4.22 Faculty Controlled Substance Policy
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is committed to producing qualified, competent and responsible health care professionals. A fundamental aspect of the core curriculum for these professions includes the practical training received in area hospitals and clinical care facilities. A condition of being allowed to train in these healthcare facilities is that both the student and faculty member be tested for illegal drugs, and that the tests produce a negative result. Therefore, this policy establishes that any faculty member with responsibilities at a healthcare facility with an affiliation agreement with UTEP requiring drug screening for faculty must undergo a drug test for the presence of illegal drugs. The test results must be negative for the faculty member to assume a position in this capacity or to continue performing in the assigned capacity.
Faculty members needing help or rehabilitation in dealing with a drug problem are encouraged to contact, on a confidential basis, Human Resource Services, their Academic Dean, the Provost, or the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) representative for assistance. Conscientious efforts to seek assistance will not result in disciplinary action against the employee solely because the faculty member seeks counseling or treatment for chemical dependency.
- "Legal drugs" for the purposes of this policy are those drugs that have been prescribed by a doctor and over‑the‑counter drugs that have been legally obtained and are being used for the purpose for which they were prescribed or manufactured. Proof of a valid prescription will be required for all prescription medication.
- "Illegal drugs" for the purpose of this policy means any controlled substance (a) that is not legally obtainable, (b) that is legally obtainable but has not been legally obtained, including prescribed drugs not being used for prescribed purposes, or (c) that is prescription medication purchased in another country without a valid prescription from a licensed physician, dentist, or a recognized practitioner.
- "Under the influence" for the purpose of this policy means having the presence within the body of prohibited amounts of drugs detectable by scientific test from a licensed laboratory. Prohibited amounts of drugs will be those threshold limitations set by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.
- “Employee” is defined as a full-time or part-time faculty member who is engaged in the assignment, supervision, instruction or education of UTEP students in a hospital or a clinical care facility that maintains a drug-free environment.
4.22.2 Rules of Conduct
- The use, sale, purchase, manufacture, possession, or transfer of any illegal drug, or being under the influence of any illegal drug during work time is prohibited. Work time includes normal employment hours and also includes any other activity where employees are representing the University in any way or working within the course and scope of their employment in any way.
- Employees subject to this policy must notify their supervisor or other management official of the University within five days of their conviction for a violation of any federal or state criminal statute involving manufacture, distribution, dispensation, use or possession of a controlled substance.
4.22.3 Current Active Employees
All full-time and part-time regular employees who are engaged in the assignment, supervision, instruction or education of students in a hospital or clinical care rotations will be notified that they are covered by this policy and will be required to consent to a urinalysis for the purpose of testing for the presence of illegal drugs.
4.22.4 Applicants for Employment
All offers for employment to faculty members for a position covered by this policy are conditioned upon a verified negative drug screening. All applicants who have been conditionally accepted for employment as a UTEP faculty member for a position covered by this policy will be required to provide a urine sample for testing for the presence of illegal drugs.
18.104.22.168 All published or posted notices of vacancies in positions covered by this policy shall state that the applicant selected for hire will be required to consent to a urinalysis for the purpose of testing for the presence of illegal drugs.
22.214.171.124 Applicants selected for hire who refuse to consent to a urinalysis or who test positive for the presence of illegal drugs will not be considered for employment in a position covered by this policy and may not reapply for such employment for a period of six months.
126.96.36.199 Prior to signing the consent form, applicants selected for hire will be informed of the drug testing procedures in writing.
4.22.5 Testing for Drugs
188.8.131.52 Use of Licensed Laboratory
Testing for drugs required under this policy will be performed by a laboratory retained by the University that is properly licensed or certified, as required by state law. Tampering with the specimen will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. The laboratory will automatically conduct a confirmation test on all samples that produce a positive test result on an initial screen. Positive test results may be appealed to the laboratory and/or medical review officer as applicable or appropriate.
184.108.40.206 Scope of Drug Screening
The drug screening will include testing for a predetermined number of drug panels that can be modified without previous notice. Currently the panels are:
- Cocaine Metabolite
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Marijuana (THC) Metabolite
220.127.116.11 Period of Validity
The drug screen will be honored for a five-year period, provided the faculty member has not had a break in employment.
18.104.22.168 Right of Refusal
Any faculty member has the right to refuse to submit to a drug test.
4.22.6 Consequences of Refusal or Policy Violation
Any faculty member who refuses to submit to a drug test, who in a test administered pursuant to this policy tests positive for the presence of illegal drugs, who refuses to cooperate with proper and lawful procedures associated with such test, or who otherwise violates the Rules of Conduct contained in this policy will be subject to a review and further action by the Academic Dean and the Provost.
22.214.171.124 Mandatory Consultation: A mandatory consultation with the EAP representative will be required for evaluation and appropriate treatment. Rehabilitation itself is the responsibility of the employee. Any employee seeking medical attention for drug abuse may be entitled to benefits, depending on insurance coverage, on the same basis and with the same restrictions and limits for illnesses. In addition, an employee covered by this paragraph may be tested for drugs after participation in a University‑referred Employee Assistance Program for a period of up to two (2) years. Such testing will be administered on an unannounced and periodic basis. Employees in this situation will be required to review and sign an agreement to comply with the aforementioned requirement as a condition of employment.
126.96.36.199 Removal from Clinical Assignment: If the faculty member is observed or reported as impaired, the faculty member will be immediately removed from the hospital or clinical care setting. The Academic Dean will appoint a substitute faculty member to supervise the students, or the students will be dismissed from the clinical setting for that day and an alternative learning experience will be provided.
188.8.131.52 Rejection of Treatment or Failure of Rehabilitation: Any faculty member who rejects the recommended treatment or leaves a treatment program prior to being properly discharged will be subject to review and further action by the Academic Dean and Provost. Any faculty member who has a recurrence of a drug problem identified by a positive drug test as outlined in this policy will be subject to a review and further action by the Academic Dean and Provost.
184.108.40.206 Licensing Board Notification and Other Mandatory Reporting: UTEP will comply with all applicable federal and state reporting laws.
220.127.116.11 The University reserves the right to take any action deemed appropriate given the particular circumstances and in the best interest of the University.
4.22.7 Urinalysis Procedure
In order to assure individual privacy without compromising the integrity of the test result, the University and the licensed laboratory will use the mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs and the Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug Testing for tests pursuant to this Policy, as published in Volume 53 of the Federal Register, pages 11979-11989 and Volume 59 of the Federal Register pages 7354-7357.
Reports and related records of an applicant's or an employee's drug test are considered confidential with restricted access. Information contained in the reports/records will not be shared with hospitals or clinical care facilities unless a legitimate need is demonstrated and approved by the Academic Dean.
Reports and related records will be maintained in a secure manner and maintained in accordance with University policy.