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Policies

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Effective Date Jan 3, 2017

Applicable Employee Classes:

All Florida Tech Employees and Students

Revised Date:

September 2019

Approved by:

Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President

5.7 Drug and Alcohol Policy

Policy

Florida Institute of Technology is committed to protecting the safety, health and wellbeing of all students and employees. Alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to the health and safety of students and employees and to the security of our equipment and facilities.  For these reasons, the university is committed to the elimination of illegal drug and/or alcohol use and abuse in the workplace.  This policy outlines the practice and procedure designed to correct instances of identified alcohol and/or illegal drug use in the workplace. 

Definition

For the purposes of this policy, the term “illegal drug” shall mean Amphetamines, LSD, Cocaine, Marijuana, Opiates, and any other drugs or substances deemed unlawful under applicable state or federal law. 

In accordance with the provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, all students and employees of Florida Institute of Technology must be advised of their required compliance as a condition for them to be engaged in employment or in the performance of any contract or grant or pursuit of a degree. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires recipients of federal grants and certain federal contracts to certify that they will provide a drug-free workplace and establish an ongoing drug-free awareness program.

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 require employers receiving federal financial assistance to adopt and implement a program for students and employees to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol. Students and employees must receive information annually regarding standards of conduct, a description of applicable legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol, a description of health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol, a description of available drug or alcohol counseling or treatment programs that are available, and a statement of the disciplinary sanctions that the university will impose for a violations of the standards set forth of conduct.

Drug-Free Workplace Program

Florida Institute of Technology has established a drug-free awareness program to inform students and employees about:

  1. The dangers of drug abuse in the workplace, communicated through the provision of educational literature and materials;
  2. The university’s policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace, communicated through distribution of this policy and other related statements to all students and employees;
  3. The availability of drug counseling and rehabilitation programs, provided through confidential counseling within the university’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS),
  4. The university’s intention that penalties will be imposed upon students and employees for violations of the prohibitions concerning involvement with unlawful drugs.

Each student and employee will be given an electronic copy of the Drug and Alcohol Policy annually. The policy will also be clearly displayed on the website of the Office of Human Resources. The Office of Human Resources will ensure notification of this policy to all employees on an annual basis. The Dean of Students will ensure notification to all students.

Work Rules

Whenever employees are working, are operating any university vehicle, are present on university premises, or are conducting university related work off-site, or as part of any university activity they are prohibited from:

  • using, possessing, buying, selling, manufacturing or distributing, dispensing illegal drugs or drugs not lawfully prescribed for the individual (to include possession of drug paraphernalia);
  • being under the influence of alcohol or an illegal drug as defined in this policy, and
  • possessing or consuming alcohol. 

Reporting for work after a meal or other break period under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs is also prohibited.

The university may occasionally sponsor an event or permit employees to attend a university-related function, at which alcohol is served.  Although employees are not prohibited from drinking at such events, they are expected to comport themselves professionally and must maintain compliance with all university rules and regulations at all times.  Under no circumstances should an employee drive home from such an event if he or she is impaired.

The presence of any detectable amount of any illegal drug or illegal controlled substance in an employee’s body system while performing university business or while in a university facility is prohibited.

Procedure 

A student or employee may be required to submit to an alcohol/drug test if reasonable suspicion exists to believe that they are under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. An employee will be immediately dismissed should they be directed to submit to such a test and refuse or fail to report to the testing facility within the required time allowed. Students and employees who test positive for alcohol or illegal drugs may be referred to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for professional assistance. Employees that refuse such assistance or who fail to follow the treatment outlined for their recovery are subject to dismissal. Students who are directed to submit to such test and refuse or fail to do so when asked are subject to suspension from the university.

Employees who are required to drive university vehicles as an essential job function must notify the Associate Vice President of Human Resources no later than five business days after any conviction for a criminal alcohol driving offense. 

Employees should notify their supervisor when they are under medically prescribed treatment with a controlled substance that may limit their ability to perform their job. Verification of required medication may be requested by the Office of Human Resources. Failure to provide requested verification may subject the employee to dismissal. If the use of a medication could compromise the safety of the employee, co-workers, or the public, it is the employee’s responsibility to use appropriate personnel procedures (call in sick, use leave, request change of duty, notify supervisor, notify the Office of Human Resources) to avoid unsafe workplace practices.

All applicants for employment and applicants for admission to the university may be tested, at the university’s discretion, for the presence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs. An applicant who refuses or fails to take the required test, or who tests positive for the presence of alcohol and or/ illegal drugs, will be disqualified from further consideration. 

Employees should report to work fit for duty and free of any adverse effects of illegal drugs or alcohol. This policy does not prohibit employees from the lawful and appropriate use and possession of prescribed medications during work hours. Employees must, however, consult with their doctors about the medications’ effect on their fitness for duty and ability to work safely, and the employee must promptly disclose any work restrictions to Human Resources.  Employees should not, however, disclose underlying medical conditions warranting the prescribed medications.

University Disciplinary Procedures/Sanctions

Any student or employee who violates the alcohol or drug policy is subject to the university’s disciplinary procedures up to and including dismissal and/or referral for prosecution and/or may be required to participate satisfactorily in a drug and/or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

Violations of university policy by students are addressed through the Student Code of Conduct.

