Policy on Drug-Free Workplace

Policy Number: 406

Human Resources

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy406/

I. Purpose and Scope


Northeastern University strives to maintain a working, living, and learning environment that is free from the negative effects that alcohol and other drug use can create. Additionally, the university is committed to enforcing policies and laws relating to alcohol and other drug use. This policy applies to all campuses and university-owned or leased property, and to university-sponsored events off campus. It does not apply to the utilization of alcohol and drugs in approved research studies.

II. Definitions


For the purposes of this policy,

Conviction means a finding of guilt (including a plea of nolo contendere), an imposition of sentence, or both, by a judicial body charged with the responsibility to determine violations of Federal or State criminal drug statutes.

Criminal drug statute means a federal or state criminal statute addressing the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, use, or possession of a controlled substance.

III. Policy


Northeastern University works to provide drug-free campuses and workplaces for all university employees and students.

The university supports the observance of all laws and regulations governing the use, purchase and sale of alcohol. The unauthorized distribution, sale or consumption of alcohol on university-owned or leased property is prohibited. Chartwells TIPS-certified bartenders (or other university-authorized vendor) may serve alcohol at events on campus. No employee may report to work while under the influence of unauthorized drugs, alcohol or intoxicants.

The university strictly prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance in or on any Northeastern University property.

Educational programs and resources for faculty and staff, managers, and students are available through Human Resources, the Office of Research Administration and Finance, the Office of Prevention & Education at the university, and University Health and Counseling Services. The university reserves the right to refer an employee to evaluation for substance abuse.

To comply with federal law, the university requires that employees directly engaged in performance of a grant or contract must abide by the terms of this policy as a condition of their employment on the contract and notify their sponsor of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than 5 days after the conviction. The university must notify any federal contracting agency within 10 days of having received notice that an employee engaged in the performance of such contract has had a criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace. The university will take appropriate action up to and including dismissal and/or require participation in an approved abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

The NU-RES office is responsible for disseminating this Policy and information about compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act to each Principal Investigator on a project funded by a federal grant or contract, and informing the PI of the obligation to give the policy to each employee hired or assigned to work directly on a federal contract or grant.

IV. Additional Information


Federal, Massachusetts, and city laws consider possession, use manufacture, distribution, and sale of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia to be serious crimes. Depending upon the offense, conviction can lead to imprisonment, fines, and assigned community service. In addition, a variety of other consequences may occur, including ineligibility for federal grants.

Any university employee determined to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Violation of the policy by employees directly engaged in the performance of a grant or contract from a federal agency can result in suspension of payments and/or termination of the contract, in addition to suspension or debarment.

    V. Contact Information


    HR Service Center:  617-373-2230, HRST@northeastern.edu

    NU-RES office:  617-373-5600

    Public Safety/NUPD: 617-373-2121

    Related Policies

    Code of Ethical Conduct

    Related Procedures





    Drug-Free Workplace; Controlled Substances; Illegal Drugs; Drug Abuse; Alcohol Abuse; Federal Grant Compliance

    Version History

    Last Revision Date: February 28, 2024

    Issued: January 1, 1988