SUNY Oneonta




If you think it is not happening in your workplace, you are wrong. Alcohol and substance abuse are serious problems facing our work force today. It diminishes the quality of services and increases their costs. At the same time, the personal toll to individuals, families and our communities is staggering. We must be vigilant to protect the safety and welfare of the public we serve and our fellow employees. I ask each of you to join with me to keep New York State a drug and alcohol free workplace.

New York State Policy
New York State prohibits on-the-job use of, or impairment from, alcohol and controlled substances. An employee may be required to undergo medical testing if a supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that he or she is unable to perform job duties due to a disability which may be caused by the use of alcohol.

If the cause of the disability is found to be drug or alcohol related, the personnel or employee relations officer, in conjunction with the employee's supervisor, may refer the employee to voluntary and confidential participation in the statewide Employee Assistance Program. Other available options include pursuing disability leave procedures or disciplinary measures.

Violations of the State policy on alcohol and substance abuse in the workplace may be the subject of disciplinary action pursuant to Section 75 of the Civil Service Law or the Disciplinary Articles of collectively negotiated agreements.

State employees are also subject to criminal, civil, and disciplinary penalties for the distribution, possession, sale, or the attempt to sell controlled substances both in the workplace and while performing in a work-related capacity. In work locations where it is permitted, an employee may possess and use medication which is properly prescribed by a physician.

"Controlled substances" refers to the hundreds of chemicals listed in the Controlled Substances Act by the federal government. All so-called "street drugs" (heroin, cocaine, crack, marijuana, speed, acid) are controlled substances. 

A person using a prescribed drug under a doctor's supervision is not breaking any law. The use of prescribed drugs without a physician’s prescription is illegal.

Addiction to, or misuse of, prescribed drugs could also subject an employee to medical testing under New York State's policy governing alcohol or substance abuse in the workplace.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The New York State Employee Assistance Program is a joint labor-management committee program open to all State employees and their families. The program is a confidential, information, assessment and referral program that provides employee requested services. These services include:

  1. Assessment for referral to the most appropriate community resource provider for services related to emotional or physical illnesses, alcohol and other drug-related problems;
  2. Assistance with family-related problems;
  3. Advocacy, assistance and intervention with health insurance;
  4. Information on resources for issues such as child care, eldercare, legal, and financial support services;
  5. Workplace health and prevention programs;
  6. Workplace educational preventive, wellness programs.

Any State employee may contact NYS EAP by calling 1-800-822-0244.

For More Information Call:
• New York State Substance Abuse Hot Line - 1-800-522-5353
• National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependent Hot Line - 1-800-NCA-CALL
• National Cocaine Hot Line - 1-800-COCAINE
• CSATS - National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Routing Service - 1-800-622-HELP






Use and abuse of alcohol and drugs has a detrimental effect on the productivity, attendance, and health of our work force. As a public employer, we must be vigilant to protect the safety and welfare of the public with whom we interact and the employees with whom we work.
The longstanding policy of the State is and has been that employees will be subject to criminal, civil and disciplinary penalties if they distribute, sell, attempt to sell, possess or purchase controlled substances while at the workplace or while performing in a work-related capacity. Such illegal acts, even if engaged in off duty, may result in disciplinary action. In those work locations where it is permitted, an employee may possess and use a controlled substance which is properly prescribed for him or her by a physician.

It has also been the continuing policy of the State that employees are prohibited from on-the-job use of, or impairment from, alcohol or controlled substances. In cases where an appointing authority or a designee has a reasonable suspicion that an employee is not able to perform his or her duties as a result of a disability which may be caused by alcohol or a controlled substance, the appointing authority may proceed under the provisions of Section 72 of the Civil Service Law and require that the employee undergo a medical examination to ascertain the cause of the disability. Where testing for alcohol or a controlled substance occurs, appropriate medical procedures and tests should be utilized to assure accurate and proper results. Confidentiality of the testing process and results is an important aspect of this procedure for any affected employee.

A "reasonable suspicion" must be based upon specific, reliable observation that the appointing authority or designee can articulate concerning the appearance, behavior, speech or body odor of the employee. The following observations may indicate drug or alcohol use: unsteady gait, odor of alcohol on the breath, thick or slurring speech, aggressive or abusive language or behavior, and disorientation or lethargy.

