Substance Abuse

Editor's Note: Effectively and compassionately address instances of substance abuse in the workplace.

Marta MoakleyOverview: Substance abuse in the workplace may lead to an increase in avoidable on-the-job accidents, decreased productivity and potential negligent retention/supervision court claims. However, employers need to understand their legal rights and responsibilities under federal, state and local law with respect to employee drug testing and discipline.

Employers must ensure that their employee discipline policies and procedures allow for flexibility in addressing substance abuse problems in the workplace. Although an employer may choose to terminate an employee who has been found to possess illegal drugs on business premises, the option to provide the employee with a firm choice or last chance agreement in lieu of termination (requiring that the employee seek rehabilitative services) may prove a more appropriate response.

Trends: Case and criminal law continues to evolve in states with marijuana protections. Although most laws do not protect employees who are under the influence of marijuana while on-duty, employers continue to grapple with the optimal method to address marijuana use, whether on- or off-duty.

Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in Substance Abuse

  • Employee Discipline: Tennessee

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Tennessee employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Employee Discipline: Arkansas

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Arkansas employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Employee Discipline: Virginia

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Virginia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Drug-Free Workplace Handbook Statement: California

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    California employers seeking to adopt a policy prohibiting the use, sale, possession, etc., of drugs and/or alcohol should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Employee Discipline: Colorado

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Colorado employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Employee Discipline: Utah

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Utah employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Employee Discipline: Texas

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Texas employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Employee Discipline: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of New Jersey employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to Employee Discipline

  • Michigan Medical Marijuana Users Entitled to Unemployment Benefits: Employment Law Manual Updated

    Date:
    02 March 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Michigan employees who use medical marijuana may be eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

  • Employee Discipline: California

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.