Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy

Definition - What does Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy mean?

A workplace drug and alcohol policy defines an employer’s rules for the use of drugs and alcohol by employees while on duty, or on site at, the workplace. Many employers are legally required to implement a written drug and alcohol policy. Other employers voluntarily choose to implement a policy to control drug and alcohol use in the workplace.

WorkplaceTesting explains Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy

Workplace drug and alcohol policies have become increasingly common as employers recognize the health and safety benefits of preventing drug and alcohol abuse by their employees. In addition, many insurers encourage or require employers to have a written drug and alcohol policy as a condition of issuing insurance.


Some employers are required to implement a drug-free workplace program under the Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988. This act requires that the employer have a written drug and alcohol policy. The act does not require drug testing as a part of that policy. But any drug testing program implemented by an employer must be included in the written workplace drug and alcohol policy.


At a minimum, a workplace drug and alcohol policy should include a written statement indicating what substance use is prohibited and the consequences for policy violations. A broader workplace drug and alcohol policy will include information about training, education, and assistance for employees. A workplace drug and alcohol policy may also include an employee assistance program or a referral program for community support and assistance. Drug testing procedures and requirements should also be spelled out.

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