3.47 Alcohol- and Drug-free Workplace

A.  Purpose

To establish the guidelines for an alcohol and drug-free environment.

B.  Policy

The college is committed to providing each of its employees, students, and visitors a safe, healthy, and productive environment. In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and as a recipient of federal funding, the college prohibits the use, possession, and distribution of all federally controlled substances, including marijuana. The college maintains a drug-free environment, including continued prohibition of use, possession, cultivation, distribution and/or sale of marijuana on the college’s campuses and education centers and in the college’s workplaces. The college also controls the use of alcohol on the college’s campuses, education centers, and in the college’s workplaces, limiting it to educational purposes and approved college functions.

This policy applies to covered workers when they are on duty, representing the college, or conducting business for the college. This policy also applies to applicants for employment as set forth below.

C.  Procedures

This policy and the procedures are established to:

  • promote a healthy and safe learning environment and workplace;
  • demonstrate the commitment of the college to the provision of education and prevention services designed to help prevent illegal and improper use of alcohol, other drugs and controlled substances;
  • encourage the use support services for employees who seek or are in need of assistance with alcohol and drug abuse;
  • define expectations for conduct with respect to the illegal and improper use of alcohol, drugs and controlled substances; and
  • identify appropriate corrective actions for those who engage in illegal use or improper conduct associated with the use of alcohol, drugs and controlled substances.

Prohibited Behavior

It is a violation of this policy for covered workers to use, be under the influence of, manufacture, possess, sell, trade, purchase, dispense, distribute and/or offer for sale or distribution alcohol or illegal drugs and controlled substances and/or imitation controlled substances, including marijuana, in the workplace.

Limited exceptions for authorized and legal use of alcohol in connection with approved college programs and activities are set forth below.


The well-documented negative health effects of drug and alcohol use and abuse within and outside of the workplace include: impaired judgment and coordination; blackouts, vomiting, poisoning, overdose, damage to vital organs, and death; physical and psychological dependence; inability to learn and remember; risks associated with pregnancy; and psychological problems including depression, psychosis, and severe anxiety. Impaired judgment and loss of mental and bodily control resulting from drug and alcohol use is associated with workplace accidents and personal injuries. In addition to negatively impacting abusers, drug and alcohol abuse and dependency can result in physical harm to and otherwise have a negative impact on family, friends, the workplace, and community.

Although the college has a legal obligation to enforce these policies and maintain a safe workplace for all, the college is also concerned for the wellbeing of all employees including those who struggle with addiction. For that reason, the college encourages employees to seek help if they are concerned that they or their family members may have a drug and/or alcohol problem. Treatment for alcoholism and/or drug use may be covered by the employee benefit plan for employees. The ultimate financial responsibility for recommended treatments, however, belongs to the employee.

Employees seeking reasonable accommodations or leave related to recovering from drug or alcohol dependencies should contact the Office of Human Resources or Employee Relations Director at hr@otc.edu. All personal employee information received is confidential. Access to this information is limited to those persons whom the college determines have a legitimate need to know and to those persons whose access to such information is required for compliance with relevant laws and management policies.

Medical and Recreational Marijuana

The consumption of marijuana products, either while on duty or preceding duty, which causes the employee to be under the influence while performing work or otherwise in the workplace is prohibited.

While Amendments 2 and 3 to the Missouri Constitution allow medicinal and recreational use of cannabis, federal laws continue to classify marijuana as a controlled substance and prohibit the use, possession, cultivation, distribution and/or sale of marijuana. The college receives federal funding for financial aid, grants, and contracts and is subject to compliance with the Drug Free Communities and Schools Act and the Drug Free Workplace Act. These federal laws prohibit colleges and universities receiving federal funding from allowing any form of marijuana use or possession on their premises. As a result, the college will continue to enforce its policies, which prohibit students, employees, covered workers, and members of the general public from possessing, using or distributing marijuana in any form on all college owned or controlled property, at college sponsored or supervised activities, and at college workplaces as defined in this policy.


Workplace and/or on-campus use, possession, distribution, or sale of alcohol by covered workers is prohibited except as permitted by the college for specific college-sponsored events or functions, when the covered worker is attending functions or conferences on the college’s behalf where alcohol is served as part of a social function, when the college has authorized the use of alcohol within approved curricular programs, or in other authorized situations as determined by the college. The use of alcohol at a college- sponsored event of function must be approved by the chancellor or their designee as a part of the Common Area Use request before the use of alcohol is permitted in accordance with this policy.

When alcohol use at a college-sponsored event or function is approved by the chancellor, all covered workers, students, and visitors are expected to observe and obey all applicable laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, those which prohibit any person under the age of 21 from purchasing, attempting to purchase, possessing, or from being served any intoxicating beverage. All covered workers are expected to maintain professional conduct and be responsible when consuming alcohol.

