Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. G.1.12
Human Resources
Initiated by:    Human Resources Director
Approved by:  Director
Date:    October 2018
Distribution: MBL community

1.0 Purpose
To ensure compliance with drug and alcohol laws by and the safety of all within the MBL community (as defined below).

2.0 Policy Statement
The Marine Biological Laboratory (the “MBL”) is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all members of the MBL community. It is the responsibility of both employees and the MBL to maintain a safe, healthful, and efficient working environment. The misuse of drugs and alcohol poses a serious threat to both the MBL and the MBL community. Violation of this policy constitutes grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and may also have legal consequences. Abiding by the terms of this policy is a condition of your employment and continued employment.

3.0 Standards of Conduct

3.1 The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, use, or sale of illegal drugs and controlled substances, or the misuse of any legal drugs or alcohol, is strictly prohibited whenever anyone is representing or conducting business for the MBL, whether on MBL property or not, and doing so is cause for disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.

3.2 All employees are expected and required to report to work on a timely basis and in the appropriate mental and physical condition to work. Working for the MBL while exhibiting impaired judgment, performance, or behavior due to the use of alcohol or drugs (whether legal or illegal) is absolutely prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.

3.3 It is the responsibility of each employee taking medications to consult with appropriate medical providers to ascertain whether the medication may interfere with the safe performance of his/her job. If the use of the medication may affect judgment, performance, or behavior of the employee while representing or conducting business for the MBL, it is the employee’s responsibility to promptly inform his or her supervisor, and to use appropriate personnel procedures (e.g., call in sick, use leave, request change of duty). Failure to do so is cause for disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.

3.4 For clarification but not limitation, and notwithstanding the legalization of marijuana for medical and/or recreational usage in certain jurisdictions (including Massachusetts), the MBL prohibits the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, use or sale of marijuana, and impairment by marijuana in the workplace or otherwise in connection with the performance of an employee’s job. Additionally, as set forth below, the MBL’s drug-testing protocol includes testing for the presence of marijuana. An employee who tests positive for marijuana may be disciplined under this policy regardless of whether or not the employee is currently impaired by his or her use of marijuana to the extent permitted by applicable law.

3.5 Persons whose positions with the MBL require driving as a part of their work or activity while at MBL may be removed from such positions if found to have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, whether on duty or off duty.

3.6 All members of the MBL community are responsible for being familiar with and complying with the requirements of state statutes as well as local ordinances concerning the consumption, possession, and sale of drugs and alcohol, in addition to following all guidelines for the responsible conduct of research. In addition, members of the MBL community must show consideration for the larger Woods Hole community in which the campus and its housing are located.

3.7 Massachusetts law prohibits the consumption of and possession of alcohol by person under the age of 21, supplying alcohol to any person under the age of 21, and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The host of a party can be held liable for a guest who causes injury to others if it is proved that the host knew or should have known that the guest was intoxicated but continued to allow the guest to drink alcoholic beverages. Town of Falmouth bylaws also prohibit public intoxication and the consumption of alcohol in public places. The MBL community must comply with all applicable laws at all times.

3.8 In addition to possible legal consequences, violation of this MBL policy and the accompanying procedures shall lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion from the campus.

Drug and Alcohol Testing
In order to ensure a safe, productive, and healthy workplace, the MBL may test for drugs and/or alcohol under the circumstances set forth below. The MBL’s drug testing policy is intended to comply with all applicable laws governing drug testing. Any drug testing required or requested by the MBL will be conducted by a laboratory licensed by the state that follows established testing protocols to ensure accurate results and protect employee privacy.

