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: 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: 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: 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: Missouri

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Missouri 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

  • South Carolina Amends Drug Use Provision of Unemployment Benefits Law: Employment Law Manual Updated

    Date:
    13 July 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    South Carolina amended its unemployment benefits law regarding the ineligibility of employees terminated for illegal drug use.

  • Employee Discipline: Connecticut

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • 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.