What to Do if You Suspect an Employee is Under the Influence at Work
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For employers across all industries, it’s tough to argue with the facts: substance abuse is a very real issue in the workplace. While no employer wants to be forced to deal with a situation in which an employee is suspected to be under the influence, it’s an all-too-common scenario playing out across the workplaces of America.
Substance issues of all types and severities can easily blur boundaries and begin affecting every aspect of a person’s life, including personal and professional. According to Facing Addiction with NCADD, stats show that alcohol use is a serious problem for employers: employees with alcohol issues are nearly 300 percent more likely to have an accident, and a shocking 24 percent of workers report that they’ve consumed alcohol at least once during the workday.
The numbers make one thing extremely clear: employers should be prepared to handle alcohol-related issues at any time. If you suspect that an employee is under the influence at work, here are a few tips for maneuvering the situations effectively and professionally.
Take Proactive Measures
First and foremost, your company should have a clear and documented drug and alcohol policy in place. Establishing firm policies not only protects your company in the event of suspected substance abuse, but it can actually help discourage employees from working under the influence. Your policy can designate drug and alcohol testing as a required condition of employment, allowing you to enforce your policies through pre-employment, random, and/or post-incident testing.
Never Make Unfounded Accusations
The symptoms of alcohol use can sometimes be difficult to detect, making it critical to obtain proper staff training. High-quality training programs can not only prepare your management staff for detecting signs of alcohol use, but also give them tools for taking a leading role in dealing with suspected issues and defensive employees.
Always Document the Issue
Every aspect of the suspected issue should be clearly documented, in order to clearly establish a record of coworker complaints, performance issues, incidents, and more. Because workplace alcohol use often evolves into a legal issue, it’s incredibly important to protect your company by following the right procedures.
Be Familiar with State Law
Florida employers are not generally required by law to implement drug and alcohol testing (with the exception of certain roles), the state does have legal provisions to benefit those that do choose to implement policies. For example, if your company is covered by the state’s workers’ compensation law, you might be eligible to receive a valuable insurance discount if you’ve created and implemented a written drug-free workplace policy that includes pre-employment testing.
Know that Your Employee Has Rights Too
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employee with an alcohol abuse problem is protected as a disabled person, as long as he or she is able to perform their job’s essential functions. In a situation such as this, your company may be required to allow accommodations to suit the employee’s recovery needs, including time-off for rehabilitation. However, if the employee’s work performance is affected by their issue, the ADA does allow termination.
ARCpoint Labs: A Trusted Provider of Drug and Alcohol Testing in Jacksonville
From our conveniently-located lab facilities in Jacksonville, ARCpoint Labs provides a variety of employer solutions to suit all your drug and alcohol testing needs. Our professional staff can provide you with a customized selection of testing services, including on-site testing, reasonable suspicion testing, and more. Additionally, our expert team offers a range of training and support services, making it easy to create and implement successful workplace policies to ensure the safety and efficacy of your company’s workplace.
Contact ARCpoint Labs of Jacksonville today to learn more about your options for convenient, reliable drug and alcohol testing solutions.