Sky Ute Casino Resort adopts new substance use and testing policy

Photo Credit: courtesy Scott Smith

Effort aimed to enhance employment opportunities

Tribal Council unanimously approved a new Substance Use and Testing Policy for the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Resolution 2024-009 on Monday, Jan. 22. This new policy comes after careful review and collaborative analysis involving Sky Ute Casino Resort Management, Human Resources, and the Legal Department. The policy supersedes the Casino’s former Drug Free Workplace Policy.

This new policy solely applies to Sky Ute Casino Resort and its employees effective Tuesday, Jan. 23. Previously, every position at the Casino required pre-employment and random drug testing, even for marijuana which is legal in the State of Colorado. This practice was not consistent with industry standards and was affecting the Casino workforce. It was increasingly difficult to find employees to fill open positions.

Tribal Council approved a revision to this policy after carefully considering its commitment to employee and guest safety and the need for the Casino to attract and retain skilled staff to continue to provide excellent customer service. Under the new Substance Use and Testing Policy, pre-employment and random drug testing is still required for safety-sensitive and security-sensitive positions, which encompass roles including heavy machinery operation, electrical work, transportation, video surveillance monitoring, and positions that have access to confidential information related to finances and operation. This pre-employment and random drug testing for safety and security-sensitive positions will not include testing for marijuana.

Notably, Tribal Council remains committed to ensuring the safety of its Casino employees and guests. As a result, all Sky Ute Casino Resort employees will remain subject to testing based on reasonable suspicion of impairment or following an accident, including testing for marijuana. Therefore, no employee is allowed to be working at the Casino under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any other prohibited substance. It is still illegal to possess or use marijuana on Tribal property.

The Substance Use and Testing Policy will assist in addressing concerns about testing that historically limited local applicants from exploring careers in the gaming and hospitality industry. By streamlining the testing requirements, the Sky Ute Casino Resort aims to fill vacant positions efficiently.

The new Substance Use and Testing Policy will be subject to quarterly assessments by Tribal Council. These evaluations will provide insights into the policy’s impact on staffing, safety, and overall operational efficiency, ensuring ongoing alignment with the Casino’s goals and industry best practices.

For more information, please contact Tribal Council Affairs at 970-563-2313.

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