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A Businessperson’s Guide to Handling Substance Abuse in The Workplace

 

It isn’t a topic that most people like to broach. However, it is important for you to consider the possibility of substance abuse in the workplace. In fact, it is a great deal more common than you might imagine. If you want to put yourself in a position to legally protect your company while simultaneously helping affected employees, you need to be aware of how to handle the issue. To get a clearer idea of just what it is that you must do, consider the guidelines below:

 

Carefully Outline a Substance Abuse Policy

The first thing that you will need to do is to construct a policy regarding substance abuse in the workplace. One section of the policy will be dedicated to what kind of substance abuse is deemed unacceptable. This could include items such as drinking alcohol during office hours or taking banned substances at any time at all.

The next section will be about the kind of testing that you are allowed to do within the workplace. It is important to keep in mind that the law can often differ from one region to the next. Thus, it is best to find drinking and driving lawyers who can help outline these terms of your policy. After you are aware of how you can test employees, these regulations will need to be stated in the document. Finally, repercussions for breaking the conditions in the substance abuse policy must be discussed as well.

 

Determine Your Approach for Dealing with Accused Employees

As you can imagine, at some point or another, it may come to your attention that an employee has broken the policy. You will then be required to approach and handle the issue yourself. So, how should this be dealt with? Well, it is important to always give employees the chance to explain themselves. Therefore, you should avoid being accusatory, especially if you don’t know the whole story.

If you do get a confession, it is time for you to decide what to do next. While termination is one route, it is important to remember that individuals who have been diagnosed with addiction can be protected under certain employee regulations. Not to mention, it may promote better morale if you simply help the employee rather than terminate them. For instance, you could assist them in finding lawyers that will help to fight DUI cases. Or, you could simply encourage them to join a rehabilitation program.

 

Keep Company Culture in Line with the Policy

While many companies have substance abuse policies, the company culture can often overrule these regulations. For instance, if you expect your employees to wine and dine clients or throw parties with excess amounts of alcohol, you are going against your own directive. So, it is important to ensure that your company culture, as a whole, follows the rules stated in your legal document. This will help to prevent any misunderstandings.

These are the top guidelines to keep in mind when dealing with substance abuse in the workplace. Focus on these instructions and you will find that the ordeal is much easier to handle.

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