Substance Abuse Policy

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Prepared by:                           Renee Poole, Director of Human Resources

Supersedes:                           1/1/95

Approved by Council:           10/30/14

Effective:                                10/30/14

The Town of Cary is committed to a policy of maintaining a work force free from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse.  This commitment is based on the belief that the Town has a responsibility to ensure the safety of Town employees and the general public.

The Town recognizes the moral and financial responsibility to the citizens and the community to provide quality service in a timely and cost-effective manner.  Substance abuse by Town employees affects the Town's ability to live up to those responsibilities.


The Town will implement a Substance Abuse Policy for the purposes of:

          1.       Complying with Department of Transportation regulations.

2.       Educating employees about substance abuse and the health and employment consequences of working while impaired. 

3.       Training supervisors to recognize symptoms of possible substance abuse, and the appropriate actions to take.

4.       Providing substance abusing employees with the opportunity to seek rehabilitation. 

5.       Ensuring the safety of employees and the public and the public's confidence in the Town government.


This policy applies to all temporary, regular and appointed employees of the Town of Cary, as well as applicants for temporary or permanent employment.


The Town will provide training to management and employees. This training will include an explanation of the dangers of substance abuse, the prohibited conduct of all employees, the testing requirements, the rights of management and employees, steps to take following an accident  and the disciplinary consequences of substance abuse.

Supervisory Responsibilities - Supervisors shall:

1.       Disseminate this policy and any subsequent revisions to all subordinates.

2.       Attend and utilize all scheduled training.

3.       Comply with this policy and enforce it consistently, including documentation.

4.       Prevent any employee reasonably believed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol from working and arrange for testing if appropriate. 

5.       Upon an employee's refusal to submit to testing, remind the employee that testing is mandatory and that refusal to participate is insubordination and will normally result in dismissal.

6.       Instruct an employee believed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol to wait for a reasonable time before attempting travel without assistance or to arrange for transportation if necessary.

7.       Inform the Cary Police Department if they have reasonable suspicion that an employee is in possession of illegal drugs.

8.       Inform any employee experiencing unexplained changes in work performance or behavior of the availability of assistance through EAP.

Supervisory Restrictions - Supervisors shall not:

1.       Forcibly detain any employee.

2.       Search an employee's person, personal belongings, possessions or personal vehicles.  A search may only be conducted in the event of life threatening conditions.

Employee Responsibilities - An employee must:

1.       Not report to work or be subject to duty while his/her ability to perform job duties is impaired due to alcohol or drug use on or off duty.

2.       Not possess or use, or have the odor of alcohol or drugs on his/her breath or person during working hours, on breaks, during meal periods while on Town property or while operating any Town equipment or vehicles.

3.       Not directly or through a third party sell, distribute or provide drugs or alcohol to any person or to any other employee while either employee or both employees are on duty, "on-call", in uniform, on Town property or operating Town equipment.

4.       Submit immediately to reasonable requests for testing when requested by a responsible supervisor or other Town representative.  Refusal shall constitute insubordination and will normally result in immediate dismissal.

5.       Notify his/her supervisor, before beginning work when taking any medications or drugs, prescription or non-prescription, which may interfere with the safe and effective performance of duties or operation of Town equipment.

6.       Cooperate with requests from a Medical Review Officer.  Provide whatever requested documentation, including a current valid prescription for any drug or medication as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours.  The prescription must be in the employee's name. 

Failure to comply with this policy, the related procedure, or any other reasonable request by a responsible supervisor or other Town representative may result in immediate disciplinary action.