Wildcat Statue

Drug Free Workplace Act Policy

Drug Free Workplace Act Policy

Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988

This policy establishes Northern Michigan University's Drug-Free Workplace requirements.

This policy pertains to all university faculty, staff, and student employees.

Northern Michigan University's policy, in compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, P.L. 100-690, is committed to providing a drug-free workplace by prohibiting the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any controlled substance by any employee in the workplace.

Drug-Free Workplace Education. NMU Human Resources department will ensure that a drug-free workplace education program is provided for NMU faculty, staff, and student employees.  This policy is available on the NMU Policies and Procedures database for ease of access; and will be reviewed every two (2) years. All new hires will receive a copy of the policy during orientation.

Health Risks. Health (and other) risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs include, but are not limited to: psychological and/or physical dependence; impaired learning ability, memory, and ability to solve complex problems; increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases; complications due to the combination of prescription medication and other drugs/alcohol; death, coma or toxic reactions; guilt/regret over activities performed while under the influence of alcohol/drugs; organic damage to brain, cardiovascular system, liver, etc.; increased risk of cancer; Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; birth or genetic defects; psychosis (hallucinations, loss of contact with reality, extreme changes in personality); and other physiological, psychological or interpersonal problems.

Resources/assistance. NMU supports programs aimed at the prevention of substance abuse by its employees, and encourages faculty, staff, and student employees with alcohol and other drug dependency problems to obtain assistance. Leaves of absence to obtain treatment may be obtained under the medical leave provision of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, non-represented employee handbook, or other university procedures.

NMU encourages faculty, staff, and students with alcohol or other drug dependency problems to contact the Human Resources Department or counseling centers for referral services or assistance. Employees may be eligible for benefits for substance abuse treatment through university-sponsored health insurance plans. If treatment for drug and/or alcohol dependency is needed, you should contact your insurance carrier to obtain information concerning coverage. A contact list of assistance programs and services can be found at the end of this policy.

Compliance as a condition of employment. All faculty, staff, and student employees will, as a condition of employment, abide by the terms of these procedures and guidelines.

Internal sanctions for violation or non-compliance. NMU will impose violation sanctions consistent with local ordinances, state and federal law, and with applicable collective bargaining agreements, employee handbooks, and university regulations. Violations of these procedures and guidelines will result in personnel action against the employee which may include 1) verbal warning; 2) written reprimand; 3) suspension without pay; or 4) discharge.  The discipline administered will be reasonable in light of the violation, frequency of the violation, and the employment history of the employee.

The university encourages counseling and rehabilitation for substance abusers and has made available employee assistance services, alcohol and drug education programs, and support groups for this purpose.  Reasonable effort will be made to rehabilitate the employee: however, rehabilitation will not replace disciplinary action.

Legal sanctions for violation. Violations of laws and ordinances may result in misdemeanor or felony convictions accompanied by the imposition of legal sanctions, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Fines as determined under local, state, or federal laws;
  • Imprisonment, including up to life imprisonment, for possession or trafficking in drugs such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs;
  • Forfeiture of personal and real property;
  • Denial of federal benefits such as grants, contracts and student loans;
  • Loss of driving privileges;
  • Required attendance at substance abuse education or treatment programs.

A full description of federal sanctions for drug felonies can be found here.  This section is not intended as legal advice; consult with an attorney regarding you specific legal issues.

Alcohol: Under Michigan law, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, consume or possess, or have any bodily content of alcohol. A first-time conviction may result in a fine, substance abuse education and treatment, community service, and court-ordered drug screenings. There also is a provision for possible imprisonment or probation for a second or subsequent offense. Use of false identification by minors in obtaining alcohol is punishable with a fine, loss of driver's license, probation, and community service.

Individuals can be arrested and/or convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at .08 or higher. If an individual is under 21, there is a "zero tolerance" law in the state of Michigan and any blood alcohol level of .01 or higher can lead to a minor in possession (MIP) citation as well as being cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, if applicable. This is in addition to suspension of driving privileges in the state of Michigan.

Michigan Law Governing Marijuana: The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) conflict with federal criminal laws governing controlled substances, as well as federal laws requiring institutions receiving federal funds, by grant or contract, to maintain drug-free campuses and workplaces. NMU receives federal funding that would be in jeopardy if those federal laws did not take precedence over state law. Thus, the use, possession, or cultivation of marijuana in any form and for any purpose violates the Drug-Free Workplace Policy and is prohibited at NMU.

Prescription drugs and OTC medication. Any person taking prescription drugs or over-the-counter (OTC) medication is personally responsible for ensuring that while taking such drugs or medications, he or she is not a safety risk to themselves and others while on university property, while driving a university or privately-owned vehicle, or while otherwise engaged in university business. It is illegal to misuse prescription medication, i.e. continue to use medication when the prescription is no longer valid, use prescribed drugs contrary to the prescription, and give or sell prescribed drugs to another person. Misusing prescription drugs can result in conviction with jail time.

Employee obligation for notification of conviction. The employee must notify NMU of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring on any property owned or controlled by NMU no later than five (5) calendar days after such conviction. The employee shall notify his or her immediate supervisor in writing of any such conviction, who will immediately report the conviction to the head of human resources, or designee. If a report of a conviction is received from a person other than the convicted employee, the head of human resources, or designee, will verify the conviction.  NMU will take appropriate action within thirty (30) days of notification.

Employer obligation for notification of conviction. Upon verification of a criminal drug statute conviction, NMU is obligated to provide written notification to any federal funding agency or agencies within ten (10) calendar days as required by the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, as amended.

Assistance Programs and Resources Contact List. Below is a list of some drug and alcohol prevention, counseling, treatment and rehabilitation programs. Additional programs may be listed in local telephone directories.

NMU/On Campus Services

NorthStar Employee Assistance Program
710 Chippewa Square, Suite 206
Marquette, MI  49855
(906) 225-3145

NMU Counseling and Consultation Services
Located near The Woods residential area and Northern Lights Dining Facility, includes dedicated parking off of Lincoln Avenue
(906) 227-2980

Marquette Area Services

Alcoholic Treatment Center (24-hour help line)
(800) 260-4014

Alcoholics Anonymous
(906) 249-4430
(800) 605-5043

Drug Abuse Treatment Center (24-hour help line)
(800) 259-7115

UP Health System – Marquette
Behavioral Health – Outpatient Services
Robert C. Neldberg Building, Sixth Floor
580 W. College Avenue
Marquette, MI 49855
(906) 449-1600 or (800) 562-9753

Great Lakes Recovery Centers
Outpatient Services
1009 W. Ridge Street, Suite C
Marquette, MI  49855
(906) 228-9696 or (855) 906-GLRC (4572)

Great Lakes Recovery Centers
Youth Residential Services
104 Malton Road
Negaunee, MI 49866
(906) 228-4692

For additional Upper Peninsula Alcohol & Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services visit: https://www.uphp.com/cc4h/ enter the zip code and click on Health.

Date Approved:1-6-2016
Last Revision:8-21-2023
Last Reviewed:8-21-2023
Approved By:President