Sometimes there is employee substance abuse taking place in the workplace. This can range from abuse of alcohol to drugs, including prescription drugs, illegal drugs and even over-the-counter medications. Drug abuse, whether occurring inside or outside the workplace, can pose a potential array of problems for the employer, managers and other employees. These issues can include tardiness, not showing up for work, absent-mindedness, workplace accidents, low productivity and even increased worker’s compensation.
If there is an employee who has a substance abuse problem at work here are four steps to tackle the problem and what to be aware of when doing so:
Gather those resources
Today, many communities have substance abuse awareness and prevention agencies. Community organizations frequently provide plenty of resources and educational materials for individuals battling with substance abuse. There are numerous support groups to get affiliated with and treatment facilities that can give the employee a place to start dealing with his or her particular issues.
Consult with a lawyer
From the setting up of a substance abuse policy, to letting go of an employee due to substance abuse issues, it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer. Attorneys will walk managers through the legal details to make sure their policies and any termination complies with state and federal employment laws. Everyone needs to protect their company from liability if an employee were to cause damage while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Call for a drug test
Drug testing can be a very unpredictable and risky legal issue for employers and such action should be taken with extreme caution. Drug tests are known to be highly intrusive, but can be quite the lifesaver when it comes to prevention of work-related accidents and issues on the job. These laws are constantly changing, so employers need to be kept up to date on all the new legislation centered on employee substance abuse in the workplace. If there is a need for a drug test in a hurry, Matrix Diagnostics is a great choice to consider. With 24-hour delivery, along with a fast and reliable results service, any company can take care of those substance abuse problems in a prompt and reliable manner.
Take action immediately
Ignoring the presence and signs of substance abuse can be detrimental to the company. If there is a specific employee who shows signs of substance abuse, he or she needs to be sat down and talked to about the resources available to help them, current company policy on substance abuse and the company’s concern for the individual and their well-being. Employees who need the income will generally straighten up when they learn their job is on the line. Nobody wants to be fired for doing something that could have been prevented.
Employee substance abuse problems are never fun to deal with. There is always a right way and a wrong way when dealing with them, but with the help of this guide, businesses can get closer to having a drug-free work environment.