Use of Medications While Working

The illegal or unauthorized use of prescription or over-the-counter medications is prohibited. It is a violation of this policy to intentionally misuse and/or abuse prescription or over-the-counter medications. Covered workers taking a prescribed medication must carry the medication in the container labeled by a licensed pharmacist or be prepared to produce the container on request. Appropriate corrective action will be taken if job performance deterioration and/or other accidents occur.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications are not prohibited when taken in standard dosage and/or according to a physician’s prescription. Any covered worker taking prescribed or over-the-counter medications will be responsible for consulting the prescribing physician and/or pharmacist about the medications’ effect on their fitness for duty and ability to work safely. It is the covered worker’s responsibility to appear for work fit for duty and be able to operate in a safe manner. Covered workers should promptly seek leave, disclose any work restrictions to their supervisor, and/or seek a reasonable accommodation before reporting to work under the influence.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

The college has the right to require, and may require, covered workers to undergo alcohol and drug testing when there is a reasonable suspicion that the covered worker may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The college may also require pre-employment, return-to-work and follow-up testing (drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation), and/or post-accident alcohol and/or drug testing.

Test Results, Refusal, and Interference

A covered worker who tests positive for alcohol or drugs, absent a valid medical prescription for the drug, will be immediately suspended from duty and may be subject to corrective action up to and including termination. If a covered worker tests positive for THC and presents a valid qualifying medical marijuana patient identification card, the college will evaluate the individual’s extenuating circumstance when determining disciplinary actions.

A covered worker who refuses to take a required drug and/or alcohol test as provided for in this policy will be subject to immediate corrective action up to and including termination.

A covered worker who interferes with or alters or attempts to interfere with or alter the results of a required drug test will be subject to immediate corrective action up to and including termination.


In order to promote a safe workplace, the college reserves the right to inspect an individual’s clothing and property, in accordance with applicable law, when the college believes that an individual is in possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia, or unauthorized alcohol. The college may also inspect offices of employees or other covered workers (or college owned vehicles or other college property) for evidence of drugs, drug paraphernalia, or unauthorized alcohol; offices and college owned vehicles and college property are the property of the college and employees do not have an expectation of privacy in college offices, college vehicles, or other college property. A covered worker who does not consent to and fully cooperate with such an inspection is subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.


If an individual violates this policy or federal, state or local laws regarding drugs or alcohol, the individual will be subject to immediate corrective action at the college’s discretion up to and including termination and referral to law enforcement.


To ensure that all employees are aware of this policy and the college’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program, all employees will receive a notification annually. All questions concerning this policy should be directed to the chief human resources officer.

D.   Definitions

Alcohol is defined as any food or drink containing ethanol, which is produced by fermentation of grains, fruit, or other sources, and having an alcoholic content of one-half of one percent or more by volume.

Controlled Substance includes substances considered unlawful under the schedules of the controlled substances section of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended, (P.L. 91-513; 84 Stat. 1247; 21 United States Code section 812) or Missouri law (e.g., Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 579, Controlled Substance Offenses).

Covered Workers are individuals covered by this policy and include, but are not limited to, all prospective employees, administrators, supervisors, full-time employees, part-time employees, off-site employees, third-party vendors, contractors, and any other individuals who conduct business for the college.

Drugs include substances being used in an unauthorized manner and considered unlawful under the schedules of the controlled substances section of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended, (P.L. 91-513; 84 Stat. 1247; 21 United States Code section 812) or Missouri law (e.g., Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 579, Controlled Substance Offenses).

Prospective employees are any persons who have applied for employment to the college.

Reasonable Suspicion is an objectively justifiable suspicion that is based on individualized specific facts or circumstances that would suggest to a reasonable person that an individual is under the influence or otherwise in violation of this policy.

Under the influence is when an individual has symptoms resulting from use of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs that may negatively impact the performance of the job duties or tasks or constitute a threat to health or safety of the applicant, employee, or others. Indications may include symptoms of the employee’s speech, walking, standing, physical dexterity, agility, coordination, actions, movement, demeanor, appearance,  odor, irrational or unusual behavior, negligence or carelessness in operating equipment, machinery or production or manufacturing processes, disregard for the safety of the employee or others, involvement in an accident that results in serious damage to equipment, machinery or property, disruption of a production or manufacturing process, any injury to the employee or others or other symptoms causing a reasonable suspicion of the use of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs.

Workplace is the location of an employee anytime an employee is on duty, representing the college, or conducting business for the college.

E.  Authority

This policy is maintained under the authority of the chief human resources officer.

F.  Related Policies

3.70 Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

3.81 Reporting Work-Related Injuries & Workers’ Compensation

3.42 Employee Use of College Resources and Space

3.44 Notifications of Charges, Arrests, and Convictions

5.37 Drug and Alcohol Prevention

G.   Implementation

Policy approved and adopted by the board of trustees on June 14, 2021.

Purpose, procedures, and definitions approved and adopted by the cabinet 06/07/21, and revised 09/05/23. Policy set for review 2026-2027.