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Addressing substance abuse in the workplace

Posted on August 23rd, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

Statistically, it is fairly likely that employers will encounter workers with substance abuse issues at some point. Should this occur, it is necessary to address the situation correctly. This can ensure employee and employer approach one another with respect, and can also prevent negative ramifications legally.

As most human resources professionals know, it is a good idea for every business to have a drug and alcohol policy. All new hires, whether permanent or temporary workers, should be required to read and sign a document outlining such a policy. This puts everyone on the same page regarding substance abuse. It can also give talent management professionals an opportunity to begin a conversation about possible drug or alcohol issues in the context of company policy, which may make such a discussion less intimidating to start.

Those who work in employee benefits administration and find themselves about to have such a conversation should look into what treatment options the insurance provided to employees will cover. This can shape any recommendations about getting help that seem appropriate.

Lastly, employers should be in continuous contact with their lawyers throughout the process of confronting an employee about substance abuse; there may be applicable laws they must ensure they follow.

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