It’s the situation no employer wants to encounter, but one that’s all too common across a range of industries: An employee appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work. If you suspect an employee is under the influence of alcohol at work (or is using drugs before or during work hours), here are a few tips for handling the situation:
Avoid Making Unfounded Accusations
Although it’s important that all management and human resources staff can recognize the signs of drug and alcohol use, employers should never attempt to make a formal diagnosis or accusation. Instead, utilize proper documentation and verbalize concerns using a neutral approach (unless workplace drug and alcohol use has been directly witnessed), requesting testing when appropriate.
Establish a Drug Testing Policy in the Workplace
An employee can refuse a drug or alcohol test, but an employer can declare it a required condition of employment – if there is a clear company policy in place. Establishing clear policies and procedures can protect your company in the event of suspected drug use, as well as deter employees from working under the influence. ARCpoint Labs of Fort Myers can help you implement a customized Drug-Free Workplace Policy that will save you time and money by knowing exactly what to do in case of reasonable suspicion or an accident. Not only that but it will save you 5% on your work comp insurance.
Know the Employee Drug Testing Laws
Although Florida employers are not typically required by law to require drug testing, there are legal provisions that benefit those that do implement specific policies. For example, Florida employers covered by the workers’ compensation law may be eligible for an insurance discount if a drug-free workplace program and written policy are in place, including pre-employment testing. If an injured employee seeking compensation refuses a drug or alcohol test, they forfeit benefits – a major protective measure for employers.
Be Prepared to Make Accommodations
There are also laws in place to protect employees, and it’s important to keep these in mind. For example, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an alcoholic is protected as a disabled person if they can perform a job’s essential functions. In this case, you may be legally required to provide accommodations, such as time off for rehabilitation. The ADA does allow employers to take action – including termination – if an employee’s alcohol use negatively affects performance or conduct.
Drug and Alcohol Testing Services from ARCpoint Labs
ARCpoint Labs of Fort Myers offers a range of employer solutions for drug and alcohol testing. Our expert team can help you create a tailored selection of lab services for ensuring the safety of your workplace, protecting your customers, and maximizing the profitability of your company.