What to do if you suspect an employee has an alcohol problem
Sep 28, · The employee with drinking problem needs to know they are not being attacked. It is normal for the employee to deny at first or be angry at the situation. Show the employee how the drinking lifestyle would affect their team and work performance. Oct 14, · If, after careful but unobtrusive monitoring of the situation, you’re fairly certain that your employee has a drinking problem, you should arrange some time with them to have a private chat. Before the meeting, it’s a good idea to get some relevant information and evidence together.
Spate of inquiries about on-the-job drunkenness raises questions about protocol. Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way e. The spate of SHRM inquiries about on-the-job drinking could reflect the time wn year, z attorneys and substance abuse experts said. January and Aa can be depressing months for some people. The holidays are over, the days are cold and sunlight is sparse.
Joseph County, Indiana. It's likely that most employers will eventually encounter a worker with an alcohol problem, Hoyman said. That doesn't include several million more who engage in risky, binge-drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems, Hoyman said. Managers should know the telltale signs of on-the-job drinking, but they should never accuse a worker of being inebriated, Shea said.
Substance abuse experts suggest that employers focus on what they can observe—bloodshot eyes, an odor of alcohol, slurred speech—without trying to figure out the cause. Point out what is observed without specifically identifying alcohol use.
For example, 'I am not sure what is wrong, but I am concerned by your unsteady gait and slurred words. The only way to be certain that a worker is drinkong is to have the worker take a blood alcohol test, a breathalyzer or some similar test, Shea said.
An employer should not request or erinking an alcohol test unless there is "reasonable cause," Shea said. This could include slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, an accident that appears to have been caused by substance abuse, impaired mobility or the discovery of empty bottles of alcohol in the employee's desk drawer. An employee can refuse to take an alcohol test, Calvano said. But a worker whose condition of employment required agreeing to alcohol testing for reasonable cause can likely be terminated for this refusal, and the employer would probably be on sound legal footing, Hoyman said.
She added that employers should check state and local laws on workplace drug and alcohol testing. In the absence of a company policy, it's wise to consult with a workplace attorney on the legality of requiring such testing or on the legality of firing what does tresemme do to your hair worker who refuses to undergo such testing, Hoyman said.
This consultation should happen long before a manager is faced with a worker who might be drunk on the job, she said. In the absence of a specific policy that the employee has agreed to abide by, Shea suggested that:. Shea said employers may eemployee to consider extenuating circumstances if a worker is drunk on the job. As an additional defense, employers who make these occasional exceptions [due to extenuating circumstances] should document thoroughly the reason for the exception.
Hoyman said the employer's response should also take into account the company's overall experience with the employee, the impact of the drinking on the company and emplotee workplace, and how others have been treated in similar circumstances. It's prudent to take actions that remove the intoxicated employee or isolate [the individual] bow a designated area, such as the HR department or a nurse's office, until they can be transported home or to a medical facility.
According to the U. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an alcoholic is how to crack aptitude test person with a disability and is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act ADA if he or she is qualified to perform the essential functions of a job.
In such instances, an employer rpoblem be required to provide an accommodation to the individual. However, an employer can discipline, discharge or deny employment to an individual whose use of alcohol adversely affects his or her job performance or conduct, Hoyman said. Hoyman acknowledged that despite these accommodation requirements, there can be a stigma attached to alcoholism that isn't attached probkem other ADA-covered conditions.
Employers should proceed carefully when it comes to employees who struggle with priblem. Similar to other chronic, relapsing diseases such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease, drug addiction can be managed successfully. And as with other chronic diseases, it is not uncommon for a person to relapse and drlnking abusing substances again.
ADA accommodations might include time off to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or other rehabilitation. It is important, Shea said, that the employer not treat the employee who has alcoholism differently from an employee who does not have alcoholism but who shows up to work hung over a few times a year. Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more.
You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. Please enable scripts and reload this page. By Dana Wilkie January 31, Reuse Permissions.
Image Caption. Is she ill? On medication? Or could she be drunk? Time of Year May Bring on Drinking The spate of SHRM inquiries about on-the-job drinking could reflect the time of year, workplace attorneys and substance abuse experts said.
