Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 5: Personnel

05:04:02   Drug-Free Campus/Workplace Policy

Related Policies

TBR Policy General Policy on Alcoholic Beverages: 1.07.00.05

TBR Policy General Policy on Student Conduct & Disciplinary Sanctions: 3.02.00.01

NeSCC Policy 03:05:03 Disciplinary Offenses

NeSCC Policy 05:09:00 Northeast State Community College Employee Disciplinary Procedures

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines and standards for implementation of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.  

Drug-Free Workplace Act

Effective as of March 18, 1989, the Drug-Free Workplace Act requires employers who contract with or receive grants from federal agencies to certify that they will meet certain requirements for providing a drug-free workplace. The Act becomes applicable to Northeast State when the institution:

  1. Receives a federal contract for the procurement of property or services where the contract amount (or value of the services) is $25,000 or more, or
  2. Receives any federal grant. The Act imposes no monetary minimum on the grants to which it applies. Northeast State Community College is currently in receipt of federal grants and contracts meeting the above criteria, hence the institution is required to comply with the provisions of the Act.

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act

Effective as of October 1,1990, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act provides that in order to receive federal financial assistance of any kind, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. Each institution must have a program that, at the least, provides that all students and employees receive annually a written statement covering:

  1. Standards of conduct concerning drugs and alcohol;
  2. Legal actions;
  3. Health risks;
  4. Available counseling and treatment programs; and
  5. Disciplinary sanctions that the institution will impose on students and employees.

Every two years the institution must conduct a review of its program to determine the effectiveness, implement changes, and ensure that disciplinary sanctions are being consistently enforced. These requirements are separate and distinct from the requirements under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. The Drug-Free Workplace rules related only to employees involved in work under federal grant or contracts and cover illegal drugs only, no alcohol. The rules under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act are broader in scope, covering drugs and alcohol, students and employees. The entire institution is covered by the Act as long as an institution receives any federal funds. 

Policy

It is the policy of this institution that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, use, or abuse of alcohol and/or illicit drugs on the Northeast State Community College campus, on property owned or controlled by the College, or as a part of any activity of the College is strictly prohibited. All categories of employees and students are subject to this policy and to applicable federal, state, and local laws related to this matter. Additionally, any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary actions set forth in the applicable sections of this policy. 

Good Faith Effort

The College is responsible for making a good faith effort to establish and maintain a drug-free campus and workplace by following the steps enumerated in this policy. This effort requires the cooperation and support of each faculty member, student, and staff employee in maintaining a Drug-Free Environment at Northeast State Community College. 

Guidelines for Implementation of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and Effective Date

The effective date for implementation of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 at Northeast State Community College is March 18, 1989.

Penalty for Non-Compliance by Institution

Failure of the institution to comply with the Act may result in suspension of payments under the federal contract or grant or termination. While the Act does provide a hearing process, a final decision against the institution can make it ineligible for the award of any future contract, procurement of services, or participation in a grant program with any federal agency for up to five years.

  1. Notice to Employees: All faculty and staff employees as well as employees specifically involved in the performance of federal contracts and/or grants shall be given written notice:

    1. That compliance with the provisions of this policy and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 is a condition of employment at this institution and a condition of employment under federal contracts and grants administered by this institution.
    2. That the unlawful manufacture distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of controlled substances is prohibited on campus at Northeast State Community College and at off-campus facilities operated or occupied by entities of the College.
    3. That faculty and staff employees are required to notify the president of the College in person or in writing of any drug convictions resulting from a violation in the workplace no later than five (5) days after the conviction.
    4. In addition to the written notice to faculty and staff employees, this notice shall also be published periodically in the College media, discussed periodically at staff meetings and included in the indoctrination of all categories of new employees. Written notice shall also be given to all new employees as a part of the employment process.

  2. Definitions

    1. Controlled Substance: Controlled substances include drugs such as opium, opium derivatives, hallucinogens (like marijuana, mescaline, peyote, LSD psilocybin), cocaine, amphetamines, codeine, heroin, and morphine. This definition does not include lawfully prescribed drugs which are being taken under a physician or dentist's care. For a complete schedule of controlled substances, see Title 21, U.S. Code Annotated 812 which is available in the Library.
    2. Conviction: Conviction includes a finding of guilt, plea of nolo contendere, or imposition of a sentence by any state or federal judicial body.
    3. Workplace: Workplace for purposes of this policy is defined as the buildings and grounds encompassing the main campus of Northeast State Community College and off-campus buildings, grounds, and facilities operated or occupied by entities of the College.

