562R - Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace

    1. Regulations
      All employees are expected to adhere to the following regulations adopted to implement the School Board’s Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Policy:
      1. In furtherance of the commitment of Frederick County Public Schools to a safe workplace and safe learning environment with a workforce free of alcohol or drugs that may impair judgment and job performance and result in injury to self or others, all employees are absolutely prohibited from manufacturing, selling, distributing, dispensing, possessing, using, or being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol in the workplace. For purposes of the policy and this regulation, "illegal drugs" shall mean any controlled substance or imitation controlled substance, narcotics, illegal stimulants or steroids, as well as any other substance whose unauthorized manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, consumption, use or sale is prohibited by federal or state law. For purposes of the policy and this regulation, "workplace" shall mean the performance of duties during working hours or while on school board property, or when employees are performing assigned duties or assisting with student activities, whether or not the assignments take place on school board property or during usual working hours. Violation of the Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Policy and/or this regulation will subject an employee to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

      2. Upon reasonable suspicion that a particular employee is in violation of the Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Policy and/or this regulation, the Superintendent, or his designees, may require the employee to report to a testing agency to be tested for the use of illegal drugs or alcohol. For purposes of the policy and this regulation, “reasonable suspicion” shall mean a belief that an employee is using or is under the influence of an illegal drug or alcohol, based on specific, contemporaneous, direct or reported observations, or objective facts and rational inferences that may be drawn from such facts. A factual foundation for a reasonable suspicion may include, but is not limited to, observation of the employee’s appearance, behavior or performance, such as bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, staggering, odor of alcohol, erratic behavior or work performance, or other behavior uncharacteristic of the person, accidents in the workplace, agitation, explosiveness, altercations or violence, excessive absenteeism and tardiness patterns, lethargy, or apparent consumption of alcohol or controlled substances.

        An administrator/supervisor will make and document the determination that a reasonable suspicion exists to require an employee to undergo a test for illegal drugs or alcohol as defined under this policy and regulation. Co-workers or other individuals may alert the administrator/supervisor to concerns regarding an employee’s appearance, behavior, or job performance. An administrator/supervisor will notify the Assistant Superintendent for Administration, or his/her designee, of the reasonable suspicion and its documentation.

        The Assistant Superintendent for Administration, or his/her designee, will review the basis for the reasonable suspicion before approving the testing.

        An administrator/supervisor will accompany the employee to the designated agency for testing. The employee may be suspended with pay or otherwise relieved of his/her duties while awaiting the results of the testing.

        Test results and records of the basis for testing will be considered confidential and will be disclosed to the employee and to FCPS supervisors/administrators with a legitimate need to know. Beyond this group, such records will be disclosed only with the employee’s written consent or as otherwise authorized or required by law.

        No employee shall fail or refuse to present himself/herself for testing in a timely manner, or otherwise fail to cooperate in the testing. The alteration or dilution of a specimen during the testing procedure and caused by the employee will be deemed refusal of testing. An employee who refuses testing will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination. Negative test results will not preclude employee discipline for violations of FCPS policy, inappropriate workplace behavior, chronic absenteeism or patterns of absence/tardiness, or other performance concerns.

      3. All bus drivers, and other FCPS employees required by federal and/or state law to hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), are further required to comply with all conduct and drug/alcohol testing requirements of the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, implementing Department of Transportation Regulations, as well as Virginia Board of Education requirements for such safety-sensitive positions. See School Board Policy 566 P and Regulation 566 R.

      4. Any employee convicted under a federal, state or local criminal statute for a violation of law occurring in the workplace involving an illegal drug must notify the Assistant Superintendent for Administration or Director of Human Resources of the conviction no later than five (5) days after such conviction. This rule also covers pleas of guilty or pleas essentially equivalent to no contest. Failure to provide such timely notification will result in discipline up to and including termination of employment. Frederick County Public Schools will take appropriate action as required by the Drug-Free Workplace Act following notice of such conviction.

    2. Employee Assistance Program
      Frederick County Public Schools recognizes diagnosed alcohol and drug dependencies as illnesses and community health problems. Early recognition and treatment are essential to successful rehabilitation. As such, employees are encouraged to utilize the resources available through the Employee Assistance Program included as part of the school division’s medical plan. Employees who voluntarily self identify and undergo treatment will not be disciplined as a result of their disclosure of prior alcohol or drug abuse, and treatment information will be handled confidentially in accordance with applicable law.

      Employees required to submit to a “reasonable suspicion” test will not be considered to have voluntarily self identified.

    3. Special Requirement
      As a condition of employment, employees are required to acknowledge that they are aware of the Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Policy and these regulations and the implications of a failure to comply with any part. Acknowledgement may be made by signature on the designated form in this regulation or electronically through completion of online training provided by Frederick County Public Schools.


    Cross Reference(s):
    Regulation 562R - Appendix: Acknowledgement Form for Employees Amended: April 19, 2005


    Amended: May 18, 2010
    Amended: July 13, 2016
    Amended: July 2, 2018
    Amended: September 12, 2018