It is also not unreasonable for the appointing authority to consider the employee's time and attendance patterns, such as absences around weekends, pass days or payday, excessive use of sick leave, excessive lateness and unauthorized absences, on-the-job accidents, difficulty in recalling instructions or conversation, poor relationships with co-workers and supervisors, and other variations in productivity when making a determination as to whether a "reasonable suspicion" that an employee is suffering from a drug- or alcohol-related disability is present.

Such medical examinations may be required under the safeguards of Section 72 of the Civil Service Law for employees who are permanently appointed competitive employees or employees subject to due process before termination. Other State employees who are not entitled to any due process protection before being terminated or placed on involuntary leave may also be required to undergo such a medical examination, if appropriate under the circumstances.

Once a determination is made that an employee is using, is under the influence of, or is not able to perform his or her duties due to alcohol or a controlled substance, the appointing authority may determine the appropriate action to take. When considering the appropriate action to take, the appointing authority may determine that the affected employee should be disciplined because of the alcohol or drug use. Disciplinary action may be taken pursuant to the procedures contained in the collectively negotiated agreement or the law, as appropriate and required.

On the other hand, the appointing authority may determine that, given the nature of the job and the employee involved, the employee could benefit from the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). In such a case, the employee should be directed to the appropriate EAP coordinator to assist him or her with whatever problem exists. The Employee Assistance Program is a referral service set up at individual work sites and available to every employee. Should the employee have a drug or alcohol-related problem, EAP would provide the employee with a list of places which treat such conditions.

Where an employee is disabled by alcohol or drug use, the appointing authority may also decide to pursue the available disability leave procedures contained in Section 72 of the Civil Service Law. While employee union representation or concurrence is not required when pursuing Section 72 action, it is suggested that appropriate employee representatives be alerted as to the action contemplated.

An agency which has existing additional policies, procedures or practices which apply to its employees may continue to implement those policies, procedures and practices. The agency involved should notify its OER liaison of them. If an agency believes that a pre-employment or pre-appointment drug test should be utilized, that agency should consult with the Department of Civil Service to determine the job relatedness of such a test or to seek that Department's approval to include it in the required pre-employment or pre-appointment physical.




The State University College at Oneonta is committed to the development and maintenance of a drug-free environment and, in accordance with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, will not tolerate the unlawful possession and use of controlled substances (drugs) on its premises. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in and on property owned by or under the control of the State University College at Oneonta.


A. Compliance with the provisions of this policy shall be a condition of employment with the State University College at Oneonta.

B. Employees who violate this policy will be subject to the disciplinary procedures provided by the various negotiated Agreements or such other corrective action as the President or the President’s designee may deem appropriate. Other corrective action may include satisfactory participation in an approved drug rehabilitation program. Student employees will be subject to the judicial procedures specified in the Student Handbook.

C. Any employee or student employee convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring in or on property owned or controlled by the State University College at Oneonta is required to give a signed, written notice of the conviction to the College’s Director of University Police within five (5) calendar days following the conviction.

D. State University College at Oneonta shall notify the appropriate federal agency, if applicable, within ten (10) days of receipt of a notice of an employee or student employee conviction as described in C above.

E. State University College at Oneonta will make a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace. That effort will include drug awareness education programs, an Employee Assistance Program to assist employees seeking treatment and rehabilitation programs, and the implementation and strict enforcement of this policy.



SUNY Oneonta hereby prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on our property or as any part of our institutional activities.

SUNY Oneonta will impose sanctions on students and employees who violate this policy consistent with local, state and Federal law. Employees will be Subject to the disciplinary procedures provided by the various Agreements or such other corrective action as the President or President’s designee may deem appropriate. Action may include expulsion or termination of employment and reporting to appropriate law enforcement agencies. Other corrective action may include the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program. Students will be subject to the judicial procedures specified in the Student Handbook.

SUNY Oneonta will interpret local, state and Federal regulations in the strictest sense to assure a drug-free workplace.

SUNY Oneonta, on an annual basis, will provide to each student and employee brochures describing the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol.

SUNY Oneonta is committed to offering employees and students counseling and/or referral to the appropriate agencies for problems associated with drugs and alcohol. For employees, our Employee Assistance Program is available offering confidential referral to outside agencies; for students, the campus Counseling Center is available for confidential counseling and referral as needed.

Finally, SUNY Oneonta commits to biennial reviews of our programs associated with this statement to determine program effectiveness and implement necessary changes. It is also our intention to assure consistent applications of this policy to all students and employees alike.

For more information about the Effects and Health Risks of drugs and alcohol go to:

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