5.10 Substance Abuse Program

Safety, Health, and Environmental Manual


These guidelines are employment policies and are not intended as an employment contract.

Legal entities affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (collectively referred to as the Church) prohibits the possession, sale, transfer, or personal use of alcohol or illicit drugs at any time. Any Church worker who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work is subject to immediate termination from employment or involuntary release from missionary or volunteer service. Church workers who use or distribute substances prohibited by the Word of Wisdom, even while away from work, may also be subject to corrective action.

It is of the utmost importance to have a healthy, productive workforce and safe working conditions free from the effects of alcohol and other drugs.

5.10.1 Definitions

Alcohol

Ethyl alcohol or ethanol.

Drug Screening Test

Any test that tests body fluids (such as blood or urine) to detect a number of physical conditions, including the presence of alcohol or other drugs. Qualitative tests determine the presence of alcohol or other drugs. Quantitative tests determine the amount present.

Other Drugs

Any other substance recognized as a drug in the International Pharmacopoeia, the United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary, or other drug compendiums or supplement to any of these compendiums.

Management

Managing directors, directors, managers, supervisors, and others so designated.

Under the Influence of Alcohol

Having a level of alcohol in the body (as identified by a standardized test, such as urine alcohol, blood alcohol, or breath sample) at or exceeding the urine alcohol, blood alcohol, or Breathalyzer level of 0.08 or at a lower level as enacted by the local jurisdiction. Management can also impose disciplinary action for any violation of the Word of Wisdom during working hours.

Under the Influence of Drugs

Having certain substances in the body (discovered by the test) at or exceeding current established toxicology limits.

5.10.2 Testing Procedures

The following procedures set a fair testing program for alcohol or other drugs in the workplace. They also describe the Church’s policies, procedures, and disciplinary actions with regard to substance abuse.

Testing Policy

Unless prohibited by law, the Church reserves the right to conduct or require tests on any employee who is engaged in Church business or operating Church equipment.

Drug screening tests may occur in response to:

  • A work-related death or an injury requiring hospitalization or major property damage.

  • Reasonable suspicion of prohibited drug or alcohol use or of abnormal behavior or impaired job performance.

Management should take reasonable steps to protect the employee, other persons, and Church property. The Human Resource Department should be notified before any other action is taken. The employee may be removed from service and requested to undergo evaluations and appropriate testing by medical personnel.

An employee involved in an incident should be asked to submit to drug screening if there is any observed impairment.

Random drug screening tests will not be performed except as part of a reinstatement agreement (see “Conditions of Reinstatement Agreement”) or as part of a local or national governmental agency testing program.

Management may take disciplinary action on the basis of the medical information obtained.

A positive test means the presence of alcohol or other drugs has been confirmed. If a law enforcement or regulatory agency confirms the presence or lack of alcohol or other drugs, the Church will accept these results as sufficient evidence. Sample testing procedures will:

  • Conform to scientifically accepted analytical methods and procedures.

  • Verify or confirm any positive test result (for example, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, or other comparably reliable analytical methods) before the result is used as a basis for any action.

Disciplinary Action

Any Church worker who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work is subject to immediate termination from employment or to involuntary release from missionary or volunteer service. Church workers who use or distribute substances prohibited by the Word of Wisdom, even while away from work, may also be subject to corrective action.

Consequences of Refusing Testing

An employee who refuses to submit to drug screening tests or refuses to sign the Consent or Refusal to Consent to Physical Examination and Tests form may be terminated.

5.10.3 Removal from Service

An employee may be removed from service if:

  • Impairment has been observed and documented by management (see list of possible symptoms in this section). Documentation should be reviewed by the Church Human Resource Department before management takes any action with the employee.

  • An industrial accident occurred, and impairment has been observed.

If injured in an accident, the employee should be transported by management to the designated workers’ compensation medical provider or occupational clinic for testing. The employee should agree to a drug and alcohol screen by signing the Consent or Refusal to Consent to Physical Examination and Tests form. Consider the following situations:

  • If the employee is injured or impaired in such a way that he or she cannot sign a consent form, the form can be taken to the medical facility to be signed as soon as possible. Consent and witness of consent should be verified.

  • If the drug screen cannot be immediately administered at the medical facility due to the condition of the employee, the sample should be collected at the medical provider’s discretion.

If the employee was in an accident or was observed being impaired, the employee should undergo a medical evaluation that will include blood and urine tests for alcohol or other drugs and a physical examination by medical staff.

Until lab test results are received, the employee should be suspended from work unless:

  • The physician clearly states that the employee who was observed to be potentially impaired is fit for duty following a return-to-work examination.

  • The employee is released by the physician following an industrial accident. The release should state that the employee is fit for duty.

If, after the medical evaluation, the employee is considered to be impaired, management should transport the employee home and release the employee into the care of a family member, if possible.

If the alcohol and other drug screen results are positive, management should follow the guidelines under “Disciplinary Action” in section 5.10.2.

If no alcohol or other drugs are present in the screening test results, management should consider these other situations:

  • If evidence of work-related cause is found (for example, solvent exposure caused drowsiness or stumbling), the employee should receive treatment. The work-related condition should be evaluated and controlled to prevent a recurrence.

  • If the cause is medical but not work related (for example, uncontrolled diabetes), the employee should receive a release from his or her personal physician stating he or she is fit before returning to work.

  • If the cause is unknown, the employee should receive a release from his or her personal physician stating he or she is fit before returning to work.

5.10.4 Possible Symptoms

Exhibiting several of the following symptoms or repeatedly exhibiting any one of these symptoms may indicate alcohol or other substance abuse in some, but not all, people. The presence of one or more symptoms does not necessarily verify substance abuse. A number of health problems, both temporary and chronic, as well as a number of disabilities may have one or more of these symptoms. Also, the absence of these symptoms does not disprove alcohol or other drug use.

  • Has unusually dilated or constricted pupils

  • Has red-streaked eyes; frequently uses drops to clear eyes

  • Has an odor of alcoholic beverage on breath

  • Is nauseated, has sweats, or trembles

  • Has pale, pasty skin or has rashes

  • Associates with known drug users

  • Has a change in attitude or exhibits behavior problems

  • Blames others for his or her own problems at work

  • Has an obnoxious or belligerent attitude

  • Lies while insisting he or she is telling the truth

  • Sleeps during the day or is suddenly exhausted

  • Exhibits rapid speech (doesn’t slow down) or flat, expressionless speech

  • Has acute anxiety sometimes accompanied by paranoia

  • Loses appetite

  • Exhibits slurred speech

  • Chills easily or gets the shakes

  • Wears sunglasses at inappropriate times

  • Has poor memory or impaired ability to concentrate

  • Does not answer when spoken to or is absentminded

  • Has a blank facial expression

  • Exhibits decreasing performance at work

  • Is absent excessively because of illness

  • Has needle marks on arms and legs

  • May try to hide breath and smoke odors with gum, mints, or spray