Determine Whether Reasonable Suspicion of Impairment Exists
When to Use This Flowchart
Use the Determine Whether Reasonable Suspicion of Impairment Exists flowchart to make a determination of whether reasonable suspicion of impairment exists and, consequently, to carry out next steps based on the organization's policies, procedures and compliance obligations.
Reasonable suspicion has been defined as a belief that an employee is using or has used drugs or alcohol in violation of an employer's policy drawn from:
- Specific, objective and articulable facts; and
- Reasonable inferences drawn from those facts in light of experience.
This type of analysis helps an employer balance anti-discrimination provisions in state marijuana laws with the goal of maintaining a safe workplace. In addition, an employer may be required to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists under certain state drug-free workplace programs (e.g., Tennessee).
Following this flowchart can help an employer to identify impaired workers and take necessary steps to address the situation, which may shield the employer from greater liability.
- Observe the worker.
- Document basic facts and observations.
- Determine whether reasonable suspicion of alcohol or drug use exists
- Determine next steps.