What to Do If You Think an Employee Is Using Drugs

Not only can drug use in the workplace compromise an employee’s efficiency on the job, but it can create an unsafe work environment for your other employees. Therefore, it is important to act when you suspect that an employee is using drugs. Below you will see the appropriate steps to take so that you cover any liabilities and protect the rights of your employee while resolving the issue safely and discreetly.

Know the Details of Your Policy
If you have not recently had to deal with an employee drug problem, you should check your company policy to understand the limits that may be imposed on your ability to perform a drug test. A good policy will include a clause to permit testing for reasonable suspicion of drug use so that you can act quickly when you do have an employee using on the job.

Document Employee Behaviors
Reasonable suspicion of drug use must be documented through witnesses of the employee’s behavior. Signs to look out for include changes in appearance, mood swings, tardiness, frequent mistakes at work, and slurred speech. You might have other employees or supervisors serve as witnesses of this behavior to create a case for drug testing.

Confront the Employee
You should wait until you have evidence supporting your claim gathered to confront the employee in a meeting. There should be another party present to witness the meeting, which will likely be followed with a drug test.

Perform a Drug Test
Once you have performed a drug test, options will vary depending on the result. If the test is negative, the employee may simply return to work. A positive test may be followed by drug counseling and treatment before returning to work. Generally, immediate termination is not permitted by policies, but there are typically guidelines to terminate an employee right away if he or she is caught under the influence at work at any point in the future.

Whether you are in need of DOT complaint drug and alcohol testing, on-site testing, or implementation of a drug-free workplace program, Oschmann Employee Screening Services can provide the resources you need throughout Arizona. To learn more about our services, call us at (520) 745-1029.

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