Approved: June 29, 2015
Revised: June 29, 2016
Reviewed: March 27, 2019
Next Scheduled Review: June 29, 2020
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) is fully committed to protecting the safety, health, and well-being of its employees—including student employees—and all those who come in contact with TTI property and facilities. Because drug and alcohol abuse poses a direct and substantial threat to this effort, TTI is equally committed to providing its employees a drug and alcohol free workplace.
Reason for Rule
This rule implements the requirements of System Policy 34.02 Drug and Alcohol Abuse and System Regulation 34.02.01, Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Rehabilitation Programs.
Procedures and Responsibilities
Consistent with TTI’s commitment to substance abuse prevention, the TTI provides its employees, as an employee benefit, access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP is available to TTI employees and their family members for confidential assistance with drug and alcohol problems, as well as other personal problems. Employees are advised of this benefit during new employee orientation and via the TTI intranet.
2. Prohibition and Consequences
TTI prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession or use of illicit drugs or alcohol on TTI/System property and/or while on official duty and/or as part of any TTI/System activities. The purchase, consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages in facilities or vehicles under the control of TTI shall in all respects comply with state law and with guidelines as defined in System Policy 34.02 and 34.03. Failure to comply with this rule may result in disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination. An employee who violates any applicable laws will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency and will be subject to prosecution in accordance with the law.
2.1 If an employee is found to be in violation of this Rule and is not terminated, the employee may be permitted to return to work if:
- The employee successfully completes a substance abuse evaluation by a qualified substance abuse professional and, if required, completes treatment. The employee must bear any cost above and beyond what their health plan does not pay.
- The employee signs an agreement, which includes requirements to return to duty and follow-up testing. If the employee tests positive or refuses to submit to testing during this required period, the employee will be terminated.
It is the responsibility of each employee to report suspected violations of this rule to their immediate supervisor or to the Human Resources Office. As a condition of continued employment, employees must report any arrest or conviction of a criminal drug or alcohol statute to the administrative head of the unit through their supervisor within 24 hours. The administrative head of the unit shall report such conviction to the CEO or designee no later than two days after notification from the employee.
In the case of an employee who is directly engaged in the performance of work on a federal contract or grant, the CEO or his designee must notify the contracting federal agency within 10 days after receiving notice from an administrative head or otherwise receiving actual notice of such conviction. In either case, TTI will take appropriate disciplinary action within 30 days. Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to, termination of employment, or requiring the employee to satisfactorily participate in an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.
4. Drug and Alcohol Testing
All TTI employees are subject to reasonable suspicion testing for drugs and/or alcohol whenever the CEO or designee, upon recommendation of the Assistant Agency Director and the Human Resources Officer, has reason to believe that any employee may have used drugs or alcohol in violation of this rule. Advice from the Office of General Counsel will be secured before testing is done except when required as part of a federal testing program requirement. Reasonable Suspicion testing will be based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, and speech or body odors of the employee. In addition, a job-related accident or near-accident involving human error may trigger a reasonable suspicion request. In the event there is a reasonable suspicion, the supervisor may make arrangements for the employee to be taken home. If the employee refuses transportation, the employee’s refusal will be documented.
5. Employee Under Provisions of Federal DOT Regulations
This rule also describes the requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s mandatory drug and alcohol-testing program for covered drivers, and the consequences of violating TTI Rules and/or failing a DOT-required drug and/or alcohol test. Any employee that is required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) who becomes ineligible to drive because of a positive drug or alcohol test will be considered in violation of this Rule. Any employee in violation may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination, in addition to an independent sanction imposed by the DOT Regulations. Any applicant who is required to have a CDL as a condition of employment will be required to have a pre-employment drug test. Should the test return positive, no offer of employment will be made. Any questions regarding specifics should be directed to Human Resources. Designated positions are subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulation CFR 49 Part 40 governing drug and alcohol use including:
5.1 Employees who are required to have a CDL must comply with Federal Highway Administration and Department of Transportation regulations and will be tested as required for 1) pre-employment, 2) post-accident, 3) reasonable suspicion 4) random and 5) return-to-duty and follow up. TTI Human Resources Office will make arrangements for such testing to be done at a certified laboratory.
5.2 Employees who are required to have a CDL are required to be randomly tested. To comply, TTI requires all affected employees and job applicants to provide a urine specimen for drug testing, and/or a breath sample for alcohol testing, and/or another type of specimen requested by a DOT certified collection agent for the purpose of determining the presence of drugs and/or alcohol. Agreeing to such testing, providing such samples, and fully cooperating in the testing process are mandatory conditions of employment or continued employment with TTI.
The Human Resources Office will be responsible for notifying the employee’s supervisor and the supervisor will be responsible for assuring the employee goes to the designated laboratory in a manner consistent with the requirements of CFR 49 Part 40. Records of all test results will be maintained in the Human Resources Office.
5.3 If an employee tests positive, the Human Resources Office will notify the supervisor to discuss disciplinary options. Following a positive test result:
- The employee will be removed immediately from the safety sensitive job functions.
- The employee will be referred to a substance abuse professional and/or — disciplinary action will be taken up to immediate termination. Any refusal to cooperate will result in termination. If an employee is retained, federal DOT guidelines will be used with respect to assessment, treatment, return to duty, and follow up testing. If retained, any additional positive test will result in termination.
6. Distribution of Information
Required information and material as outlined in System Policy 34.02, is distributed to all new employees through in-processing, new employee orientation and annually to all employees via the TTI intranet. TTI provides this information in conjunction with the Engineering Program.
Related Statutes, Policies, or Requirements
- System Policy 34.02 Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- System Regulation 34.02.01, Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Rehabilitation Programs
TTI Human Resources Office