Board Policies and Administrative Procedures

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713: Alcohol and Substances in the Workplace

Responsible Administrator: Associate Superintendent Human Resources



Sturgeon Public Schools recognizes its duty to ensure the creation and maintenance of a healthy and safe working and learning environment for all employees and students.

This administrative procedure provides direction to employees and contractors regarding the prohibited use, possession and/or impairment caused by use of substances while on assigned duties or consumed in such a manner that impairment occurs during assigned duties. It also provides direction for employees regarding the disclosure and potential accommodation of prescribed medication that may impair an employee during assigned duties.


The Associate Superintendent Human Resources will be responsible for monitoring this administrative procedure.


Illicit drugs: all prohibited substances which include illegal drugs as defined in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Examples include Methamphetamines,Cocaine, Ecstasy and Heroin.

Restricted drugs: controlled legal substances which have parameters for legal use under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Examples include Tylenol 3, Benzodiazepines and Barbiturates and Cannabis.

Prescribed medication: includes prescription medication for which a valid prescription is provided by a physician.



1. No use or impairment caused by use of illicit drugs, prescribed or other medication, alcohol or cannabis while on assigned duties or used in such a manner that impairment occurs during assigned duties. This includes division property, sponsored events and offsite travel while on assigned duties.


2. Employee/contractors have the duty to ensure the health and safety of the workplace. An employee who believes that his/her use of prescribed medication may have an adverse effect on his/her performance,including safety issues, shall report this in confidence to his/her Principal/supervisor.

2.1 Prescribed medication of concern includes medication identified by a medical physician or licensed pharmacist which could impair an individual creating a health and safety concern. Staff concerned with whether a prescription may cause impairment should consult their physician or pharmacist.

3. In support of those who misuse alcohol or drugs and may have developed, or are developing a chemical dependence, all employees and contractors are required to document and report any violations of this procedure. Any employee, volunteer, contractor or supervisor not reporting problematic behaviour is enabling. Enabling behaviour leads to ongoing health and safety concerns for an addicted individual and those around him or her.


4. If reasonable belief is established by a supervisor that an impaired employee/contractor’s judgment makes for an unsafe and/or inappropriate situation in the workplace, the employee will be ordered to cease work immediately pending an investigation. The Principal/supervisor will immediately contact the Associate Superintendent Human Resources for appropriate investigation and response.


5. Employees/contractors are expected to consult with a physician or pharmacist to determine if prescription medication use will have any potential negative effect on job performance. They are required to report to their Principal/supervisor if there is any potential risk, limitation or restriction for whatever reason that may require modification of duties or temporary reassignment.

6. Sturgeon Public Schools has a duty to accommodate the prescribed medication requirements and/or medical treatment of an employee to the point of causing undue hardship. The assessment of undue hardship will include the following considerations:

6.1 Impact on students and student learning;

6.2 financial costs;

6.3 flexibility of workforce and facilities;

6.4 employee and workplace safety;

6.5 whether the accommodation required negatively impacts required duties.


7. Suspected violations of this procedure will result in a full investigation by a Principal/supervisor with support from the Associate Superintendent Human Resources.

8. No employee with an alcohol, drug or prescription medication dependency will be disciplined for coming forward and requesting help or because of involvement in a rehabilitation effort. However, if an employee violates the provisions of this procedure, or as a result of substance use, does not meet satisfactory standards of professionalism, safety and/or work performance, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken, up to and including termination of employment.

9. Any violation of this procedure by an employee, contractor or volunteer may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination, unless there are mitigating circumstances that may reduce the degree of discipline. Contravention of this procedure by a contractor could be considered a breach of contract. This may result in penalties, suspension or expulsion of the individual involved, or termination of the contract.

Return to Duties

10. In situations where an employee has been away from work resulting from a violation of this procedure, they will be permitted to return to their assigned duties after the following steps have been taken:

10.1 Meeting with their Principal/supervisor to review the supports available to the employee.

10.2 Follow the recommended support and/or treatment plan prescribed by a medical professional.


11. Principals/supervisors will communicate this procedure to all employees before September 30 of each school year.

12. Contractors will be advised of the applicable provisions of this procedure upon contract signature, the rules around fitness for duty and prohibition of alcohol and drug consumption and possession. Contractors will be expected to enforce these requirements for their employees, sub-contractors and agents.



Education Act: Section 256

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Occupational Health and Safety Act

Alberta Human Rights Act

Canadian Human Rights Act


2020 Jan 29 Initial Approval