Employee Reasonable Suspicion Drug and Alcohol Testing



The purpose of this document is to describe the University of Southern Indiana’s policy and procedure for drug and alcohol testing of employees when there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the employee is under the influence of any drug or alcohol while on University premises or in the workplace.

This policy applies to all University of Southern Indiana employees, including faculty, staff, and student employees.


Alcohol: The intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol, or other low molecular weight alcohols including methyl or isopropyl alcohol.

Drug: Any drug or substance, including both those whose use is lawfully prescribed, as well as those whose use is legally prohibited, including, but not limited to, marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), and amphetamines (including methamphetamines).

Employee: Any University of Southern Indiana faculty, administration, staff, or student employee.

Reasonable Suspicion: Belief held by the University based upon one or more observable signs or symptoms of drug or alcohol use. Reasonable suspicion should be based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations such as the appearance, behavior, body odors or speech of the employee.  Observations may include indications of the chronic and withdrawal effects of drugs or alcohol.  Behavior which could lead to a determination of reasonable suspicion include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Patterns of unsatisfactory job performance or work habits;
  • Evidence of illegal substance use, possession, sale, or delivery while on duty and/or possession of drug paraphernalia;
  • Information provided by either 1) a reliable or credible source as determined by the University; or 2) from a supervisor, manager, Human Resources staff member, member of the Administration, or public safety officer;
  • Slurred speech; loss of physical dexterity, agility, or coordination; changes in demeanor, or irrational or unusual behavior; or negligence or carelessness in operating equipment or machinery;
  • Disregard for the safety of the employee or others, or involvement in any accident that results in damage to a person, equipment, or property; or
  • Carelessness that results in any injury to the employee or another person or damage to property.

University premises: Any building, structure, vehicle, or land, in whole or part, which is owned, used or occupied by the University. 

Workplace: Any University premise or any other location where an employee is acting in the scope and course of their employment.


The decision to conduct drug and alcohol testing will be made jointly by Human Resources and a supervisor, manager, member of Administration, or public safety officer who believes reasonable suspicion exists.

In all cases, authorization for reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing must be given by Human Resources, or other appropriate University employee (including, but not limited to,  Public Safety), or other individual who has been trained to recognize physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms attributed to the use of drugs or alcohol (including, but not limited to,  a law enforcement official).

When there is reasonable belief that an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job, Human Resources should be contacted and the following procedure followed:

  1. The employee may be immediately removed from the University premises or workplace as well as during the time an investigation is underway. In such circumstances, the University will arrange to have the employee transported home.


  1. The employee may be required to undergo drug or alcohol testing both at the time the employee is suspected of being under the influence and/or before the employee is allowed to return to work. An employee may also be required to submit to random testing for an appropriate period of time as determined by the University as a condition of returning to work if it is determined that the employee was impaired.


  1. An employee’s refusal to participate in requested drug or alcohol testing violates this policy and may subject the employee to corrective action.