What Business Owners Should Do if Their Employees Use Drugs

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Business Owners

As a business owner, your responsibilities include providing a safe workspace for your employees and monitoring their health and safety. These duties also entail the prevention of drug abuse within the organization.

Using drugs in the workplace puts the safety of everyone at risk. Being under the influence of drugs can impair one’s senses, which can lead to injuries and accidents. Such mishaps, when publicized, can tarnish your company’s image.

In case some employees get reasonably suspected of use of drugs, the observations of their colleagues and superiors should be properly documented and communally agreed upon. This documentation will serve as a basis to submit the concerned person for a drug test. 

Should they test positive, what would be the next course of action? Depending on the impact of their substance abuse on the workplace, here are the things you can do.

For Those With Safety-Sensitive Jobs, Relieve Them Immediately

Drivers and heavy equipment operators, for example, have safety-sensitive jobs. Their performances cannot be left to chance, so they should be relieved of their duties as soon as possible. Have other qualified employees cover their shifts in the meantime until further action is taken. If your business is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), follow their guidelines for positive drug and alcohol tests.

Consider an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

An EAP is an intervention program intended to help employees deal with personal problems that negatively affect their performance. Benefits may vary depending on the employer, but these usually include individual or group counseling, substance abuse treatment, and referral/s to rehabilitation facilities if needed. You may consult an EAP service provider for more information.

You may grant an employee some time off while undergoing treatment. You can offer incentives as part of the return-to-work agreement to give them some motivation, too.

If There Are Sufficient Grounds, Suspend or Terminate Their Services

Check your company policies and state laws regarding termination due to drug use. There can be many factors to consider in this matter, so tread carefully.

There can be cases where you need drastic measures. For instance, if an employee inflicted serious injuries to others while under the influence of drugs in the workplace, the employer may choose a zero-tolerance policy and terminate the employment relationship immediately.

As much as possible, an employer’s goal should be to help an addicted employee get over drug dependence. If you need drug testing services for your staff, contact Drug Screen Compliance. For over 50 years, we have been assisting businesses in Texas with their battle against illegal drugs in the workplace.

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