A Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace Policy for Nonprofits

While there is no one model drug and alcohol free workplace program that is right for all workplaces, there are standard elements of such a program that should be included at your agency. Effective programs typically contain the following elements:

  • a written policy in the employee handbook
  • supervisor training on the policy and in alcohol and drug use detection
  • employee education and awareness of the policy
  • employee assistance to provide help to those seeking treatment

Remember that certain employers, by law, are required to adopt specific policies on this issue. If you have Department of Transportation-regulated commercial drivers, those employees are subject to the drug and alcohol testing mandated by federal law. Agencies that are federal contractors or grantees are required to comply with the Drug Free Workplace Act. However, the following policy could be used as a starting point for your agency to consider if you currently do not have any policy. This policy does not include drug or alcohol testing. Before adopting a drug and alcohol policy, especially one that includes testing, you should consult with human resources consultant or legal counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.

Sample Policy (insert the name of your nonprofit in the blank spaces)

Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace
______________prohibits the possession, sale, consumption, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs by employees while in the office, during working hours outside the office, or while on agency business, or in an agency vehicle. Any employee found possessing, selling, consuming, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages while on duty will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

Occasional exceptions to this policy against the consumption of alcoholic beverages may be made at ___________'s sole discretion for small quantities of such beverages reasonable under the circumstances, usually wine or beer, which may be available at office parties or ___________'s events. At such parties and events, all personnel are expected to exercise good judgment and moderation. In no event may any underage individual consume alcohol at any ___________ event, and all personnel are expected to comply fully with all laws (including laws prohibiting the operation of motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol), and to take safety precautions including arranging for a designated sober driver.

Any employee who is using prescription or over-the-counter drugs that may impair the employee's ability to safely perform the job, or affect the safety or well being of others, must notify a supervisor of such use immediately before starting or resuming work while under the influence of such prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

If you have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol and wish to undertake rehabilitation, you can request an unpaid leave of absence for this purpose. It is your responsibility to seek help before the problem adversely affects your work performance or results in a violation of this policy. If you need assistance in seeking this help, you may talk to the [INSERT POSITION OF STAFF MEMBER, EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM or OTHER APPROPRIATE PERSON/ENTITY]. No one will be discriminated against for undertaking rehabilitation.

For further information

The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) is a toll-free service funded by the federal government. NCADI's information specialists will help you find information on all aspects of substance abuse from videos and prevention materials, to specific program descriptions, resources in your state, and the latest research results. Many publications and educational materials are available free from NCADI.
http://store.samhsa.gov/home or tel. 1-800-729-6686

The Drug Free Workplace Hotline is a toll-free service funded by the federal government to assist business, industry, and unions on the development and implementation of comprehensive drug-free workplace programs, tel. 1-800-843-4971

See also:

An Alcohol Problem Holds the Bookkeeping Hostage

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