  3. Drug-Free Awareness Program

    1. The College Drug-Free Awareness Program shall be established and maintained by the office of the Vice President for Institutional Excellence and Student Success. The objectives of the program will be to inform faculty and staff employees of:
    2. The dangers of drug abuse in the workplace. This will be accomplished through the use of pamphlets, brochures, discussion at staff meetings, small group discussions, video presentations, and by guest lectures. 
    3. Information about the institution’s policy of maintaining a drug-free environment. The policy will also be discussed periodically at faculty and staff meetings and will be included in the indoctrination of all categories of new employees.
    4. The penalties and sanctions that may be imposed upon faculty and staff employees for drug abuse violations will be included in the drug-free environment information programs discussed above. The types of penalties and sanctions will be enumerated in the Drug-Free Workplace Notification letters sent to each faculty and staff member in the employment of the College.
    5. The availability of drug counseling and professional drug rehabilitation programs.

  4. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Employees of the College and their dependents are eligible to participate in the State of Tennessee Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Professional counseling services for drug and alcohol related problems are available through an independent contractor. The counseling services are voluntary and strictly confidential. The services are without charge for up to five sessions for eligible employees and their immediate family members. Contact Partners for Health at 1.855.Here4TN (437.3486) or visit www.Here4TN.com.

  5. Notification to Contracting or Granting Agency: The College is responsible for making an official notification to the applicable federal contracting or granting agency within ten (10) days after receiving notice from a faculty or staff employee or otherwise of an employee's criminal drug statute conviction for conduct in the workplace.

  6. Penalties and Sanctions: Appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken in all cases in which faculty and staff employees are convicted of a drug statute violation for conduct in the workplace or otherwise violate the provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 as implemented by this policy. The circumstances surrounding the offense and the facts as determined by appropriate investigation will be fully reviewed prior to a decision on the action to be taken. Penalties and/or sanctions may range from professional counseling to termination for cause based upon the circumstances and nature of the offense; however, faculty and staff members convicted of violations of the Drug-Free Workplace Act should not expect continued employment at this institution. Penalties and/or sanctions include any one or a combination of the following:

    1. Recommended professional counseling;
    2. Letter of warning/admonition;
    3. Letter of probation;
    4. Mandatory participation in an organized drug treatment/rehabilitation program and satisfactory complete of the program;
    5. Suspension from duty;
    6. Termination in accordance with the terms of employment-at-will contract;
    7. Termination for cause; and/or
    8. Other appropriate disciplinary action.

Guidelines for Implementation of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989

  1. Background: The following guidelines are established in compliance with the Drug- Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.

  2. Effective Date: The effective date for implementation of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 at Northeast State Community College is October 11, 1990.

  3. Penalty for Non-Compliance by Institution: Failure of the institution to comply with the Act may result in the loss or suspension of funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program. While the Act does provide a hearing process, a final decision against an institution can make it ineligible for federal contracts, grants or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program for an extended period of time.

  4. Standards of Conduct: Northeast State Community College employees and students are prohibited from engaging in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, use, or being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol on the College campus, at off-campus facilities owned or controlled by the College, or as a part of college sponsored activities. All categories of employees and students are subject to this policy and to applicable federal, state, and local laws related to this matter.

  5. Legal Sanctions Under Local, State and Federal Law: Various federal, state, and local statutes make it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, sell or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver or sell, controlled substances. The penalty imposed depends upon many factors which include the type and amount of controlled substance involved, the number of prior offenses, if any, whether death or serious bodily injury resulted from the use of such substance, and whether any other crimes were committed in connection with the use of the controlled substance. Possible maximum penalties for a first-time violation include imprisonment for any period of time up to a term of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $4,000,000 for an individual, supervised release, any combination of the above, or all three. These sanctions are doubled when the offense involves either: 1) distribution or possession at or near a school or college campus, or 2) distribution to persons under 21 years of age. Repeat offenders may be punished to a greater extent as provided by statute. Further, a civil penalty of up to $10,000 may be assessed for simple possession of “personal use amounts” of certain specified substances under federal law. Under state law, the offense of possession or casual exchange is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor; If there is an exchange between a minor and an adult at least two years the minor's senior, and the adult knew that the person was a minor, the offense is classified a felony as provided in TCA § 39-17-417. (21 U.S.C. § 801, et. seq.; TCA § 39-17-417)

