How to Handle an Employee Who is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?

Employee Who is Addicted to Alcohol

Although millions of people around the world are addicted to drugs and alcohol, the real problem occurs when they start abusing the work hours within the organization. It may cause some performance issues on the premises due to disturbed concentration levels as well as poor relations with co-workers, clients and other employees.

As per the recent report presented by Infinite Recovery, reputed alcohol, and drug rehabilitation and treatment center in Austin, Texas, this habit takes victims to such a lifestyle that they would otherwise never wish for themselves.

In case if you are presently working in the HR field or observe some employees in the organization addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is important to react immediately. If you avoid the situation so long, it may pose serious social and financial losses to the organization.

Check Your Company Policy

First of all, it is important to consult your company policy to check what can be done against drug use and alcohol consumption within work premises. It will help you make better decisions while following the standard discipline policy of the company. In some cases, companies also allow immediate termination of the concerned employee. Usually, the level of punishment depends upon the behavior of the employee with other people in the office, including health and safety terms.

Reports reveal that substance abuse disorders lead to a huge financial burden of $400 billion per year to the economy. Similarly, it has a great impact on the overall productivity and reputation of your company. It is common to observe the loss of productivity, higher health care expenses, increased absenteeism and more workplace accidents due to substance abuse.

If we talk about alcohol, things may get a little complicated because a common trend says that people consume alcohol after work hours. Hence, if you terminate an employee just because of his drinking habits, it may cause violation of Disabilities Act and the HR may fall in significant risk to the career. That is why most companies prefer to take strict actions against alcoholic employees only when it starts affecting their work performances in the office.

Conducting Drug Tests on Current Employees

It is important to understand that drug testing is a complicated legal matter, and one should address it more carefully. The drug test laws keep on changing from time to time and they have a close relationship with the employee’s right to privacy. Many workers even sue their employers with a case that the conducted drug test was illegal.  

One can perform a drug test on employees only when there is a strong suspicion of their drug-taking habit. The organization may need to prove that the test was important to ensure the health and safety of other employees and clients.

Legally, employers are not allowed to conduct drug tests when the employee is not willing to do so. However, if the worker refuses, it is possible to terminate him. Reports say that employers should not force anyone physically to undergo drug tests; it can lead to a civil suit for assault against the employer.



Ashley Macdonald
Ashley has recently joined the FeedsPortal content writing team and brings with her a wealth of journalistic experience, which we believe our readers will find extremely useful.

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