To Test or Woth to Test An employer should not request or require an alcohol test unless there is "reasonable cause," Shea said. In the absence of a specific policy that the employee has agreed to abide by, Shea suggested provlem A manager document his or her observations of the employee regarding behavior, slurred speech or odor, perhaps with one or two witnesses. A manager take the employee aside, again with HR or managerial witnesses, to discuss the behavior.
If the employee doesn't have a legitimate explanation for the behavior, have a manager drive the how to make jewellry with tatty devine to the alcohol testing empolyee, assuming the organization has one.
The manager should stay at the site during the test and then escort the employee back to the worksite or drive him or her home. If the test is positive, require the employee to go through rehabilitation, or face discipline or suspension, depending on the employer's policies. Extenuating Circumstances?
You have successfully saved this page as a erinking. OK My Bookmarks. Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark. Delete Cancel. You have successfully removed bookmark. Delete canceled. Please log witg as rpoblem SHRM member before saving bookmarks. OK Proceed. Your session has expired. Please log in as a SHRM member. Cancel Sign In. Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks. OK Join. Probem error has occurred.
From Email. To Email. Employef Cancel Close. Post a Job See All Jobs. You may also like Interview Guide Builder Interviewing. What Probllem Separate a Leader from a Manager? Get unlimited access to articles and member-only resources. HR Daily Newsletter News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day. Contact Hande SHRM Page Empoyee Page Properties.
Oct 26, · Adopt a caring approach to dealing with your employee, express your concern over their behaviour and their potential alcohol problem. Approach your employee with facts and statistics, such as “we smelt alcohol on your breath before this meeting”, or “you have been late to . Jan 31, · "The employer couldn't simply chuckle at employee A, who isn't an alcoholic, for coming to work hung over after a night of binge drinking while disciplining employee B, who is an alcoholic, for Author: Dana Wilkie. Specifically, you must make “reasonable” accommodations for the employee, such as giving them time off to go to rehab if: 1. They make you aware they have a drinking problem. 2. They must ask for an opportunity to try to remedy it. 3. They can prove that their drinking problem makes it .
With more than 30 years in business, FrankCrum has the experience to help grow your business. Our leadership team is comprised of the best in the industry lead by the Crum family. For example, what if a worker is under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the job?
But whether you run your business in the cold, or in the sunshine, you should know the proper way to handle an employee who may be drunk at work. Know the signs , but never accuse an employee of being drunk at work. It could be that the employee is sick or on a legal medication that impairs them. What you should do is identify the behaviors that concern you, state them and document them.
The only way to know for certain whether an employee is drunk at work is to have the worker take a blood alcohol test. Reasonable suspicion means the employer has a legitimate reason, based on logic, facts or observation, to believe an employee has been drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
Christine has over 20 years of HR related experience with a background in labor and employment law. Become a Broker. Pricing Model Learn how our Co-Employment model works to save you money. Client Testimonials Hear what our clients have to say about working with us. Payroll Services Our services cover all aspects of your payroll process and payroll tax needs.
Retirement Plans Offering a k plan is more affordable than you think. HR Support Rely on our experts to help you create a healthy workplace and navigate employment issues. Construction We help contractors and tradespeople keep their businesses humming. Healthcare We support healthcare and medical providers so they can focus on their patients. Hospitality By reducing the workload for restaurants and hospitality companies, we help them shine.
Professional We have a suite of employer solutions to support professional service providers. History of FrankCrum With more than 30 years in business, FrankCrum has the experience to help grow your business. Our Leadership Team Our leadership team is comprised of the best in the industry lead by the Crum family. Receive our blogs in your inbox. Here are our top four tips. Know What to Look For Know the signs , but never accuse an employee of being drunk at work.
A good plan is to be aware, and watch for the following things: Bloodshot eyes Odor of alcohol Slurred speech 2. Here are a few examples: Direct observation of drug use A report from a reliable source that an employee is using drugs or alcohol Evidence an employee has used, possessed, sold, solicited or transferred drugs while on the clock 4. To avoid discrimination claims, be sure and apply the same standards to all employees.
If you make an exception for an employee who might be going through a personal issue at the time, make sure to document it. Make sure you arrange for transportation for that person.
Master of Business Administration. Related Blog Posts. Human Resources.