The board recognizes the following policy related to alcohol and drug dependency as adopted by the State of Washington:

Alcoholism and drug dependency are recognized by the State of Washington as treatable illnesses.

As an employer, the state's concern with these illnesses is limited to the effect they may have on an employee's job performance or on-the-job behavior. There is no intent to intrude upon the private life of any employee.

For the purposes of this policy, alcoholism and drug dependency are defined as illnesses that interfere with an employee's ability to perform assigned work satisfactorily or that adversely affect his or her job behavior.

Labor-Management Cooperation Required

In order to assure the fair and effective implementation of this policy, full cooperation between all levels of administration and appropriate employee organizations is required.

Employee Rights and Responsibilities

Employees are encouraged to voluntarily seek expert assistance for alcoholism, drug dependency, or any other job-impairing personal problem. Free, professional help is available to all employees on a confidential basis through the state's Employee Advisory Service.

Employees whose job performance or work-related behavior is adversely affected by alcoholism or drug dependency will be expected to seek appropriate assistance. Any employee suffering from either condition will be given the same consideration that is extended to employees having any other illness, including the use of sick leave to pursue a professionally prescribed program of treatment. No employee shall have his or her job security or promotional opportunities jeopardized as a consequence of seeking such treatment. The obligation of each employee to work effectively and cooperatively in his or her respective position is affirmed.

The responsibility to improve substandard job performance or to correct unacceptable work behavior rests with the individual employee, regardless of the underlying causative factors or circumstances. Failure to correct unsatisfactory job performance or behavior, for whatever reason, will result in appropriate disciplinary action, including, when necessary, termination.

Supervisors have the primary responsibility for implementing this policy. They should not diagnose alcoholism, drug dependency, or any other complex medical-behavioral problem, but they are required to identify, document and attempt to correct all employee job performance and/or work behavior problems, using standard corrective action procedures.

In those instances where normal corrective efforts fail to bring about the resolution of an employee?s job related problems, supervisors are directed to consider referral to the State Employee Advisory Service for professional assessment and problem resolving assistance.


Revised 2000-11-01