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: 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: South Carolina

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of South Carolina 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: California

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of California 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: Massachusetts

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Employee Discipline: Oregon

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Employee Discipline: Maryland

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Maryland 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.

  • Louisiana Governor Signs Amendments to Drug Testing Law

    Date:
    18 June 2015
    Type:
    News

    Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed amendments into law that create a framework for conducting drug testing of an employee's hair.