    It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to buy, possess, transport (unless in the course of his/her employment), or consume alcoholic beverages, wine or beer, such offenses being classified Class A misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment for not more than 11 months, 29 days, or a fine of not more than $2,500, or both. (TCA §1-3-113, TCA § 57-5-301) It is further an offense to provide alcoholic beverages to any person under the age of 21, such offense being classified a Class A misdemeanor. (TCA § 39-15-404) The offense of public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than 30 days or a fine of not more than $50, or both. (TCA § 39-17-310)

  6. Health Risks Associated with Use of Illicit Drugs and/or Abuse of Alcohol: Every drug, including alcohol, is a potential poison which may cause disability and death if it is taken incorrectly into the body, consumed in wrong amounts, or mixed indiscriminately with other drugs. Drugs cause physical and emotional dependence. Drugs and their harmful side effects can remain in the body long after use has stopped. The extent to which a drug is retained in the body depends on the drug's chemical composition, that is whether or not it is fat-soluble. Fat-soluble drugs such as marijuana, phencydidine (PCP), and lysergic acid (LSD) seek out and settle in the fatty tissues. As a result, they build up in the fatty parts of the body such as the brain and reproductive system. Such accumulations of drugs and their slow release overtime may cause delayed effects weeks, months, and even years after drug use has stopped.

    There are many health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol including organic damage; impairment of brain activity, digestion, and blood circulation; impairment of physiological processes and mental functioning; and, physical and psychological dependence. Such use during pregnancy may cause spontaneous abortion, various birth defects, or fetal alcohol syndrome. Additionally, the illicit use of drugs increases the risk of contracting hepatitis, AIDS, and other infections. If used excessively, the use of alcohol or drugs singly or in certain combinations may cause death.

  7. Drug and Alcohol Counseling: Treatment and Rehabilitation Programs

    1. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Employees of the College and their dependents are eligible to participate in the State of Tennessee Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Professional counseling services for drug and alcohol related problems are available an independent contractor. The counseling services are voluntary and strictly confidential. The services are without charge for up to five sessions for eligible employees and their immediate family members. Contact Partners for Health at 1.855.Here4TN (437.3486) or visit www.Here4TN.com.
    2. Penalties and Sanctions: Appropriate action shall be taken in all cases in which faculty members, students, or staff employees are determined to be in violation of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 as implemented by this policy.
      1. Employees: Any alleged violation of the Act as implemented by this policy by an employee of the College shall be reported to the president through appropriate administrative channels. The circumstances surrounding the offense and the facts as determined by appropriate investigation will be fully reviewed prior to a decision on the action to be taken. Penalties and/or sanctions may range from professional counseling to termination for cause based upon the circumstances and nature of the offense; however, faculty members and staff employees determined to be in violation of the provisions of this policy should not expect continued employment at this institution. Penalties and/or sanctions include any one or a combination of the following:
        • Recommended professional counseling;
        • Letter of warning/admonition;Letter of probation;
        • Mandatory participation in an organized drug treatment/rehabilitation program and satisfactory completion of the program;
        • Suspension from duty;
        • Referral for prosecution;
        • Termination in accordance with terms of employment-at-will contract;
        • Termination for cause; and/or
        • Other appropriate disciplinary action.
      2. Students: Any alleged violation of the Act as implemented by this policy by a student of the College shall be reported to the Vice President for Institutional Excellence and Student Success. The circumstances surrounding the offense and the facts as determined by appropriate investigation will be fully reviewed prior to a decision on the action to be taken. Possible disciplinary sanctions for failure to comply with the provisions of this policy may include one or more of the following:
        • Probation;
        • Mandatory participation in, and satisfactory completion of a drug/alcohol abuse program, or rehabilitation program;
        • Suspension;
        • Referral for prosecution;
        • Expulsion; and/or
        • Other appropriate disciplinary action.
      3. Notification to Employees and Students: All categories of employees and students (regardless of the length of the program of study) shall be notified in writing initially and on an annual basis of the requirements of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 as implemented by this policy. The initial notifications shall be made on or before September 4,1990.
      4. Review of Illicit Drug and Alcohol Program: A biennial review of the illicit drug and alcohol program established in accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 shall be conducted under the supervision of the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Vice President for Institutional Excellence and Student Success. The purpose of the review is to determine the effectiveness of the program, to implement changes as needed, and to ensure that the penalties and sanctions are being enforced consistently. The initial review shall be conducted in June 1992 with subsequent reviews being conducted every other year thereafter.
      5. Drug Prevention Program Certification: This certification, as required by the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, must be submitted to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education in order for the institution to be eligible to receive funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program after October 1, 1990. This one-time certification shall be signed by the president of the College and submitted no later than September 4, 1990. 

