Human Resources (HR)


Standard Operating Procedures



Original Effective Date:


Revised Effective Date:



Alcohol and Drug Reasonable Cause Testing Guidelines


1.       The ER Specialist or HR Manager, Supervisor, and Safety & Health Officer, should work together to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the employee is using or is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance in violation of the agency’s Alcohol and Drug Free Workplace policy.


Note – The policy can be accessed online at http://info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/manuals/dhs/pol-50/man/Pol5_SB_ADfree1.htm.

Form to use for testing reasonable cause:   http://www.ncdhhs.gov/humanresources/hr/2Forms/forms.html


Form is under Safety Part and is titled Consent & Acknowledgement for Random & Reasonable Cause.


2.       The ER Specialist or HR Manager (where applicable) along with the supervisor should discuss the matter with the employee.   Make no accusations. 


Note – If the employee claims a medical condition as the cause of the impairment, the supervisor may allow the employee to get a written statement from a physician outlining causation before returning to work. 


Note – The employee may be placed on investigatory placement with pay pending the outcome of drug testing in accordance with that policy and given written notice of the reason for the investigation.  See item 27 in the Disciplinary Action policy, http://info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/manuals/dhs/pol-50/man/Pol2_ER_DisciplineAct1.htm. Document the situation as thoroughly as possible.   Facilitate transportation for employee if warranted.


Note – The Division/Facility/School Director or a designee should contact the local law enforcement agency AND the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) for assistance if the situation involves possible manufacture, distribution, dispensing, selling, or possession of controlled substances at the workplace.


3.       If a drug or alcohol test is warranted, seek the approval of the Division/Facility/School Director or his/her designee and ensure execution of the consent form by all parties.

4.       Inform the employee of management’s right with reasonable cause to ask him/her to submit to a drug or alcohol test as a condition of employment.  Refer to the Alcohol and Drug Free Workplace policy for the specific steps in setting up the test and advising the employee.  http://info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/manuals/dhs/pol-50/man/Pol5_SB_ADfree1.htm.


5.       Work with the supervisor to implement the appropriate response based on the test results—i.e., clear the employee’s record if negative; initiate dismissal procedures.


Note – The Alcohol and Drug Free Workplace policy also contains the steps for testing applicants in certain positions.