  • Pre-employment drug testing: All individuals for positions for which the MBL requires pre-employment drug testing and who have a conditional offer of employment will be required to take and pass a drug test prior to commencing employment with the MBL. The MBL may, in its sole discretion and consistent with business needs, allow an applicant whose pre-employment drug test is positive for marijuana the opportunity defer his or her candidacy for employment and take a second drug test after a thirty-day waiting period.
  • Pre-assignment drug testing: In the event that a particular assignment requires an MBL employee to take and pass a drug test prior to allowing him/her to work on such assignment, the employee will be required to take and pass such a test to the extent permitted by applicable law.
  • Reasonable suspicion drug and/or alcohol testing: The MBL may test its employees for drug and/or alcohol use when there is a reasonable suspicion that an employee may be impaired by the use of drugs and/or alcohol in violation of this policy.
  • Post-accident drug and/or alcohol testing: Employees who are involved in an accident resulting in any of the following may be tested for drugs and/or alcohol as soon as possible following the accident: (1) a fatality; (2) a bodily injury resulting in immediate medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; (3) serious damage to machinery or equipment; (4) one or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage requiring the vehicle to be towed away; or (5) any other indicia that would lead to a reasonable suspicion that drug and/or alcohol use may have caused or contributed to the accident. In the event of an accident, employees should contact their supervisor as soon as possible

5.0 Employee Reporting Requirements
In order for the MBL to meet its requirements under federal law as a recipient of federal grants, employees must report any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after such conviction. The MBL is required to notify the appropriate federal granting agency within ten (10) days after receiving notice of such a conviction from an employee or otherwise receiving actual notice of such a conviction. Any employee who receives such a conviction will be subject to disciplinary action and/or required to participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program, at the MBL’s discretion.

6.0 Permitted Alcohol Consumption

6.1 Alcoholic beverages may be consumed only in accordance with this policy and Massachusetts statutes at MBL-sponsored or MBL-approved events and at authorized locations on MBL premises.

Consumption of alcohol is prohibited at all times in all MBL laboratories including research and teaching spaces. Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed on MBL premises, except in moderation at MBL officially sanctioned functions or other functions as stated below, or in the MBL’s housing facilities, as further described below.

MBL officially sanctioned functions are generally institution-wide events where alcohol consumption has been approved by the Director of the MBL or his/her designee in advance and in writing. Examples of such functions might include the annual Holiday party, employee recognition and retirement parties, formal receptions, and similar events. Similarly, the Director of the MBL or his/her designee may approve the consumption of alcohol at a specific social event, such as a special course or conference/workshop function or outside speaker reception, where advance approval has been obtained in accordance with the MBL’s “Guidelines for Implementing MBL Alcohol Use Policy” (see section 8.0 below). Alcohol will be provided and served at these approved functions only by catering staff. To consume alcohol, MBL community members must wear their MBL cards so that they are clearly visible and should be prepared to provide proof of legal age upon request. Moderate consumption and appropriate behavior is required at these functions.

MBL housing facilities are considered a standard exception where consumption of alcohol is permitted on the condition that occupants and/or their guests are of the legal drinking age (21 years) and the occupant of record accepts responsibility for overseeing responsible use of alcohol, for ensuring that only moderate consumption is permitted, and for ensuring that appropriate standards of conduct are maintained.

7.0 Counseling and Assistance
Recognizing that assistance for alcohol-related problems may be needed, the MBL provides an Employee Assistance Program whereby any employee or family member may seek confidential counseling. Other members of the community may seek advice on resources available by contacting the Human Resources office.

8.0 Procedures for Implementing the Policy
Procedures for Implementing MBL Alcohol Use Policy” are available from the Office of the Chief Operating Officer or the Human Resources Office.

9.0 Policy Updates
Policy updates are available from the Office of the Director or the Human Resources Office.

10.0 Definitions:
MBL Community: For the purposes of this policy, the MBL community includes all year-round and temporary employees (scientists and support staff); Whitman Investigators and their personnel, and all other visiting researchers including seminar speakers, sabbatical faculty and other scientific and staff visitors; students, faculty and staff in MBL courses; undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students participating in directed or independent research on campus; conference and workshop attendees; residents in MBL housing; and volunteers and other visitors affiliated with employees or visitors, such as spouses or other family members who are on the MBL campus.