4-17: Drug-Free Workplace and Campus Policy

Policy Overview

Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College) is committed to providing a safe work environment for its employees and students. In support of this commitment, the College maintains a drug-free workplace.

Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to all employees of the College.

Policy Statement

Substance abuse in the workplace or while on College business or working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited and may result in discipline. Discipline imposed will depend on the severity of the violation and circumstances of the situation.  If appropriate, the issue will be reported to local, state and/or federal law enforcement authorities.  SFCC prohibits the possession, use, dispensing, distribution and manufacture of any illegal substance both on campus and at any college-hosted function held off campus property.  The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or unlawful use of a controlled substance or alcohol on SFCC property or as a part of any of its activities by any SFCC employee is strictly prohibited. (The President may make an exception to allow alcohol at a college function by granting prior written consent.  All laws relating to the sale, purchase and distribution of alcohol must be observed, including age limits.) SFCC encourages employees with substance-abuse problems to pursue treatment and rehabilitation. To help overcome substance dependency or addiction, the College encourages counseling and appropriate community referrals for an employee who voluntarily seeks help.


  1. Substance abuse Use of controlled substances as identified in Schedules I through V of the Controlled Substances Act of the United States Code (Title XXI, Chapter 13), where the use is not authorized by law or a valid doctor's prescription. For purposes of this policy, substance abuse also includes the use of alcohol while on working status or on work premises (except as specifically authorized by the College President). An employee is considered to be on working status during hours they are being paid to work and is not on leave, regardless of whether the employee is on or off campus.
  2. Under the influence A blood alcohol level beyond the level permissible under New Mexico state law for operating a motor vehicle.

Policy Process


1. All SFCC employees have the following responsibilities with respect to substance abuse and the use of medications:

a. Each employee is responsible for their fitness for duty and for avoiding activities and behavior that could compromise their own safety or the safety of others.
b. Employees are expected to understand the implications and possible effects and side effects of legal, prescription and non-prescription medication and to take appropriate steps to ensure that they are fit to perform their assigned tasks and responsibilities while under the influence of legal medications.
c. Employees are strictly prohibited from using illegal substances or using legal substances in a manner inconsistent with the law or responsible use while at work or while in working status. They are also prohibited from working while in any way under the influence of an illegal substance. Nor may they work while using a legal substance that renders the employee unable to perform their job-related duties task safely and competently.
d. Employees are responsible for working with their physician and, as appropriate, their supervisor to ensure that the legal use of prescription medication can be done in a manner that will not jeopardize the safety of the employee or of others in the workplace.
e. Employees are responsible for ensuring that they are capable of fully and alertly performing the full range of their assigned duties at all times while in working status. For example, the legal use of alcohol off-site and during off-work hours may still constitute substance abuse for purposes of this policy, if the employee reports to work while still impaired by the adverse effects of alcohol consumption.
f. Employees are strictly prohibited from possessing illegal substances or any such paraphernalia in the workplace or from engaging in the manufacture or distribution of any illegal substance while at work or on working time.
g. The unauthorized possession or consumption of alcohol in the workplace or while on work status is strictly prohibited, and employees who consume alcohol off-site and during off-work hours may not report to work under the influence of alcohol.
h. Employees are strictly prohibited from operating a motor vehicle or any other form of heavy or dangerous equipment while under the influence of alcohol, any prohibited substance, or any legal substance with side effects that reduce the employee’s ability to operate the equipment with optimal safety.

2. Reporting Legal Drug Use
An employee who has a need to use prescription or non-prescription medication that the employee believes could impact their ability to safely perform the full range of their assigned job responsibilities should advise their supervisor of the need for temporary workplace adjustments. For example, an employee may request that they not be required to operate certain equipment or perform certain tasks while using the medication. The employee need not disclose the nature of the illness or disability nor the type of medication involved. When possible and appropriate, the employee may request that their physician communicate any limitations appropriate for the employee, in light of the medication involved.

