Drug and Alcohol Testing

Last Updated 08/15
Applies to Applicants, Staff and Temporary Employees


The University of Notre Dame is committed to providing an environment that ensures the well-being and safety of the University’s employees, students and campus visitors; protects University, employee and student property; and prohibits any influences that might have a detrimental effect upon the orderly, safe and efficient operation of the University. Based upon these goals, the University requires that its employees abide by the University’s policy regarding drugs and alcohol. The link to the policy is found here: Drug and Alcohol Policy.

Application of Policy

This policy applies to applicants, staff and temporary employees. Compliance with this policy is considered a condition of employment. If an applicant refuses to comply with the Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy, they will not be eligible for employment. If an employee does not comply, the employee may be disciplined up to and including termination of employment.


  1. Illegal Drug: Any (a) illegal substance, including but not limited to, narcotics, hallucinogens, cocaine, marijuana, and designer drugs; and (b) controlled substance, including but not limited to amphetamines and barbiturates, that are used either without being prescribed by a licensed physician or in excess of the amount prescribed by a licensed physician.
  2. Unfit Condition: Behavior at work, including, but not limited to: (a) drowsiness; (b) sleepiness or sleeping; (c) slurred and/or incoherent speech; (d) unusually aggressive behavior; (e) unusually depressive behavior, (f) unusual and rapid changes in mood; (g) disorientation or inability to concentrate; (h) lack of coordination in walking or performing other tasks.
  3. Drug and/or Alcohol Test: Any evaluation used to detect the presence of illegal drugs and/or alcohol in an individual’s system.
  4. Employee Subject to DOT (Department of Transportation) Regulations: Any employee required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in order to perform the essential functions of his/her job.
  5. Safety Sensitive Positions: Those positions involving hazardous tasks that, if performed improperly, could result in harm to others. Positions in the following departments are currently deemed safety sensitive by the University:
    • Notre Dame Security/Police Department (except office/clerical)
    • Notre Dame Fire Department
    • Utilities Operations (all employees up through Director of Utilities, except office/clerical)
    • University Health Center (all persons who may be involved in patient care including doctors, nurses, patient care assistants, and pharmacists)
    • Athletic Department trainers
    • Aircraft pilots
    • Commercial Driver’s License holders as required by the federal Department of Transportation regulations

The University may change this list as appropriate.


Pre-Employment Test

All offers of employment, including offers of regular employment to temporary employees covered under this policy, will be contingent upon satisfactory results of a drug test. If a pre-employment drug test indicates illegal drug use, the applicant will not be eligible for employment at the University.

  • The applicant must complete a drug test no later than 72 hours after a job offer has been made.
  • Failure to complete the drug test within the 72 hours will result in a retraction of the offer and the applicant will not be eligible to re-apply and/or be employed at the University for at least six months.
  • The University understands some issues could potentially delay the opportunity to submit to a drug test within 72 hours but those situations must be discussed and approved in advance with the Office of Human Resources by contacting the Recruiter.
  • If applicant is a current temporary employee and does not complete or pass the drug test then the applicant will forfeit any and all employment with the University.

Random Test

The University may require a drug test on a random basis if:

  • The employee serves in a safety-sensitive position as defined above.
  • The employee has received a mandatory referral to the Employee Assistance Program sponsored by the University for addiction assessment; and is referred to treatment pursuant to that assessment.
  • The employee has violated or has been suspected of violating this policy in the past; or
  • The University is required to conduct testing under the Department of Transportation regulations. An employee selected for random testing may obtain a deferral of testing if the employee’s supervisor and the Office of Human Resources concur that there is a compelling business need to defer the testing. An employee whose random test is deferred will be subject to an unannounced test at a later date.

All employees who fit the above situations are subject to random testing, including, temporary and part-time staff.

For-Cause Test

By its very nature, for-cause testing is based upon indicators of drug or alcohol usage. Circumstances that may lead to for-cause testing include, but are not limited to:

  1. The employee exhibits physical signs of alcohol and/or illegal drug use;
  2. The supervisor or other University representative believes that an employee’s unsatisfactory job performance, misconduct, or poor attendance may be related to drug or alcohol use;
  3. The employee has a work-related accident that (i) results in damage to University property or physical injury to another person, (ii) is the second or more work-related accident the employee has had within any 12-month period, or (iii) if the employee seeks medical treatment, the examining physician believes the accident was related to drug or alcohol use;
  4. The University obtains information the employee has or may have violated the University’s Drug and Alcohol policy, or that Drug and Alcohol policy violations have or may have occurred in a department or unit at the University in which the employee works.

Testing Employees Subject to DOT Regulations

In addition to the testing described above, employees subject to DOT regulations will be tested in accordance with the University’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Policy, copies of which are available through the Department of Risk Management and Safety.


The Office of Human Resources offers a variety of training resources for supervisors and employees to promote awareness of the Drug and Alcohol Policy and of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy. These resources include training offered by the Human Resource Consultants in collaboration with the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, use of the training opportunities provided by the Employee Assistance Program, and one-on-one meetings with both supervisors and staff members.


  1. An employee who ( i ) refuses to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test in accordance with the provisions of this policy, or (ii) refuses to fill out and sign the written consent form agreeing to submit to the testing and permitting Notre Dame to be apprised of the testing results (Consent Form), will be immediately terminated. An applicant who engages in any of the above-described behavior will not be eligible for employment.
  2. An employee who switches or alters any sample submitted for testing will be immediately terminated. An applicant who engages in this behavior will not be eligible for employment.
  3. An employee who is determined, as a result of a drug and/or alcohol test, to have used illegal drugs or alcohol in violation of the University’s Drug and Alcohol Policy will be subject to disciplinary action as described in this policy.
  4. Employees who test positive at any time shall be considered medically unqualified to perform any of their job duties including the ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. If allowed to return to work, they shall not be permitted to resume any work duties including the operation of a motor vehicle until they, at a minimum:
    • No longer use illegal drugs;
    • Test negative for the use of illegal drugs;
    • Participate in and comply with the EAP recommended treatment program and after-care program offered by an outside provider; and
    • Are medically re-certified as being qualified to operate a motor vehicle, if applicable. To regain permission to operate a motor vehicle, the employee must agree to participate in follow-up random testing.

Confirmatory Testing

If any applicant or employee tests positive for use of illegal drugs, a confirming test using the GCMS test automatically will be conducted on the applicant’s or employee’s original specimen. If this test confirms the initial positive result, a physician will review the test results to determine if a legitimate medical reason exists for the positive result.

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