Effective Date:    4/1/97

Supersedes:    3/17/89

Staff Contact:    B. Nelson Glode

Approved by:    Jesse Tanner


1.1    To establish a policy recognizing alcoholism and substance abuse as treatable conditions and to encourage employees with such a problem to seek appropriate treatment.

1.2    To prescribe procedures for handling problems related to alcohol or substance abuse in the workplace.


All departments/divisions.


Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988

Policy & Procedure #300-40, Employee Assistance Program


4.1    It is not the intention of the City of Renton to interfere with the private lives of its employees. It is expected, however, that employees will report to work and remain in a condition to perform their duties in a safe, efficient and legal manner. The City of Renton recognizes that on- and off-the-job use of alcohol or controlled substances can have an adverse impact on the workplace.

4.2    The City of Renton recognizes alcoholism and substance abuse as treatable conditions and encourages employees who suspect they may have such a problem to seek diagnosis, counseling or other appropriate treatment services.

4.2.1    Supervisors, coworkers or the employee concerned may confidentially request initial assistance from the Human Resources & Risk Management Department or the City's employee assistance program provider, Maschhoff, Barr & Associates (see Policy & Procedure #300-40). Assistance will be given in finding appropriate agencies to deal with the problem of alcohol or substance abuse.

4.2.2    It is expected that an employee having alcohol or substance abuse problems will seek appropriate treatment. The City will extend the same consideration and assistance, including insurance and sick leave benefits, to those employees suffering from alcoholism or substance abuse as is extended to employees having any other condition.

4.2.3    Generally the City's concern with alcoholism or substance abuse is strictly limited to its effect on the employee's performance on the job. There are positions of high trust and confidence with the organization, however, where the existence of substance abuse could jeopardize the individual's employment regardless of job performance (e.g., law enforcement or firefighters).

4.2.4    This policy will not result in any specific privileges or exemptions, nor will it release any employee from the responsibility of meeting acceptable job performance standards.

4.3    The possession, use, transfer, offering or sale of alcoholic beverages and/or controlled substances at the workplace will be considered cause for disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Impaired work performance/behavior or the performance of work responsibilities while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances can pose a hazard to the safety and welfare of the affected employee, other employees or the public. This condition is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

4.3.1    Possession, use, transfer, offering or sale of controlled substances on City property will also be treated as a criminal matter and will be referred to the Renton Police Department for investigation and appropriate action.

4.3.2    Exception: The possession and use of medically-prescribed or over-the-counter drugs during working hours is permissible. The employee shall have no obligation to inform his or her supervisor of such usage unless the prescribed or over-the-counter drug contains a warning notice of possible impairment which may prevent the employee from performing his or her job safely or effectively. Drugs must be prescribed for the specific use of the employee.

4.3.3    City employees who work in a department/division which receives: one or more federal contract awards of $25,000 or more; federal contracts awarded to individuals; or a federal grant regardless of grant size; are required, as a condition of employment, not only to abide by the policy but to report criminal convictions for drug-related activity in the Workplace in accordance with the provision of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. The report must be made to the City's Human Resources & Risk Management Administrator or designee no later than five (5) days after the conviction.

4.3.4    The Human Resources & Risk Management Administrator or designee shall notify the federal contracting or granting agency of any criminal convictions of employees for illegal drug activity in the Workplace within ten (10) days of learning about the conviction.

4.3.5    The head of a department/division which receives federal funds as specified in section 4.3.3 of this policy shall be responsible for notifying all department/division employees that they are subject to the provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the provisions of section 4.3.3 as well as all other sections of this policy. The department/division head shall also be responsible for ensuring that all of his or her employees have read and understood the provisions of this policy and for providing all new employees, regular and temporary, with a copy of the City's drug-free Workplace policy statement.


5.1    Alcoholism: For the purpose of this policy alcoholism is defined as a condition in which the consumption of alcoholic beverages interferes with the employee's job performance.

5.2    Controlled Substances: Those substances whose dissemination is controlled by regulation or statute including, but not limited to, narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, cannabis and other drugs.

5.3    Drugs: Any substance which impairs an employee's ability to perform his or her job or which poses a threat to the safety of others. This definition includes prescription and over-the-counter medications.

5.4    Impaired/Under the Influence Behavior: Behavior which may limit the employee's ability to perform his or her job duties safely and efficiently or which poses a threat to the safety of employees or others.


Not applicable.