7240 - Alcohol-Free and Drug-Free Workplace ## Alcohol-Free ## And Drug-Free Workplace

The Avery County Board of Education recognizes that reducing drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace improves the safety, health, and productivity of employees. It is the policy of the board that a drug-free and alcohol-free workplace must be maintained.

A. Prohibited Activities

The board prohibits employees from engaging in the unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, anabolic steroid, alcohol, stimulants, synthetic cannabinoids, counterfeit substance, or any other controlled substance as defined in (1) Schedules I through VI of the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act or in (2) Schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and further defined by regulation at 21 C.F.R. 1300.01 through 1300.04 and 21 C.F.R. 1308.11 through 1308.15. Employees must not be under the influence of alcohol or be impaired by the excessive use of prescription or nonprescription drugs at any time this policy is applicable. This policy is not violated by an individual’s proper use of a drug lawfully prescribed for that individual by a licensed health-care provider.

B. Applicability

This policy governs each employee before, during and after school hours while the employee is on any property owned or leased by the board: at any time during which the employee is acting in the course and scope of his or her employment with the board; and at any time that the employee’s violation of this policy has a direct and adverse effect upon his or her job performance. This policy does not apply to an employee’s consumption of alcoholic beverages that are served at a reception or other similar function that occurs outside the regular workday and that the employee is authorized or required to attend as a part of his or her employment duties.

Independent contractors, volunteers, and visitors are subject to all requirements of this policy while on school property or at a school-sponsored event.

C. Reasonable Suspicion to Search

An employee may be subjected to a search of his or her person or belongings or of property under the employee’s control if there is reasonable suspicion that the employee has violated this policy. An employee also ay be required to submit to a drug or alcohol test when there is reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use by the employee in violation of this policy. Reasonable suspicion shall be based on specific, contemporaneous observations concerning the physical, behavioral,

speech, and/or performance indicators of drug or alcohol use. The observations must be made by a supervisor or other school system official with training or experience in such indicators.

All drug and alcohol testing will be done with procedures that ensure the confidentiality and privacy interests of the employee and in accordance with law. Employees who refuse to submit to a search or a test to detect alcohol or drug use after reasonable suspicion is established may be suspended immediately pending consideration of a decision to terminate employment.

In addition, any employee, volunteer, or independent contractor who operate a commercial motor vehicle or performs other safety-sensitive functions in the course of duties for the board may be subject to drug and alcohol testing in accordance with policy 7241, Drug and Alcohol Testing of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators.

The board will cover the cost of any required employee testing.

D. Duty to Report

An employee must notify his or her supervisor and the director of human resources in writing of any conviction under any criminal drug statute for a violation occurring within the scope of Section B of this policy. Notification must be given no later than the next scheduled business day after such conviction and before reporting to work, in accordance with policy 7300, Staff Responsibilities. Within 10 days of receiving a notice of conviction by an employee whose position is funded in an part by a federal grant, the director of human resources of designee shall notify the funding agency of the conviction. “Conviction” as used in this policy includes the entry in a court of law or military tribunal of: (1) a plea of guilty, nolo contendere, no contest, or the equivalent; (2) a verdict or finding of guilty; or (3) a prayer for judgment continued (“PJC”) or a deferred prosecution.


Violation of this policy will subject an individual to disciplinary action by the board that could result in non-renewal or termination of employment with the school system or the requirement that the employee participate satisfactorily in a drug or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved by the board or federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency. Information concerning available counseling, rehabilitation, and re-entry programs will be provided to employees. Any illegal drug activity will be reported to law enforcement authorities.

All employees shall receive a copy of this policy.

Legal References: 21 U.S.C. § 812; 41 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.; 21 C.F.R. § 1300.01-.04 and 1308.11-1308.15; G.S. 20-138.2B; 90-89 to-94; 115C-36 O’Connor v. Ortega; 480 U.S. 709 (1987)

Cross References: Drug and Alcohol Testing of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators (policy 7241), Staff Responsibilities (policy 7300)

Adopted: 1990-10-01 ##

Revised: 1993-09-07 2008-08-04 2018-03-13