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Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program – Employees

This webpage contains the following information:

  • Drug and alcohol prevention programs and resources
  • Health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol
  • Standards of employee conduct and relevant policies
  • Consequences for violations
  • Legal Sanctions under local, state, and federal law 


According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, drug use & alcohol consumption carries both short-term and long-term health risks:

Short-Term Health Risks

Injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns.
Violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.
Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels.
Risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. These behaviors can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women. 

Long-Term Health Risks

High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment.
Alcohol or drug dependence.


According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):

  • Prevalence of Drinking: 55.3% of adults aged 26 or older in 2018 were current alcohol users (about 118.8 million adults).
  • Prevalence of Binge Drinking: 25.1% of adults aged 26 or older (~54.0 million people) were current binge drinkers, which is up from 2016 numbers, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2017. Depending on one’s gender, binge drinking is considered drinking more than four to five drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.
  • Prevalence of Heavy Drinking: About 6.2% of adults aged 26 or older (~13.4 million people) were current heavy drinkers. Depending on one’s gender, heavy drinking is considered drinking than four to five drinks on the same occasion on 5 or more days in the past 30 days.
The full report is available in the SAMSHA report titled, Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States. 
  • Alcohol Misuse: Screening and Behavioral Interventions as recommended by the USPSTF
  • Screening and interventions for drug use, including injected steroids
  • Referrals to Community Based Substance Abuse and Treatment Services
  • Brief individual therapy with Student Health Psychological Services
  • Crisis Counseling: Student Health Psychological Services offers same-day crisis hour appointments
  • Falcon Safe, including Bystander Intervention and Drug & Alcohol education (Annual
  • Athletics Event & Fall & Spring Presentations)
  • Health Fairs & Falcon Square tabling events
  • Welcome Day
More information is available on the Student Health Services at Cerritos College website 

Prevention Training

Beginning Fall 2019, all new employees are required to take the Drug Free Workplace online training module through Keenan Safe Colleges. The training is 22 minutes and covers: The Drug Free Workplace Act and Policy, terms and definitions about substance use, and how to spot and take personal responsibility to combat substance abuse in the workplace. To meet the training requirement, employees must complete a final assessment quiz at the end of the training with a score of 80% or more.

Additionally, the District makes available leadership training to build capacity of managers and other administrators to manage and supervise a wide variety of challenges to a student-centered learning environment. Topics vary related to problem solving and effective communication skills, and have included addressing issues related to employee alcohol and/or substance abuse (for example, Best Practices in Personnel Management hosted on October 24, 2017). Please view the Employee Development website or contact Human Resources regarding upcoming training opportunities.


Counseling & Support

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential resource available to Cerritos college employees and members of their household. EAP can provide support with many concerns including coping with alcohol/drug/other addictions for employees personally or with a loved one who is afflicted. Professional counselors answer all calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  More information about EAP is available on the Human Resources EAP website.

  • Adult Treatment Services - Detox
  • Community Crisis Lines & Resources
  • Outpatient and Community Based Substance Abuse Services

Click here for a list of Hotline/Crisis Lines for Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Click here for a list of Web-based resources




All employees are expected to follow all District policy while working on District-owned or controlled property or while working at District-sponsored or supervised functions, this expectation includes adherence to all federal, state, and local laws. Employees who fail to adhere to District regulations are subject to disciplinary action. Employees who are need of support for alcohol or other drug addiction will be offered resources and referred to services on a case-by-case basis.

The following campus standards pertain to Alcohol and Other Drugs use, sale, and possession:

Board Policies (BP):

Administrative Procedures (AP):

Additional information is available on the Board Policy Webpage.


District Discipline and Corrective Actions

The District will take corrective actions, such as progressive discipline up to including termination and referral for criminal sanctions consistent with local, state, and federal law. These actions will be imposed on a case-by-case basis considering multiple factors including but not limited to: the severity and type of conduct, whether the conduct is repeated or isolated, the length of time between incidents if recurring, and the workplace impact of the behavior. Disciplinary and other corrective actions vary greatly depending on the context, seriousness of the behavior employee health needs, and type of employment. Accordingly, the District will assess each case individually and apply policy and procedures as applicable for due process rights, collective bargaining agreement provisions and Ed Code (including but not limited to: §§ 87732, 87734, § 87675, 87682).

Possible corrective actions for Alcohol and Other Drug violations include but is not limited to:

Employees prepared to take the necessary steps to get help may be referred to a treatment program. Many laws may provide employment protection and leave protection to allow an employee’s ability to receive treatment at a rehabilitation facility for drug and alcohol use. During this process, an employee’s confidentiality regarding their addiction or treatment will be maintained.

This is typically a first offense admonition to the employee to communicate that the behavior is unacceptable and to provide guidance on how to address the behavior. Typically, such a warning can be reduced to writing, but generally is not placed within an employee’s personnel file.

