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San Mateo Un HSD |  AR  4020  Personnel

Drug & Alcohol-Free Workspace   

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Employees must report to work in a condition fit to perform job duties and not under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or illegal drugs. Employees must comply with all SMUHSD policies, rules and regulations governing substance abuse.

A supervisor who observes an employee or receives a report that an employee is under the influence of a drug and/or alcohol, must confirm the observations or report by establishing that there is reasonable cause for action which is manifested in the employee's behavior and/or job performance.

The supervisor is expected to follow the procedures outlined in the SMUHSD Substance Abuse Observation Checklist below.

Employees will be requested to consent to Substance Abuse Screening if there is reasonable suspicion that their ability to perform work safely or effectively may be impaired or that their conduct is adversely affecting or threatening to adversely affect students and employees, visitors, or other interests of SMUHSD. Refusing to consent to a Substance Abuse Screening, failing to report to the designated area for screening, or attempting to alter or tamper with the specimen will be interpreted as a failed screening and the employee may be placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation and/or discipline (up to and including termination) in accordance with applicable SMUHSD personnel policies and collective bargaining agreements.

If the employee refuses to be tested after the supervisor has determined the need by the process outlined in the checklist, below, the employee should be relieved from work that day. Safe arrangements for transportation home should be solidified. The employee should be informed that after further investigation, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken, up to and including termination.

Pending return of test results, the employee should be relieved from work and informed that appropriate disciplinary action may be taken once the test results are available, up to and including termination. At this point, the Associate Superintendent Human Resources and Administrative Services or designee will assume responsibility for the processing of the incident.

Management and supervisors are to restrict conversations concerning possible violations of this policy to those persons who are participating in questioning, evaluation, investigation or disciplinary action and who have a need to know about the details of the drug/alcohol investigation. This restriction includes not mentioning the name of the employee or employees suspected of violating this policy. Management, supervisors and investigators are to instruct other employees, except as stated above, not to talk about such possible violations.

Employees may request a leave of absence to voluntarily enter an appropriate rehabilitation program. Granting or not granting such a leave is at the sole, non-grievable discretion of the Board of Trustees and is subject to the specific circumstances of each request and applicable personnel policies or collective bargaining agreements. An employee's voluntary disclosure of his or her use of drugs or alcohol will be treated confidentially in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and District policy.

Checklist: Substance Abuse Observation

If a supervisor has a reason to believe an employee is under the influence of a drug and/or alcohol, the following steps should be followed:

I. Observe

* Observe the employee's behavior, especially at high risk times such as after lunch or breaks.

* Observations must be based upon specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the employee's appearance, behavior, speech, or body orders.

II. Document

* Document observations factually.

* Relate performance or behavioral problems, as much as possible, to the employee's inability to perform his or her work duties satisfactorily.

III. Intervene

* Notify Human Resources of the suspicions observations/report if possible.

* Corroborate the observation with another supervisor, manager, Administration, or Human Resources.

* Escort the employee personally to a private area. Have another supervisor or Human Resources representative present as a witness, if possible.

* Inform the employee of the reasons for suspecting drug and/or alcohol policy violations. Review the work performance or behavior and indicate the concerns. Ask the employee to respond.

* The employee's response will help determine whether the circumstances indicate that the employee has either consumed drugs or alcohol on SMUHSD premises or reported to work under the influence of either.

* If the conclusion is that the employee does not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the employee is able to perform regular work duties, the employee should return to the work location and resume work.

* If the conclusion is that the employee may be under the influence or has consumed drugs or alcohol on SMUHSD premises, report this to Human Resources. Advise the employee that Drug & Alcohol-Free Workplace Policy may have been violated and the employee is requested to consent to a Substance Abuse Screening. Inform the employee that refusal to consent to the screening may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

* If the employee appears to be impaired and does not agree to a Substance Abuse Screening, do not permit the employee to leave the premises or to drive alone. If the employee refuses assistance, make sure the witnessing supervisor can verify that the employee refused such assistance. If the employee cannot control his/her actions, call police immediately to inform them of the employee's condition and refusal of assistance.

* If the employee agrees to a Substance Abuse Screening convey the consequences to the employee if the Substance Abuse Screening result is positive, e.g., disciplinary action up to and including termination.

* Place the employee on administrative leave until the results of the Screening are available.

* Call the Concentra Urgent Care and inform them that an employee is being referred for Evaluation and/or Substance Abuse Screening. Escort the employee immediately to the Concentra Urgent Care along with documentation describing the behavior or concern. Alternatively, contact the Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Administrative Services or designee who will arrange for transportation.

* If appropriate, assist the employee in making arrangements to be taken home after Screening is completed.

Observation and Warning Signs

A strong pattern of either poor performance or poor work habits is cause for concern.

Watery eyes and sniffles may be the sign of a cold, but when coupled with rapid and wide mood swings, dilated pupils, increased startle reactions and rambling speech, is cause for concern.

Changes in behavior are cause for concern. If a person goes from friendly and outgoing to very withdrawn, or clean and neat to disheveled - along with other signs - close supervisory attention is advisable.

Absenteeism is a significant supervisory problem, but in the absence of other signs may not warrant a test. However, absenteeism along with increased mistakes, mood swings, signs of drowsiness, and slurred speech, is cause for concern.

Behavior/Physical Signs

* Bloodshot eyes

* Pupils constricted or dilated

* Inappropriate shivering

* Tremors

* White powder around nose

* Smell of alcohol or burning leaves

* Drowsiness/sleepiness

* Slurred speech or speech that doesn't make sense

* Lack of coordination in walking; staggering, weaving

* Unexplained change in physical appearance or dress - usually neat person becomes unkempt

* Wide swings in mood or attitude - very happy to very sad; cooperative to defiant and surly


approved: February 10, 2010 San Mateo, California

revised: January 27, 2015