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

  • Drug-Free Workplace Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    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: 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

  • Employee Discipline: Illinois

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Employee Discipline: Massachusetts

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Maine Labor Department Seeks Employer Feedback on Drug Testing Law

    Date:
    07 August 2014
    Type:
    News

    Maine employers interested in providing feedback on the state's regulations regarding employee drug testing should participate in a survey being administered by the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL). The request for feedback follows the recent defeat of legislation purporting to standardize and simplify the process for employers to provide a drug-free workplace.

  • Employee Discipline: Rhode Island

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Employee Discipline: Hawaii

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Employee Discipline: Louisiana

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • 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: California

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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