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: 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: 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: Arizona

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Arizona 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

  • 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: 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: Vermont

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • Quest Diagnostics Study Reveals Workplace Drug Use Declined Over Past 25 Years

    Date:
    20 November 2013
    Type:
    News

    The drug use rate of US workers has declined 74 percent over the past 25 years, according to a Quest Diagnostics study. The drug screening company analyzed over 125 million urine drug tests administered from the period 1988 to 2012 to reach its findings.

  • Case Law Regarding Negligent Drug Testing Added

    Date:
    19 November 2013
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Certain state courts recognize a variety of claims regarding drug and alcohol testing, including negligent drug testing. New York is the latest state to do so, but the claim has long been identified as a potential liability risk leading to increased costs with respect to employee drug testing.

  • Employee Discipline: Wyoming

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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