Alcohol Policy-Student Handbook

Drug Policy-Student Handbook

When a student is found responsible for violating university policies, the following actions may be taken:

  1. Disciplinary Hold—A change in student status that may preclude the student from attendance, registering, altering an academic schedule, receiving transcripts or graduating.
  2. Fines—A mandatory restitution and/or fines may be levied for any infraction.
  3. Disciplinary Warning—Issued to indicate that behavior is in violation of university regulations and that continued misconduct or repetition of the behavior may bring more serious consequences.
  4. Alternative Action—Alternative action may be required as part of a penalty and includes, but is not limited to, sanction in abeyance, educational programming and training, counseling assessment, restriction or loss of privileges, restitution, apology, residential relocation and/or community service. Community service will be unpaid and benefit a charitable or nonprofit organization, including Florida Tech.
  5. Removal from University Housing—A student’s housing contract is voided, and he/she is required to vacate university residential facilities permanently or for a specified period of time. The student receives no refund of housing charges and forfeits the housing deposit.
  6. Disciplinary Probation—A serious warning that defines a situation where further disciplinary action may result in either suspension or expulsion from the university.
  7. Disciplinary Suspension—Separation from Florida Tech for a specified period of time and requires leaving the university. Return to campus may occur only with prior notification and approval of the Dean of Students.
  8. Expulsion—Permanent separation from the university without opportunity for readmission at anytime and required to leave the university within the time determined and cannot be on university property without the prior notification and permission of the Dean of Students.

Violations of university policy by employees are addressed through the Disciplinary Policy.

When an employee is found responsible for violating university policies, the following actions may be taken: 

  1. Mandatory referral to the Employee Assistance Program or requirement to complete a rehabilitation program
  2. Disciplinary Warning
  3. Suspension
  4. Termination 

Crimes Involving Drugs

The university does not desire to intrude into the private lives of its employees, but recognizes that employee’s off-the-job involvement with drugs may have an impact on the workplace. Therefore, the university reserves the right to take appropriate disciplinary action for drug usage/sale/distribution while off university property. All employees who are convicted of, plead guilty or nolo contendre to, or are sentenced for a crime involving an illegal drug are required to report the conviction, plea or sentence to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources within five days.  Failure to comply may result in discharge.

In addition, any employee engaged in the performance of a federal grant or contract will, as a condition of employment, notify his or her supervisor no later than five (5) days after any conviction under a criminal drug statute for a violation that occurred in the workplace. When a supervisor is notified by an employee of such a conviction, he or she shall immediately notify the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and the Vice President of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will notify the appropriate federal agency within ten (10) days of receiving notice of such conviction.

Legal sanctions

Pursuant to State, Federal, and Local Law, it is unlawful for any person to sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, or use a controlled substance. Any university employee or student who violates the prohibitions under this policy or who is convicted under a criminal drug statute for a violation whether occurring in the workplace or outside the workplace will be subject to the university’s disciplinary procedures up to and including dismissal and/or referral for prosecution.  

The following summarizes some of the Florida state laws relating to alcohol:

  • It is unlawful to sell, give, serve, or permit to be served alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 years of age or to permit a person under 21 years of age to consume such beverages on the licensed premises. Florida Statute 562.11
  • It is unlawful for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage or consume an alcoholic beverage while operating a vehicle in the state or while a passenger in or on a vehicle being operated in the state. Florida Statute 316.1936
  • It is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 who has a blood-alcohol level of 0.02 or higher to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Florida Statute 322.2616

Brevard County Ordinances- Alcoholic Beverages

City of Melbourne Ordinances-Alcoholic Beverages

Florida Statute 562.111 Possession of Alcoholic Beverages

Assistance

The university recognizes that alcohol and drug abuse and addiction are treatable, and that early intervention and support improve the success of rehabilitation. To support students and employees, the university:

1. Encourages students and employees to seek help if they are concerned that they may have a drug and/or alcohol problem.

2. Encourages students and employees to utilize the services of qualified professionals in the community to access and identify appropriate sources of help.

3. Offers employees (benefit eligible) assistance with alcohol and drug problems through the Employee Assistance Program. 1-877-398-5816. www.resourcesforliving.com.

4. Provides students a variety of confidential high-quality mental health and wellness services through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to assist students with their overall health. 321- 674-8050.  www.fit.edu/counseling-and-psychological-services/

5. Offers student services through the Holzer Health Center. 321-674-8078. https://www.fit.edu/health/.

Florida Tech Resources:

Marijuana    https://interwork.sdsu.edu/echeckup/usa/mj/coll/index.php?id=FIT&hfs=false

Alcohol https://interwork.sdsu.edu/echeckup/usa/alc/coll/index.php?id=FIT&hfs=false

Additional Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/

Alcoholics Anonymous    http://www.aa.org/

Brevard Intergroup          www.aaspacecoast.org  24-hour hotline 321-724-2247

Al-Anon Gamily Groups  https://al-anon.org/

Narcotics Anonymous     https://www.na.org/

SMART Recovery              https://www.smartrecovery.org/