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University Policy on Alcohol & Controlled Substances

Policy

Applies to: All University employees performing safety-sensitive functions whose position responsibilities require they obtain a CDL (commercial driver's license).

This policy states expectations for institutional and individual conduct. It applies to all University community members, including faculty, staff, students, registered student organizations, student governing bodies, and the University's administrative units, and to the University's contractors in the execution of their University contracts or engagements (this policy does not apply to the conduct of a contractor's internal affairs, nor does it apply to the conduct of contractual engagements to which the University is not a party), with respect to the following:

  1. All educational, employment, cultural, and social activities occurring on the University campus,
  2. University-sponsored programs occurring off-campus, including but not limited to MSU Extension, intercollegiate athletics, lifelong education, and any regularly scheduled classes,
  3. University housing, and
  4. Programs and activities sponsored by student governing bodies, including their constituent groups, and by registered student organizations.

Prohibitions: The following alcohol and controlled substances-related activities are prohibited by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) alcohol and controlled substances abuse rules for drivers with CDLs:

  1. Reporting for duty or remaining on duty to perform safety sensitive functions while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 or greater.
  2. Being on duty or operating a vehicle while the driver possesses alcohol, unless the alcohol is manifested and transported as part of a shipment. This includes the possession of medicines containing alcohol (prescription or over-the-counter), unless the packaging seal is unbroken.
  3. Using alcohol while performing safety-sensitive functions.
  4. Reporting for duty to perform safety-sensitive functions within 4 hours after using alcohol.
  5. When required to take a post-accident alcohol test, using alcohol within 8 hours following the accident or prior to undergoing a post-accident alcohol test, whichever occurs first.
  6. Refusing to submit to an alcohol or controlled substances test required by post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion or follow-up testing requirements.
  7. Reporting for duty or remaining on duty, requiring the performance of safety-sensitive functions, when the driver uses any controlled substances, except when instructed by a physician who has advised the driver that the substance does not adversely affect the driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle. (NOTE: Drivers are to inform supervisors of any therapeutic drug use.)
  8. Reporting for duty, remaining on duty or performing a safety-sensitive function, if the driver tests positive for controlled substances.

Consequences of violations: When alcohol and/or controlled substances violations occur, i.e., a person tests positive or refuses testing, the driver is subject to the following:

  1. Immediate removal from performing safety-sensitive functions for a minimum of 24 hours.
  2. Being advised of the resources available to them in evaluating and resolving any alcohol and/or controlled substances abuse problem.
  3. Being evaluated by a substance abuse professional (SAP) who shall determine what assistance, if any, the employee needs in resolving problems associated with alcohol and/or controlled substances abuse.
  4. Before returning to duty in a safety-sensitive function, undergoing a return-to-duty alcohol or controlled substances test.
  5. Being evaluated by an SAP to determine that she/he has followed any rehabilitation program prescribed prior to returning to safety-sensitive functions.
  6. Unannounced follow-up alcohol and/or controlled substances testing.

Types of testing: The following types of tests will be performed for alcohol and controlled substances use:

  • pre-employment,
  • post-accident,
  • reasonable suspicion,
  • random,
  • return-to-duty, and
  • follow-up.

Administration: Departments with employees in positions requiring a CDL are responsible for the administration of this act which includes paying applicable cost for the alcohol and controlled substances testing. Olin Health Center assists departments by conducting/making referrals for the tests and maintaining required records.

Procedure

Compliance: The following procedures are to be followed by departments to prevent accidents and injuries resulting from alcohol or controlled substances abuse by employees in safety-sensitive functions, and to comply with FHWA Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing requirements.

