Drug-Free Workplace

Purpose and Goal

New York University is committed to protecting the safety, health and well being of all employees and other individuals in our workplace. We recognize that alcohol abuse and drug use pose a significant threat to our goals. We have established a drug-free workplace program that balances our respect for individuals with the need to maintain an alcohol and drug-free environment.

  • The University encourages employees to voluntarily seek help with drug and alcohol problems.

Covered Workers

Any individual who conducts business for the university, is applying for a position or is conducting business on the University’s property is covered by our drug-free workplace policy. Our policy includes, but is not limited to executive management, full-time employees, part-time employees, off-site employees, volunteers, interns and applicants.


Our drug-free workplace policy is intended to apply whenever anyone is representing or conducting business for the University. Therefore, this policy applies during all working hours, whenever conducting business or representing the university, while on call, paid standby, while on university property and at university-sponsored events.

Prohibited Behavior

It is a violation of our drug-free workplace policy to use, possess, sell, trade, and/or offer for sale alcohol (at other than University-sponsored events for those over the age of 21), illegal drugs or intoxicants.

Notification of Convictions

Any employee who is convicted of a criminal drug violation in the workplace must notify the University in writing within five calendar days of the conviction. The University will take appropriate action within 30 days of notification. Federal contracting agencies will be notified when appropriate.


One of the goals of our drug-free workplace program is to encourage employees to voluntarily seek help with alcohol and/or drug problems. If, however, an individual violates the policy, the consequences are serious.

In the case of applicants, if he or she violates the drug-free workplace policy, the offer of employment can be withdrawn. The applicant may not reapply.

If an employee violates the policy, he or she will be subject to progressive disciplinary action and may be required to enter rehabilitation. An employee required to enter rehabilitation who fails to successfully complete it and/or repeatedly violates the policy will be terminated from employment. Nothing in this policy prohibits the employee from being disciplined or discharged for other violations and/or performance problems.

Return-to-Work Agreements

Following a violation of the drug-free workplace policy, an employee may be offered an opportunity to participate in rehabilitation. In such cases, the employee must sign and abide by the terms set forth in a Return-to-Work Agreement as a condition of continued employment.


New York University recognizes that alcohol and drug abuse and addiction are treatable illnesses. We also realize that early intervention and support improve the success of rehabilitation. To support our employees, our drug-free workplace policy:

  • Encourages employees to seek help if they are concerned that they or their family members may have a drug and/or alcohol problem.
  • Encourages employees to utilize the services of qualified professionals in the community to assess the seriousness of suspected drug or alcohol problems and identify appropriate sources of help.
  • Ensures the availability of a current list of qualified community professionals.
  • Offers all employees and their family members assistance with alcohol and drug problems through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • Allows the use of accrued paid leave while seeking treatment for alcohol and other drug problems.

Treatment for alcoholism and/or other drug use disorders may be covered by the employee benefit plan. However, the ultimate financial responsibility for recommended treatment belongs to the employee.


All information received by the University through the drug-free workplace program is confidential communication. Access to this information is limited to those who have a legitimate need to know in compliance with relevant laws and management policies.

Shared Responsibility

A safe and productive drug-free workplace is achieved through cooperation and shared responsibility. Both employees and management have important roles to play.

All employees are required to not report to work or be subject to duty while their ability to perform job duties is impaired due to on- or off-duty use of alcohol or other drugs.

In addition, employees are encouraged to:

  • Be concerned about working in a safe environment.
  • Support fellow workers in seeking help.
  • Use the Employee Assistance Program.
  • Report dangerous behavior to their supervisor.

It is the supervisor’s responsibility to:

  • Inform employees of the drug-free workplace policy.
  • Observe employee performance.
  • Investigate reports of dangerous practices.
  • Document negative changes and problems in performance.
  • Counsel employees as to expected performance improvement.
  • Refer employees to the Employee Assistance Program.
  • Clearly state consequences of policy violations.


Communicating our drug-free workplace policy to both supervisors and employees is critical to our success. To ensure all employees are aware of their role in supporting our drug-free workplace program:

  • This policy will be posted on the University’s website.
  • The policy will be reviewed in orientation sessions with new employees.
  • The policy and assistance programs will be reviewed at safety meetings.
  • Employee education about the dangers of alcohol and drug use and the availability of help will be provided to all employees.

Revised 2012

  1. Dates of official enactment and amendments: Not Available
  2. History: N/A
  3. Cross References: N/A