If you suspect that any employees of intoxication in the workplace, whether it be of alcohol or drugs, then you should handle the situation very carefully. It would be best to seek legal help in such a case. An employment law attorney will be able to help you out in this regard.
What to Do as An Employer
As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide a safe working environment to all of your employees. Hence, the first thing which you should do is relieve him or her from his duties temporarily until further investigation is done. You don’t have to say anything in detail to the employee. You just have to mention that he/she has been relieved of his duties because he is unable to work effectively.
Once he has been relieved of his duties, you need to escort him to a separate private room for further questions. There may be several reasons why he is under the influence of alcohol. Maybe he is suffering from health issues.
Should I Take Legal Action?
As an employer, it is your responsibility to find out the exact reason why he is under the influence of drugs and accordingly proceed further. In some cases, the employee also admits to taking alcohol or drugs. If it is a prescribed drug, then no further actions should be taken against the employee. However, if it is an illegal drug, then termination of employment will be the likely solution unless there are some special reasons.
Can I Drug Test?
You should also make sure that the employee is showing signs of intoxication. As per the law, an employer can send an employee for a drug test only if there is a reasonable suspicion that he is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
For example, if there is a smell of alcohol coming from his breath or if his eyes are bloodshot, then you may send him for a drug test. If the test results are positive, then you will have to terminate his contract. You can also terminate him if he is unwilling to go for a drug test.
However, you have to inform the employee before about the substances which he will be tested for.
In order to deal with intoxication in the workplace cases, you have to be very attentive. Each case generally needs a different analysis. And there are several complex rules and regulations. If you don’t follow the rules and take some action against the employee which is outside the scope of the law, then you can also fall into trouble.