  • Identifying covered employees:
    • Departments identify and Olin Health Center maintains a complete listing of employees in safety-sensitive positions who are required to have a CDL, which includes those who operate:
      • a single vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more,
      • a combination of vehicles having a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more and towing vehicles of not more than 10,000 lbs. GVWR,
      • a vehicle towing another vehicle with a GVWR over 10,000 lbs,
      • a vehicle designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver), or
      • a vehicle carrying hazardous materials in such amounts that placarding is required.
    • When an employee is newly hired or transferred to a position covered by these rules, departments indicate the CDL requirement on the Exposure to Health Risks form. MSU Human Resources shares this information with Olin Health Center, which ensures proper tests are completed.
  • Employee notification upon hire/transfer:
    • Departments provide educational materials on alcohol and controlled substances abuse to each CDL driver at the time of initial hire or transfer into a position requiring a CDL. This information is available from MSU Human Resources Employee Relations and describes MSU policies and procedures, testing requirements, and how/where employees can get help for alcohol and controlled substances problems. Employees are required to sign for receipt of this material on the Acknowledgment of Receipt of Educational Materials on Alcohol and Substances Abuse for Operators of Commercial Vehicles form retained in the department's personnel file.
  • Supervisor training:
    • MSU Human Resources Employee Relations provides training for supervisors of employees required to hold a CDL. This mandatory training addresses the signs and symptoms of probable alcohol and controlled substances abuse, and assists supervisors in making appropriate referral for reasonable suspicion testing.
  • Testing situations:
    • Pre-employment: Departments notify MSU Human Resources on the Exposure to Health Risks form of any employees being hired or transferred into a position requiring a CDL. MSU Human Resources shares this information with Olin Health Center, which ensures that pre-employment tests are completed with satisfactory results, prior to the driver performing safety-sensitive functions. Prior to this testing, Olin obtains the driver's signature on the Pre-Employment Testing Consent form, and retains it in their files.
    • Random: Olin Health Center notifies departments of drivers randomly selected for alcohol or controlled substances testing. Departments provide the selected driver with the Drug Testing Procedures Driver Fact Sheet and ensure that he/she proceeds to Olin Health Center immediately for testing. If the driver is performing a safety-sensitive function at the time of notification, the department ensures that the driver ceases to perform the safety-sensitive function and proceeds to Olin as soon as possible. Random alcohol testing is limited to the time period surrounding the performance of safety-related functions, i.e., during, just before, or just after performing safety-sensitive functions. Controlled substances testing may be performed at any time while the driver is at work for the employer.
    • Post-accident:
    • When an accident occurs with an MSU vehicle and CDL driver which involves property damage, a fatality, or the MSU CDL driver receiving a citation for a moving traffic violation, the driver calls the department which immediately (or as soon as practicable, but not to exceed 8 hours) calls Olin Health Center (517-353-9137) to arrange for alcohol and controlled substances testing.
    • If an alcohol test is not administered within 2 hours following the accident, a record must be prepared by the supervisor and retained stating the reason a test was not promptly administered. If an alcohol test is not administered within 8 hours following the accident, the test will not be conducted and a record as described above will be prepared and retained. If a controlled substances test is not administered within 32 hours following the accident, the test will not be conducted and a record as described above will be prepared and retained.
    • A driver who is subject to post-accident testing shall remain readily available for such testing or may be deemed to have refused to submit to testing. Automotive Services will place a copy of the Post-Accident Drug Testing Procedures form and Testing Kit (available from Olin Health Center) in each commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with instructions on how to proceed in case of an accident.
    • Reasonable suspicion: When a trained supervisor or MSU official observes behavior, appearance, speech or body odors of a driver that are characteristic of alcohol and/or controlled substances abuse, including indications of the chronic and withdrawal effects of controlled substances, the department will notify Olin Health Center (517-353-9137) and take the driver to Olin Health Center for an alcohol and/or controlled substances test. Testing is done only if the observations are made during, just before, or just after the period of the work day the driver is required to be in compliance.
    • If an alcohol test is not administered within 2 hours of the observations, a record must be prepared by the supervisor and retained stating the reasons the test was not promptly administered. If an alcohol test is not administered within 8 hours of the observations, the test will not be conducted and a record as described above will be prepared and retained. If a controlled substances test is not administered within 32 hours of the observations, the test will not be conducted and a record as described above will be prepared and retained.
    • An Observed Behavior -- Reasonable Cause Record form, signed by the supervisor, will be made of the observations leading to the testing within 24 hours of the observed behavior or before the test results are released, whichever is earlier. When it is not feasible or impossible to conduct a reasonable suspicion alcohol test in a timely manner, the employee is not permitted to perform safety-sensitive functions for 8 hours (or until a Preliminary Breath Test [PBT] result below 0.02 becomes available during this 8-hour period).
    • Return to duty: Before a driver is returned to duty after engaging in prohibited conduct regarding alcohol or controlled substances abuse, departments must send the driver to Olin Health Center for return-to-duty alcohol or controlled substances abuse testing and an authorization to return to safety-sensitive functions.
    • Follow-up: Following a determination that a driver is in need of assistance in resolving problems associated with alcohol and/or controlled substances abuse, the driver is subject to unannounced follow-up testing as directed by a substance abuse professional. Olin Health Center will notify departments of alcohol and/or controlled substances abuse follow-up testing required for the affected driver. Departments are to ensure that the driver proceeds immediately to Olin Health Center for testing.

Sources for testing:

  • Lansing area testing
    • Weekdays - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Olin Health Center (353-9137).
    • Weekends and after Olin hours - Ingham Regional Greenlawn Campus Emergency Department. Supervisor should accompany driver. An Authorization to Invoice MSU will be needed. There is no need to take a truck kit.
  • Outside Lansing area testing
    • If testing is needed outside the Lansing area, and the driver cannot be at Olin or Ingham Regional Greenlawn Campus in less than two hours, the driver should go to the nearest hospital with a truck kit and request a breath alcohol test and a urine drug screen according to the directions in the truck kit.

