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Employee needs help: What can we do?

by on
in HR Management,Human Resources

Q. Can we suggest psychiatric help for an employee we suspect may be having trouble with substance abuse? And can we require a random drug test?

A. Suggesting psychiatric help could be viewed as akin to requesting a medical examination, in which case it can be done only if it is for job-related reasons and is a business necessity. Suggesting psychiatric help could also support a claim that you perceived the employee to have a mental disability.

Refer the employee to your Employee Assistance Program (if you have one), or ask if you can provide any assistance. If the employee admits to a substance abuse problem, you could suggest a rehabilitation facility.

You can require a random drug test, but you should do so in the context of a drug testing policy. The policy should state the company’s prohibition on being under the influence of drugs or alcohol during work.

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