General Policy on Alcoholic Beverages

Purpose

The purpose of TBR Policy 1.07.00.05 is to establish system-wide polices on the possession, consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages on property owned or controlled by the Tennessee Board of Regents. This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff and visitors at all TBR Colleges, including Northeast State Community College.

Definition

Alcoholic Beverage means and includes intoxicating liquors, wine and beer as defined by TCA § 57-3-101 and TCA § 57-5-101.

General Prohibition

The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on property owned or controlled by the college is prohibited except as provided in this policy. Faculty, staff, students or visitors who are at least twenty-one years of age may possess unopened containers of alcoholic beverages within their personal vehicles, provided that they may not open the containers or consume the contents while on property owned or controlled by the college.

Serving Alcoholic Beverages at Special Events

The President of each college is authorized to approve the serving and consumption of alcoholic beverages at a function or event held on college property.

  1. The event may not take place in classrooms; labs; faculty or administrative offices; student dining halls; student gathering areas; outdoor public areas, unless access to the area is restricted during the event; or athletic facilities, including stadiums, gymnasiums, playing fields, training rooms or locker rooms.
  2. The approval must be given in writing and must designate the sponsor of the event, the specific location of the event, the date and time of the event and the hours during which the alcoholic beverages will be served.
  3. Students under the age of twenty-one may attend an event at which alcoholic beverages will be served but must not be served or consume alcoholic beverages at the event.
  4. It is the responsibility of the sponsor of the event to determine if guests who are served alcoholic beverages are at least twenty-one years of age.
  5. If the sponsor is a third party, they must agree to indemnify the college from all liability arising from the service of alcohol at the event and provide proof of adequate general liability insurance.

Sale of Alcoholic Beverages at Special Events

Subject to the provisions of section II, above, the President of each college may approve the sale of alcoholic beverages at a function or event held on college property, consistent with state and local law. The sponsor of the event is responsible for insuring compliance with the applicable laws and providing documentation of that compliance to the college prior to approval of the sale of alcoholic beverages at the event.

Expenditure of State Funds for Alcoholic Beverages

The expenditure of state funds for the purchase of alcoholic beverages is absolutely prohibited. “State funds” includes funds derived from state taxes, tuition, or student fees that are appropriated or re-appropriated by the general assembly. If alcoholic beverages are served at a college-sponsored event, the cost of alcoholic beverages, including tax, must always be separately identifiable on the receipts and supporting documentation and the source of the funds for the purchase must be identified.

Culinary Arts Programs

The use of alcoholic beverages as part of the curriculum in Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts and similar academic courses where the beverages are used solely in the cooking process or in the wine tasting process that is consistent with standard culinary practices is permitted, however, students who are not twenty-one shall not participate in wine tastings.

Sale of Alcoholic Beverages by Lessees

If property owned by the Tennessee Board of Regents is leased to a third party, the lease may allow for sale of alcoholic beverages on the property, subject to the applicable state and local laws. The lease must be for a period of at least twelve months; must require the lessor to obtain the lessor’s prior approval of the sale of alcoholic beverages and provide for immediate termination of the lease if violations of the applicable state and local laws occur.



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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Human Resources

Revision History: May 2004; Nov. 2005; July 2009; March 2013; Revised Oct. 2019