NORTHFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION FILE CODE: 4119.23/4219.23
Northfield, New Jersey
EMPLOYEE SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROCEDURE
In accordance with Policy 4119.23/4219.23, the Northfield Board of Education gives the superintendent and his/her designee the directive to create procedures to follow to implement the Employee Substance Abuse Policy.
When an employee is suspected of any of the following:
A. The illegal possession and the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. This is prohibited at all times, and at all school functions on or near school property.
B. The inducing, or attempting to induce others to use illegal drugs and/or alcohol. This is prohibited on school property and at all school functions.
C. Having the appearance of reporting for work or is on school premises with a noticeable odor or suspect behavior (slurred speech, impaired gait, altered consciousness, etc.).
If any of the above occurs, the procedures below are to be followed:
I. Selling, Purchasing, Transferring, or in Possession of Drugs and Alcohol
An employee observing an individual on school property selling, purchasing, transferring, or in possession of alcohol or drugs on school property or at school functions, shall report suspicious behavior according to the following procedure:
A. The building principal shall be notified immediately of suspicious behavior.
B. The building principal or his/her designee shall investigate the situation to determine the best course of action that may include:
1. Meeting with the employee expediently and when safe and appropriate;
2. Notification of the authorities;
3. Removal from school grounds by the appropriate authorities;
C. The principal shall notify the chief school administrator immediately.
D. The initial incident shall be documented by the principal and/or his/her designee.
E. Following investigation by the principal and/or authorities, if it is determined that the employee was involved in a sale, purchase, transfer, or possession of alcohol or drugs on school property or at a school function, the principal or his/her designee shall:
1. Notify the employee and provide him/her with a copy of the district’s substance abuse policy and regulation, file code, 4119.23/4219.23.
2. The chief school administrator shall suspend the employee temporarily from his/her position pending a meeting to be held within 24 hours with the employee and any designated representative.
3. Notify the police.
The appropriate disciplinary action shall be determined at the meeting held within 24 hours. This meeting may include the employee, official representatives of the employee, the chief school administrator, the board attorney, the school principal and a police department official when necessary or appropriate.
A. Employees involved in the sale, purchase, transfer or possession of drug or alcohol shall be reported to the local police department in accordance with law.
B. Employees suspected or known to be using a controlled or illegal substance and also involved in the purchase, transfer, sale, or possession of drugs, shall be reported to the local police department in accordance with law.
C. Employees awaiting trial may be readmitted to school by the chief school administrator as soon as possible after appropriate out of school action (regarding drug charges) is taken, and after discussion with the employee and their designated representative(s), school physician and law enforcement authorities.
II. Use of Drugs and Alcohol
Employee Needing Immediate Medical Attention
1. All employees shall notify the building principal and school nurse immediately of medical emergencies such as unconsciousness or incoherence which may be alcohol, drug or substance induced.
2. The Principal immediately has the employee accompanied (this could be via wheelchair, walking, whatever is appropriate for the situation) to a private, safe area in the nurse’s office while providing coverage for the employee’s duty. If the employee is unable to be moved, the students around the employee will be moved.
3. The school nurse shall render immediate aid and ensure emergency medical assistance is called.
4. The building principal shall notify the employee’s designated relative (as noted on his/her emergency information card) as quickly as possible.
5. The employee’s designated representative will be notified of a confidential situation.
6. The employee shall be transported via ambulance to the nearest medical facility and accompanied by the appropriate school personnel.
7. A written statement or accident report shall promptly be submitted to the Business Administrator and Chief School Administrator by the nurse (including date, time, circumstances, action taken, other employees involved).
Procedures for Employee Not Needing Immediate Medical Attention
Employees observing or suspecting a fellow employee of being under the influence of a controlled or potentially dangerous substance during working hours, shall report the matter to the principal or his/her designee and/or to the school nurse.
The principal (or designated person in authority) shall consult with the school nurse, and/or any other employees necessary to make a judgment as to whether there is reasonable cause to believe that this employee is under the influence of a chemical substance. If so, the principal shall arrange for the employee to be transported to the nurse’s office.
If there is reasonable cause to believe so, the principal or designee shall immediately:
A. Notify the chief school administrator and business administrator.
B. Notify the employee and provide him/her with a copy of these regulations and policy 4119.23/4219.23.
C. An employee’s relative or other designated party (designated representative) may be contacted with the consent of the employee suspected of substance abuse and may be present during this process.
D. The employee shall be asked to arrange for an immediate comprehensive medical examination by his/her physician or by a physician designated by the board at the expense of the Board of Education. This examination shall include a comprehensive drug screening laboratory procedure (i.e., urine screen). If the
employee shall designate his/her physician to conduct said examination, the employee will bear the cost thereof. Written results of the comprehensive drug screening (i.e. urine screen) must be furnished by the physician to the Chief School Administrator within 24 hours of the incident.
