REFER shall be made in conjunction with the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations (Employee Relations).
- The decision to acknowledge substance abuse and accept therapeutic intervention rests with the employee, and participation in an employee assistance or rehabilitative program is voluntary. However, refusal to participate in an appropriate intervention program(s) shall result in corrective action up to, and including, termination of employment.
- The REFER program coordinator shall monitor the progress of the employee and inform Employee Relations of the employee’s progress. Employee Relations will inform the appropriate department official of the employee's compliance.
- If an employee with suspected substance abuse or poor work performance, thought secondary to that substance abuse, refuses the employee assistance program(s) or appropriate rehabilitation services, Employee Relations and the employee’s supervisor shall institute the appropriate evaluation and action.
- The Vice President of Human Resources, or designee, shall notify the University of Kentucky Police Department (UKPD) whenever unauthorized controlled substances are found on University property.
In compliance with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998 (section 5151), an employee shall abide by this Drug Abuse Policy. The immediate supervisor shall be notified by the employee if the employee is convicted of a criminal drug offense occurring in the work place or while on University business within five working days after that conviction. The immediate supervisor shall promptly notify the Vice President of Human Resources, or designee.
- If the employee is paid any amount through a federal contract or grant account, the immediate supervisor shall notify the Vice President of Human Resources, or designee, who shall notify the Vice President for Research. The Vice President for Research shall, in turn, notify the appropriate federal contract/granting agency within ten working days of the notification by the supervisor of the conviction.
- Within 30 calendar days after an employee’s conviction for a drug offense on University property or on University business, the University shall take appropriate sanctions and remedies up to, and including, termination of employment.