Increase in Drug and Alcohol in Workforce Forces Small Business Owners to Deal With Addiction

Owners of small businesses are dealing more and more with the drug epidemic at the workplace these days as the use of drugs and alcohol has increased in the last several years.

Many want to support employees who are having problems with drugs and alcohol. Some bend over backward to do that. However, many small business owners are finding that it’s best to be proactive in spelling out where the line is that employees can’t step over without getting fired; in other words, owners decide to put a drug and alcohol abuse policy in writing and to be hardnosed about following it.

Joyce Rosenberg, who writes for the Associated Press, told the story of some of these small business owners recently, many of whom have been forced to react when confronted with the consequences of employees who are struggling with addiction. One had an employee die of a drug overdose; another had to deal with an employee who repeatedly got drunk at lunches with clients.

Shira Forman is an employment law attorney at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton in New York. She commented to Rosenberg that small business owners are often forced to react to situations where employees’ addiction problems have consequences for the business. They may have been uneducated about how to deal with the issue before such a scenario.

Often it takes such an experience to spur owners to seek help from a lawyer or HR professional to create a policy and put it in writing. This doesn’t always make dealing with employees’ addiction problems much easier or clear cut, but it does give small business owners guidelines on dealing firmly with troubled employees. If an owner does put a policy in writing, the next important step is for the owner to follow the policy that has been created, whether it is zero tolerance for drug or alcohol abuse, two strikes you’re out or something else.

To read this story in full go to: https://apnews.com/671a511a3e984689b2dc7f2f2d62f14a/Epidemic-at-work?:-Businesses-forced-to-deal-with-drug-abuse