What You Need to Know About the Drug-Free Workplace Rules
Reducing grant management risk is not limited to financial fraud; this effort also includes instituting policies and procedures, as well as the oversight necessary to meet specific regulatory requirements that are part of your federal grant.
Unfortunately, some federal grantees don’t realize that the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 has language that requires all federal grant recipients and some federal contractors to maintain a drug-free work environment as a condition of being awarded a contract or grant.
Read your T’s and C’s
The requirements vary within different federal agencies and grant programs, so prospective grantees need to be aware what requirements apply to them by checking the terms and conditions of the federal grant.
5 Little known facts that can throw you out of compliance…or worse
Here are five little known facts about the Drug-Free Workplace rules that can affect the standing of your grant and should not be ignored.
Fact #1: Get it in writing
Grantees must create a drug-free workplace policy manual distributed to all employees. This manual must explicitly state that use, manufacture, possession, or distribution of a controlled substance is prohibited as well as indicate the specific actions the organization will take when an employee violates drug-free policies.
Fact #2: Truth or Consequences
Organizations should conduct a drug-free awareness program that includes the following:
• Dangers of work place drug use
• Instructs and informs as to work place drug-free policies
• Provides information on available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs
• Indicates consequences and penalties when an employee breaches drug-free workplace policy
Fact #3: Do Tell
The Drug-Free Workplace rules state that the organization must formally notify employees that abiding by the terms of drug-free workplace policy is a condition of their employment. This includes the requirement that:
• The employee must notify the organization within 5 calendar days if they are convicted of a criminal drug violation.
• The organization must notify the granting agency within 10 calendar days after receiving a drug conviction notification from an employee.
Fact #4: Enforcement is a requirement
The organization must enforce a punitive consequence or require any employee convicted of a criminal drug violation to attend and meet all required participatory criteria in a drug abuse/rehabilitation program.
Fact #5: Not a one-time thing
Grantees must also demonstrate an active, on-going good faith effort to comply with all Drug Free Work Place Act 1988 requirements. This could also include regular notification to the agency of all known workplaces related to the federal grant.
Don’t put your head in the sand!
Grantees should make sure to have these requirements in place, and inform the employees working in performance of the federal award precisely how the Drug-Free Workplace rules can affect their employment.
This is an area that gets a lot of scrutiny by the Feds, so don’t put your head in the sand!
Violating these requirements can cause your organization to be suspended or debarred from federal awards.
Lucy Morgan CPA, MBA
CEO, Compliance Warrior