The principal requires that the written results of the medical examination be furnished by the examining physician within 24 hours, as prescribed by statute. The results of the drug screening will also be furnished to the principal as soon as possible. The employee may not return to his/her position until the written lab and medical exam reports are received.
If the physician’s diagnosis is positive and/or the chemical screening is positive, the employee shall be suspended from his/her position:
A. The Police department shall be notified (for drug related incidents).
B. The Principal shall file a report with the New Jersey Department of Health and chief school administrator as prescribed by law.
C. Appropriate treatment programs and resources shall be recommended to the employee.
Before the employee returns to his/her position, the principal and the chief school administrator, will confer with the employee. At this conference, the employee will provide a written report from his/her physician stating that the employee is physically and mentally able to return.
Pending the outcome of the conference with the principal and chief school administrator and following or pending the employee’s return to work, the school’s physician shall examine the employee and make recommendations.
Recommendations, include, but are not limited to:
A. Obtain a report of the employee’s behavior pertaining to the initial incident from the employee’s immediate supervisor.
B. Arrange a meeting with the employee to discuss the need for treatment/medical attention/family counseling with referrals to community agencies recommended by the county alcoholism authority and/or state department of health.
C. Explore the necessary related support services which may be provided by the board of education.
D. Disseminate information:
1. Educational facilities within the community
2. Evaluation and assessment centers
3. Treatment centers
4. Support groups (AA, Alanon, Alateen)
E. Completion of necessary reports which includes documentation and written results of the medical examination and lab report will be housed in the employee’s personnel file.
III. Voluntary Employee Request for Assistance
Whenever an employee voluntarily seeks help from the building principal or school nurse for substance abuse, the building principal or school nurse shall:
A. Reinforce the employee’s actions by expressing approval of a decision to seek help and indicate concern for the employee.
B. Indicate to the employee that he/she can assist the employee in obtaining help.
C. Offer immediate assistance through proper school personnel.
D. A voluntary report by an employee of substance abuse coupled with a request for assistance shall not be subjected to the procedures outlined in sections addressing incidents involving the sale, purchase, transfer or possession of drugs and/or alcohol on school property or at school functions and chemical use/abuse.
IV. Use of Drugs and/or Alcohol –Sanctions
First Offense – Suspected Of Use/Possession of Drugs and/or Alcohol
Employees suspected to be using a controlled or illegal substance shall:
A. Be referred for medical examination and testing and evaluation for chemical abuse/addiction;
B. Receive supportive services such as health benefits counseling and referral for treatment;
C. Be notified in writing of the disciplinary consequences of further incidents if found to be positive after testing by the designated administrator.
First Offense – Tested Positive/Possession Of Drugs and/or Alcohol
A. Be referred for medical examination and testing and evaluation for chemical abuse/addiction;
B. Receive appropriate discipline in writing;
C. Receive supportive services such as health benefits counseling and referral for treatment;
D. Be notified in writing of the disciplinary consequences of further incidents by the designated administrator.
Subsequent/Final Offense – Tested Positive or Possession of Again
A. Be referred for medical examination and testing and evaluation for chemical abuse addiction;
B. Receive supportive services such as health benefits counseling and referral for treatment.
C. Written notification of the disciplinary consequences which may include use of unpaid leave and/or withholding pay and/or tenure charges.
V. Additional Procedures
In accordance with Northfield Board of Education Policy #4112.4/4212.4 Employee Health, any employee whose condition of physical or mental health is thought to be a possible danger to the health or welfare of pupils or other employees may be required by the board at any time, upon recommendation of the chief school administrator, to submit to physical or psychiatric examination.
When an employee is requested to submit to any examination other than the annual physical examination, he/she shall be provided with:
A. A written statement of reasons for the request;
B. An opportunity for a board hearing, if so requested (said hearing shall be in private and confidential unless the employee requests otherwise);
C. Adequate prior notice of the date of the hearing;
D. Copies of statements or affidavits relied on by the board prior to the hearing;
E. An opportunity to be represented at the hearing by counsel or other persons of the employee’s choice;
F. An opportunity to present witnesses on his/her behalf.
Reports of these examinations shall include a statement by the examining physician as to any physical or mental condition noted likely to prevent the person examined from performing all duties and responsibilities of the position sought or occupied, or creating a risk to the health or welfare of pupils or other employees, or a statement that no such condition exists.
All records and reports of such examinations shall be filed with the school physician as confidential information but shall be available to and reported to appropriate health agencies as required by law.
An employee determined to be unfit must provide the board with satisfactory proof of recovery before reinstatement including certification from a qualified treatment center and/or medical professional will be allowed.