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California Drug and Alcohol Policy

Editor's Note: Effective Jan. 1, 2024, California Assembly Bill 2188 amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and will prohibit employers from penalizing workers for using marijuana during their off-work hours. Employers can still fire or suspend workers for possessing, using or being impaired by marijuana while at work. See California Law Will Protect Employees' Use of Marijuana Outside Work.


[Company Name] is committed to providing and maintaining a workplace that is safe and productive. To that end, the company does not tolerate the possession, sale or use of illegal drugs; the improper possession, sale or use of other controlled substances; or the possession, sale or use of alcohol while at work or engaged in work-related activities. Additionally, employees are required to report to work able to perform their job duties competently and safely.


All employees.


All employees are prohibited from manufacturing, cultivating, distributing, dispensing, possessing or using illegal drugs (including marijuana regardless of prescription) or other unauthorized, mind-altering or intoxicating substances while on company property (including parking areas and grounds) or while otherwise performing their work duties away from the company’s premises. Included within this prohibition are lawful controlled substances, which have been illegally or improperly obtained.

Employees are also prohibited from having any such illegal or unauthorized controlled substances in their system while at work (including current marijuana impairment regardless of prescription) and from having excessive amounts of otherwise lawful controlled substances in their systems.

[Optional: This policy does not apply to the authorized dispensation, distribution or possession of legal drugs where such activity is a necessary part of an employee’s assigned duties.]

All employees are prohibited from distributing, dispensing, possessing or using alcohol while at work or on duty. Furthermore, off-duty alcohol use, while generally not prohibited by this policy, must not interfere with employees’ ability to perform the essential functions of their jobs.

Prescription Drugs

With the exception of medically prescribed marijuana, the proper use of medication prescribed by an employee’s physician is not prohibited at work; however, the company does prohibit the misuse of prescribed medication. Employees’ drug use may affect their job performance, such as by causing dizziness or drowsiness. Employees are required to disclose any medication that may cause a risk of harm to themselves or to others in performing their job duties. Employees have the responsibility to check with their physician whether a prescribed drug may impair the employee’s job performance.

Notification of Impairment

Employees have the responsibility to promptly report to a supervisor any knowledge of another employee who is in a condition that impairs the employee in the performance of their job duties, presents a hazard to the safety and welfare of others, or who is otherwise in violation of this policy.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Applicants may be drug tested after they receive a conditional offer of employment from the company.

Employees may be required to submit to drug or alcohol screening whenever the company has a reasonable suspicion that an employee has violated any of the rules set forth in this policy. Reasonable suspicion may arise from, among other factors, supervisory observation, co-worker reports or complaints, performance decline, behavioral changes, results of drug searches or other detection methods, or involvement in a work-related injury or accident.

Additionally, employees in safety sensitive positions may be tested on a random or periodic basis. In addition, various job classifications are categorically subject to random or periodic drug testing to the extent permitted by applicable state and federal laws.

All employees who test positive in a confirmed substance test will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. The presence of nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites that do not indicate current impairment will not be considered a positive test result and will not result in disciplinary action or termination.


Violation of this policy or any of its provisions may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.


To enforce this policy, the company may investigate potential violations and require employees to undergo drug or alcohol screening, including urinalysis, blood tests or other appropriate tests, and, where appropriate, searches of all areas of the company’s physical premises, including personal articles, employees’ clothes, desks, workstations, lockers, and personal and company vehicles. Employees who refuse to cooperate with searches or investigations, submit to screening, or fail to execute consent forms when required by the company will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.


When managers or supervisors have reasonable suspicion that an employee has violated this policy, the supervisors or their designees may inspect vehicles, lockers, work areas, desks, purses, briefcases, backpacks and other locations or articles without prior notice to ensure a work environment free of prohibited substances. Employees may be asked to be present and remove a personal lock from a locker or locked container. A locked locker or container does not prevent the company from searching such article; therefore, employees should have no expectation of privacy for personal belongings brought onto company premises and locked in a locker or locked container. When an employee is not present or refuses to remove a personal lock, the company may do so for the employee, and compensate the employee for the lock.

Employee Assistance

[For employers with 15 or more employees]: [Company Name] will provide reasonable accommodations to employees who abuse alcohol or drugs by providing unpaid leave to enroll in a qualified treatment program. Employees may use accrued, unused sick leave when taking leave under this policy. Failure to enter, remain in or successfully complete a qualified treatment program may result in termination of employment. Confidentiality of records and information will be maintained in accordance with all local, state and federal laws.

Entrance into a treatment program does not relieve employees of the obligation to satisfy [Company Name]’s standards regarding employee performance, and participation will not prevent [Company Name] from administering discipline for violation of its policies or relieve employees of their responsibility to perform their job in a safe and efficient manner. [Company Name] may require any employee who has gone through substance abuse treatment to be evaluated by a Company-selected physician before being allowed to return to work.


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