3. Evaluation by the College
If there is a reasonable concern that an employee may be under the influence of an illegal substance or alcohol, or if, based on observed behaviors, there is any concern that the employee may for any reason be unable to perform their job responsibilities safely, a supervisor shall consult with the Office of Human Resources, who may require the employee to provide medical approval for performing the job in the observed condition. The employee will not be required to reveal an underlying medical condition, but may be required to provide a doctor’s statement that he or she can perform the job safely, in light of the job requirements of the specific position.

4. Temporary Adjustments to Job Requirements
The College may make temporary adjustments to an employee’s job duties when conditions warrant based on a need arising from the legal use of medication.

5. Obligation to Report Possible Substance Abuse
An employee who observes another employee who appears to be under the influence of a prohibited substance, or whose behavior and job performance appear to be adversely affected for any reason, should report the situation immediately to their supervisor or to the Campus Safety and Security Office and the Office of Human Resources.


  1. If a supervisor observes behavior possibly associated with substance abuse, the supervisor should coordinate an appropriate response through the Office of Human Resources.
  2. In acute or emergency situations, the supervisor should be prepared to contact appropriate authorities, including Campus Safety and Security, local law enforcement, and/or medical emergency personnel.
  3. In acute situations, the supervisor should immediately remove the employee from the workplace using emergency leave, and coordinate with Campus Safety and Security and the Office of Human Resources.
  4. If the supervisor observes chronic performance or behavior problems typically associated with substance abuse, such as tardiness, absence patterns, or other physical indicators, the supervisor should discuss the performance issue with the employee. In no case should the supervisor attempt to diagnose the problem as automatically linked to substance abuse, as the problem may stem from other sources.
  5. Emergency Removal from the Workplace

a. A supervisor may remove an employee from the workplace on an emergency basis pending the resolution of the concern. See the emergency leave provisions in the Employee Corrective Action and Employee Discipline Policy 4-2 for detailed procedures.


An employee has a reasonable expectation that he or she need not reveal the nature of any medical condition or any prescription medication used for the treatment of a medical condition. When either the College or the employee believes that temporary adjustments to the employee’s job duties are appropriate based on a medical condition or prescription drug use, the employee and the College will strictly limit the conversation to the nature of the limitations created by the condition or the drug use and will not discuss any information relating to the condition or the medication itself.
College-owned space is subject to search for prohibited substances at any time, with or without warning. An employee does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their office or other workspace.
An employee who is suspected of abusing alcohol or an illegal substance is subject to referral to an appropriate medical or law enforcement authority for evaluation and/or testing. Refusal to cooperate with a referral to an appropriate authority may be grounds for Corrective Action or Disciplinary Action, up to and including termination.


SFCC strongly encourages employees who believe that they suffer from any form of substance abuse, dependency, or addiction to seek help from appropriate resources.
An employee who self-identifies a substance abuse concern will not be subject to discipline for seeking assistance or for participating in rehabilitation efforts. However, an employee may be subject to discipline arising from a performance or disciplinary concern due to behavior or performance issues.


If an employee’s current substance abuse comes to the attention of the College independently, self-identification is no longer the employee’s option.
An employee who is found to be in active violation of this policy is subject to Corrective Action or Disciplinary Action, up to and including termination.


Certain employee conduct outside of work hours or away from the College may still be the basis for Corrective Action or Disciplinary Action when the conduct brings discredit to the College or casts significant doubt on the employee’s reliability, trustworthiness or ability to comply safely with work obligations. Examples of such conduct may include an arrest or conviction for a criminal act committed by an employee, such as the unlawful or unauthorized use, possession, transfer, distribution, or sale of a controlled substance.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

The President, through the Vice President for Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness with the Director of Human Resources and the Office of Human Resources, shall be responsible for enforcing human resources-related policies and procedures. The Office of Human Resources shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and to develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention, and remediation.


Approved by the Governing Board: 9/28/2006
Revised and SFCC Governing Board Approved: 12/16/2014

Associated Procedures