Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace


In accordance with federal law, Hofstra University has adopted this policy. Hofstra University recognizes that employees have a right to a safe and secure workplace. Drug use and alcohol abuse by a significant proportion of the nation’s workforce has major adverse effects on the welfare of all Americans, resulting in millions of dollars of lost productivity each year and an increased likelihood of accidents in the workplace. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance, illicit drug or alcohol is prohibited in the Hofstra University workplace or in connection with any activities sponsored by Hofstra University. The lawful use of alcohol is permitted at certain specified University events in accordance with University guidelines when used by individuals over the legal drinking age.
Violations of this policy will subject an employee to disciplinary action consistent with all applicable collective bargaining agreements, and federal, state, and local laws, up to and including, termination of employment and referral for prosecution and the University may require employees to be placed in an appropriate drug assistance or rehabilitation program. In addition, employees are subject to Hofstra University’s drug and alcohol policies, as published in the Guide to Pride.


Employees seeking help may contact the Director of Human Resources for referral to resources that can provide assistance in overcoming drug or alcohol problems. Various options are available, depending on the needs of the individual. Please read the medical benefits booklet to determine the extent of coverage.


Hofstra will:

  1. notify any applicable federal granting or contracting agencies, as is required by federal law,  within 10 days of receiving notice from an employee who is convicted of a criminal drug statute or otherwise receiving actual notice of a conviction,
  2. take appropriate personnel action against an employee who violates this policy, up to and including termination,
  3. require an employee who is convicted of a criminal drug statute to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency, and
  4. make a good faith effort to continue to maintain a drug-free and alcohol-free workplace.


Hofstra employees must:

  1. abide by the terms of the Drug-Free and Alcohol-Free Workplace Policy, and
  2. notify Hofstra in writing of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five calendar days after such conviction.


In addition to sanctions imposed by the University, drug and alcohol violations may be referred to the appropriate external authorities. Under federal, state, and local laws, such as the New York State Penal Law, Vehicle and Traffic Law, and Alcoholic Beverage and Control Law, and the Federal Controlled Substance Act, violations as specified above may result in penalties ranging from fines through suspension of driver’s license and imprisonment.
Employees covered under this law include all employees and temporary personnel and consultants on the payroll, and does not include workers not on the payroll, such as independent contractors and subcontractors.


Use of alcohol may result in mood changes, impulsive actions, loss of judgment, and loss of coordination. Excessive use of alcohol may cause heart damage, liver damage, damage to the digestive tract, cancer, brain damage, mental disorders, loss of sexual function, blood disorders, and birth defects. In addition, long-term alcohol use may affect relationships, employment, academic and athletic performance, and self-esteem. Consumption of alcohol while using over-the-counter or prescription medications, where such use is contraindicated, can lead to unintended health consequences. Acute alcohol poisoning, occurring when an individual consumes a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, may result in changes in breathing and heart rate, the gag reflex, and can lead to coma and death.

The health risks caused by drug use vary depending on the drug involved, and the use of legal prescription and nonprescription drugs without a doctor’s supervision, as well as the use of illegal drugs, may cause serious health difficulties. In addition, the abuse of any substance can adversely affect relationships, employment, academic and athletic performance, and self-esteem. Visit the National Institutes of Health webpage (www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs/health- effects) for the acute and long-term health effects of specific drugs.

Last Revised 12/2016