This type of corrective action is typically imposed for second offenses and communicates a stronger warning to employees to notify them that their behavior is unacceptable, offers an opportunity to correct their behavior, and generally warns that further discipline may be imposed if the conduct is not corrected. This typically takes the form of a written memorandum provided to the employee during a meeting. This document is typically not placed in the employee’s personnel file.

Imposed when verbal or written warnings prove ineffective or in cases of misconduct or poor performance. This formal letter communicates that an employee’s employment is at risk of suspension or termination if the problematic behavior is not corrected. This item may or may not be added to the personnel file. If so, the employee is offered an opportunity to respond to the reprimand and have the response added as an attachment within the personnel record.
Imposed immediately for a “serious risk of physical danger or other necessity arising from the specific allegations,” or with advance notice to temporarily relieve an employee of their normal job responsibilities. The employee is asked to remain available during regular work hours but continues to receive regular pay and benefits.

Classified employees

For serious or severe conduct, or after other progressive disciplinary steps have been followed without success, an employee may be suspended for any number of days (typically up to 30) or terminated from employment. Human Resources will issue this corrective action and store it in the employee’s personnel file. This process contains prescribed steps and timelines that relate to notice and hearing (“Skelly”) requirements that are subject to the Brown Act.

Faculty Employees

Education Code section 87732 contains the list of specific grounds for termination. As it relates to drug and alcohol termination can be triggered by behavior including but not limited to:

  1. Immoral or unprofessional conduct.
  2. Dishonesty.
  3. Unsatisfactory performance.
  4. Evident unfitness for service.
  5. Physical or mental condition that makes him or her unfit to instruct or associate with students.
  6. Persistent violation of, or refusal to obey, the school laws of the state or reasonable regulations prescribed for the government of the community colleges by the board of governors or by the governing board of the community college district employing him or her.
  7. Conviction of a felony or of any crime involving moral turpitude.
  8. Conduct specified in Section 1028 of the Government Code (communist).

Faculty employees engaging the conduct above may be issued a “Notice of Unprofessional Conduct” and/or “Notice of Unsatisfactory Performance” which will provide a 90 day period to correct the behavior pursuant to Ed Code Section 87734. The notice will be placed in the employee’s personnel file. Should the conduct persist without correction a dismissal or suspension proceeding will be instantiated. Prior to the proceeding, the Board of Trustees would review the charges to be filed against the faculty member in closed session, and would determine whether they should be served and filed.

The disciplinary proceeding is heard by an arbitrator who “shall determine” whether there is cause, and if so, the precise penalty to be imposed. ( Ed. Code, § 87675.) The arbitrator's decision is subject to judicial review, in which the superior court exercises its independent judgment on the evidence. ( Ed. Code, § 87682.)

Educational Administrators

Education Code section 72411 dictates that an educational administrator may be given a so-called “March 15 notice” if the individual is not to be re-employed in the following academic year as an educational administrator.

Required medical or psychological examination in which a licensed physician to evaluate an employee’s physical or mental condition or health as it relates to, and within the scope of, his or her job duties. This is initiated when the employer believes that the employee may be unable to safely perform the essential functions of his or job because of a medical or psychological condition or otherwise may pose a danger to self or others.

If triggered, these processes may require various prescribed steps and timelines that relate to notice and hearing, which may be subject to Board approval and/or the Brown Act. Many of the steps above may also require documentation storage in personnel files. Please contact Human Resources for more information.

Legal Sanctions

The Cerritos College Police Department enforces all federal and state laws, and local ordinances. 

Federal law provides criminal and civil penalties for unlawful possession or distribution of a controlled substance. Under the Controlled Substance Act, as well as other related federal laws, the penalties for controlled substance violations include but are not limited to: incarceration, fines, potential for the forfeiture of property used in possession or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance (which may include homes, vehicles, boats, aircrafts and any other personal or real property), ineligibility to possess a firearm, and potential ineligibility to receive federal educational benefits (such as student loans and grants). 21 U.S.C. Section 812 U.S Code

Click here for a detailed list of Federal Trafficking penalties

The State of California has numerous laws regulating the possession and use of controlled substances and alcohol. As an example, under current California state law, “a person shall not knowingly or intentionally possess or distribute a controlled substance.” If an individual is found guilty of a violation of the state law, they may be subject to large fines and imprisonment. California Health and Safety Code Section 11350-11356.5

Violations of the law may subject the individual to fines, participation in a substance abuse program, imprisonment, community service hours, and/or out of pocket expenses related to required substance abuse screenings. Business and Professions Code 25662 BP / Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC. The State of California laws can be found on the California Legislature website.

 The cities of Cerritos and Norwalk have established ordinances that include but are not limited to: consumption and intoxication in public places, possession and use of alcohol by minors, uncapped liquor in passenger compartments of vehicles, and all substance abuse ordinances. Sanctions could range from a civil infraction with attached fines to criminal violation of law resulting in probation, rehabilitation, or even imprisonment. City ordinances can be found on the Cerritos Municipal Code website, and the Norwalk Municipal Code website.

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Last Update: 9/4/2020