Housing & Residential Living

Drug-Free Workplace


Following is a description of the Carleton College policy required by the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, which went into effect on March 19, 1989. The College’s failure to comply with the provisions in the Act could result in the termination, suspension or debarment of federal government funds or contracts including campus-based student aid funds to which the College may otherwise be entitled. It is important to note that not only are illegal drugs unlawful, but also that legal drugs can be manufactured, dispensed, etc. unlawfully.

Policy Requirements

The College has the obligation to maintain a drug-free workplace to insure that employees perform their jobs safely, efficiently, and in a businesslike manner.


The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance on college property or while conducting college business away from the campus by college employees is absolutely prohibited. Employees are expected and required to report for work or work-related activities on time and in appropriate mental and physical condition to carry out their assigned duties.  Any impairment due to alcohol or drug use, however slight, is unacceptable.

Employees should also report to Human Resources any medically prescribed treatment involving prescription drugs that may affect their ability to perform on the job.

As a condition of employment, Carleton employees must abide by the terms of this policy and must notify the College if convicted under any criminal drug statute for a violation occurring in the workplace not later than five days after such conviction. The College in turn must notify the federal funding agency within ten days of receiving such a notice.



This prohibition covers all employees, including part-time and students. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 literally applies only to those employees directly engaged in performing work under the provisions of a government grant or contract; however, because it is difficult to segregate work performed under a grant or contract from other institutional work, the College has elected to include all employees under this policy as have most institutions.


The workplace is any site on or off campus where the work of the College is being performed.

Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are drugs whose distribution is controlled by Federal or State regulation or statute–the worst street variety to mild prescriptions, including, but not limited to, narcotics, marijuana, hallucinogens, depressants, and stimulants, but not alcohol or tobacco products.

Consequence of Violations

Employees found in violation by the College of the prohibitions set forth under “Conditions” or employees who receive a criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace will be subject to disciplinary action by the College, up to and including termination, OR will be required to participate 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.

Drug-Free Awareness Program

Human Resources is responsible for a drug-free awareness program to inform employees about the dangers of drug abuse and the Drug-Free Workplace Policy. Some drug counseling and drug rehabilitation programs are covered by the College’s health insurance for participating employees, and all employees except students have access to Carleton’s Employee Assistance Program.

Labor Agreement

The Drug-Free Workplace Policy is intended to be consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements at the College. If differences arise, the Labor Agreement will take precedence.

See Unlawful Use of Drugs and Alcohol policy for further information. 

Last Revised: April 8, 1989

For: Faculty, Staff, Students

Last Reviewed: May 28, 2021

Maintained by: Human Resources