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Human Resources
University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi

Drug and Alcohol Testing


The University of Mississippi is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace and workforce in conformity with federal laws as set forth in the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C.A. Section 8101 et seq.), as amended, and the Department of Defense (DOD) Drug-Free Workforce Rule of 1988. In the interest of a healthy workforce, and as a result of the law, the University of Mississippi is a drug-free workplace. Faculty and staff members are prohibited from possessing, using, manufacturing, selling, distributing, or in any other way involving themselves with controlled substances both on and off campus, except as permitted in the relevant legislation.

Workplace and Health Risks

The University is committed to providing a safe work environment and a workplace free from the use of controlled substances and misuse of prescribed medications; therefore, such activities are prohibited. Employees must refrain from the use of controlled substances while on duty, which includes on-call assignments and University business conducted at off-site locations. Substance abuse may affect the workplace as well as impose harm to the individual. Impairments may affect job performance, increase absenteeism, cause serious accidents, and result in decreased morale. The use of controlled substances may cause health risks; such as, stroke, cardiovascular and lung disease, seizures, miscarriage, and birth defects.

Notification of Convictions

Any faculty or staff member who has been convicted of a criminal drug statute violation must notify the Department of Human Resources no later than five (5) days after the conviction.  Upon notification of such a conviction, the University will initiate appropriate personnel action within thirty (30) days of such notification, and the University is required by law to notify the applicable funding agency(s) within ten (10) days if the faculty or staff member is working in a position that is funded by federal monies.  Sanctions are defined in the Drug-Free Workplace and Workforce policy.

Drug-Free Awareness Program

The University has established a Drug-Free Awareness Program which is administered through the University Counseling Center and the Department of Human Resources. This program provides supervisory training programs in the identification of illegal drug use, drug counseling for any student or employee, and confidential referrals to rehabilitation programs approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.

The University offers confidential counseling services through an onsite Employee Assistance-Mental Health Program (EAP-MH) at the University Counseling Center.  As a supplement to the onsite facility, Deer Oaks EAP is contracted to provide 24/7 services via telephone, video telehealth, or in-person session.  Both program provide short-term, inpatient services to faculty and staff for work-related conflicts, marital conflicts, divorce issues, child-rearing issues, alcohol/drug issues, stress reduction, grief/loss issues, depression, and anxiety. Employees who may need long-term consultation or other services to achieve the goals of their treatment plan may be referred to other counseling, treatment, rehabilitation services available in Oxford and surrounding communities. Additional information is available on the EAP website.

Medicinal Marijuana

As a federal contractor, the University remains subject to the federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, regardless of any state statutory provisions permitting the possessing, using, manufacturing, selling, distributing of medical marijuana.  Medical marijuana in any form shall not be possessed or used on any university campus or in University-owned or leased space, including housing or at any university-sponsored events or activities.

All employees remain prohibited from possessing, smoking, ingesting, or otherwise engaging in the use of, or being under the influence of, marijuana or other controlled substances on university property, during working hours, or while operating a vehicle or equipment owned or leased by the university. Employees who violate the drug-free workplace policy remain subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Employees may be required to submit to drug testing if there is a reasonable suspicion that the employee is impaired from marijuana or other substances while on duty. For specified positions, a post-job offer substance abuse test is required for employment. In the event an employee tests positive for marijuana and is a registered qualified patient as defined under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, the Office of General Counsel should be consulted before any action is taken.

The University’s interest is to maintain a drug-free workplace and reserves the right to test any faculty, staff, student worker, contractor, consultant, vendor, or employment candidate for alcohol and/or controlled substances when:

  1. there is a reasonable suspicion that the individual may be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances while at work,
  2. the individual has been offered a position within a department or unit that is mandated to conduct a post-offer drug screening prior to active employment due to state or federal regulations, or grant/contract stipulations, or
  3. the individual is involved in a vehicle accident while operating a university owned, assigned, rented or leased vehicle or utility transport vehicle ( i.e. golf cart, Gator). This policy applies regardless of whether or not the individual was at fault in the

Reasonable Suspicion

Prior to drug or alcohol testing for reasonable suspicion, the department must coordinate with the Department of Human Resources. Supervisors should notify Human Resources of the need for the testing. When reasonable suspicion exists, the individual who made the observations should submit a written record to the Department of Human Resources documenting the basis for the suspicion.

Form: Reasonable Suspicion Record Form

If the observed behavior occurs during a shift when the Department of Human Resources is closed, the individual is to be taken for testing at that time. The Department of Human Resources is to be notified as soon as the office reopens. The Human Resources department head or designee will review the individual circumstances with the employee’s unit head and recommend appropriate action.

Post-Job Offer

Prior to beginning work in positions within designated departments or units, employees will be tested for controlled substance use as required for compliance with state and federal regulations or as contracts/grants mandate.  New employee offers are contingent upon completion of drug tests with results revealing the absence of drug use. Hiring departments will coordinate with the Department of Human Resources to schedule required tests. Any employee who tests positive for drugs will not be allowed to begin work. The offer of employment will be withdrawn unless documentation is provided by the employee to the University’s Medical Review Officer justifying the presence of the drug.

Vehicular Accident

The Office of Procurement and the Department of Human Resources should be notified of the accident as soon as possible. Failure to report vehicular accidents in a timely manner may result in disciplinary action.

Post-vehicular accident breath alcohol tests (BAT) should be conducted within two (2) hours following the vehicle accident.  Drug substance screens should be conducted within 32 hours following the vehicle accident.  If a vehicular accident occurs Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., supervisors should contact the Department of Human Resources to schedule screenings. The driver of the vehicle involved in an accident should be escorted to an approved and designated facility, where the testing is to be conducted.  If the vehicular accident occurs outside the normal work day, the supervisor will be responsible for ensuring the individual is escorted to an approved and designated facility (without prior scheduling by Human Resources) within the required time frame (two hours for breath alcohol tests and 32 hours for substance testing) and for notification of the accident to Human Resources the next business day.  In the event a vehicular accident occurs at a remote location and the driver is unable able to return to the Oxford University area, the breath-alcohol screening will not be required. However, if return is possible within 32 hours, the involved driver will be required to undergo substance testing and should be escorted to an approved and designated facility for such testing.

The supervisor is responsible documenting any circumstances that prohibited the return to the Oxford-University area for the breath-alcohol testing and/or substance screenings and must provide such documentation to Human Resources.

Return to driving a university vehicle is prohibited until a negative test result has been confirmed.

Individuals who test positive, or who refuse to submit to testing, will be prohibited from driving any university vehicle and may be subject to other disciplinary action, up to and including, termination of employment or the contractual relationship. Supervisors should consult with Human Resources regarding options for disciplinary action.

Please review the Drug-Free Workplace and Workforce policy for guidelines associated with  a commercial driver’s license.

Schedule a Drug and Alcohol Test

The University is contracted with First Advantage and the Urgent Care Clinic of Oxford (Belk Drive location) for drug and alcohol testing.  Screenings are conducted by appointment.  Contact the Department of Human Resources to schedule a drug and alcohol test.

Sherelyn Gooch, 662-915-1203 /
Pamela Johnson, 662-915-5432 /

Department of Human Resources, 662-915-7431 / 



Reasonable Suspicion Record Form