Violations (positive or refused tests)
When alcohol and/or controlled substances violations occur, i.e., a person tests positive or refuses testing, departments are responsible for ensuring that:

  • drivers are not permitted to perform safety-sensitive functions, e.g., if blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than or equal to 0.02, for a minimum of 24 hours,
  • appropriate follow-up and return-to-duty testing occurs,
  • initial referral to Employee Assistance Program for subsequent referral to a substance abuse professional occurs, e.g., if BAC is greater than or equal to 0.04, and
  • follow-up evaluations are made to ensure that the rehabilitation program was followed prior to return to work.

When an employee is not permitted to perform safety sensitive functions, he/she may be suspended without pay pending investigation, and disciplinary action may be taken up to and including discharge. In hiring situations, the contingent employment offer is rescinded.

The following resources are available to assist in these situations:

  • MSU Human Resources Employee Relations for disciplinary action (517-353-5510),
  • Olin Health Center for subsequent alcohol and controlled substances testing (517-353-9137), and
  • MSU Human Resources Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for referrals to substance abuse professionals (517-355-4506).
If the tests are positive, the medical review officer (MRO) will contact the employee to discuss the positive test results.

Substance Abuse Professional (SAP): The role of the SAP is that of a professional "gatekeeper" in the testing protocol. In this context, the responsibility of the SAP is both prescriptive and advisory. The SAP evaluates the employee, prescribes an appropriate course of rehabilitation, advises the employer whether or not the employee has properly followed the rehabilitation plan, and prescribes a program of follow-up testing. Each of these professional judgments may impact public safety. The SAP's safety duty to the University for evaluation and prescription may transcend the SAP's customary professional loyalty to the employee.

The University remains ultimately responsible for the decision to conduct the return-to-duty test; for the decision to return the employee to safety-sensitive duties; and for the implementation of the follow-up testing plan. Given the potential for poly-drug misuse, the SAP may recommend return-to-duty or follow-up alcohol testing where an employee tested positive for drugs and the SAP has reason to suspect alcohol misuse. The opposite would be true as well.

Release of test results: Olin Health Center will report test results to the department and the employee using the Controlled Substances Test Results Notification form. MSU Human Resources Employee Relations will be informed of positive test results. Test results and other confidential information may only be released to the employer and the SAP (when known). Any other release of information is only with the driver's consent. If a driver initiates a grievance, hearing, lawsuit or other action as a result of a violation of these rules, the employer may release information to the decision maker.

Retention of records/reporting: MSU Human Resources Employee Relations is responsible for retaining records related to education and training. Olin Health Center is responsible for retaining records related to the collection process, driver's test results, drug testing, and reporting as required under the regulations. The SAP will retain records on her/his evaluations and the driver's compliance with her/his recommendations.

Time lost from work: Time lost from work for alcohol or controlled substances testing, including travel time, will be considered paid time, i.e., considered "on-duty" time. Time lost from work for alcohol and/or controlled substances abuse counseling and rehabilitation will be administered based on existing University policies and procedures for paid and unpaid leave (see Policy and Procedure for vacation pay, sick leave, personal leave, and disciplinary action).

Definitions:

  • Accident - an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle in which the driver of the vehicle is responsible for causing property damage, receives a citation under state or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, or contributes to an occurrence which involves physical injury and/or loss of human life.
  • Alcohol - the intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol or other low molecular weight alcohols including methyl or isopropyl alcohol.
  • Alcohol use - the consumption of any beverage, mixture, or preparation, including any medication, containing alcohol.
  • Controlled substances - refers to marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamines (including methamphetamines).
  • Driver - any person who operates a commercial motor vehicle. For the purposes of pre-employment testing, the term driver includes a person applying for a position to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
  • Medical Review Officer (MRO) - a licensed physician (Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy) responsible for receiving laboratory results generated by MSU's controlled substances testing program who has knowledge of substance abuse disorders and has appropriate medical training to interpret and evaluate an individual's confirmed positive test result together with her/his medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.
  • Refusal to submit (to an alcohol or controlled substances test) - when a driver:
    • fails to provide adequate breath for testing without a valid medical explanation after she/he has received notice of the requirement for breath testing,
      OR
    • fails to provide adequate urine for controlled substances testing without a valid medical explanation after she/he has received notice of the requirement for urine testing,
      OR
    • engages in conduct that clearly obstructs the testing process.
  • Safety sensitive function - any on-duty function as listed below:
    • all time at MSU waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by his/her department,
    • all time inspecting equipment as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), or otherwise inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle at any time,
    • all time spent at the driving controls of a commercial motor vehicle,
    • all time, other than driving time, spent on or in a commercial motor vehicle,
    • all time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in readiness to operate the vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded,
    • all time spent performing the driver requirements associated with an accident,
    • all time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled vehicle, or
    • all time spent providing a breath sample or urine specimen, including travel time to and from the collection site, in order to comply with the random, reasonable suspicion, post accident, or follow-up testing when directed by the University.
  • Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) - a licensed physician (Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy), or a licensed or certified psychologist, social worker, employee assistance professional, or addiction counselor (certified by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission) with knowledge of and clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol and controlled substances-related disorders.

Refer questions to: MSU Human Resources Employee Assistance Program (telephone 517-355-4506).


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