Must we grant time off for drug rehab in Texas? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Must we grant time off for drug rehab in Texas?

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in Compensation and Benefits,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. An employee recently tested positive for drugs during a random drug screening that we periodically administer to ensure that our employees are able to safely operate our systems. The employee admitted that he regularly used drugs, and would like to take several weeks off to participate in a rehabilitation program. Does Texas law require us to grant him time off?

A. While some Texas companies choose to allow a chance for rehabilitation and a return to work under probationary conditions, this type of “second chance” is not required under Texas law. Note, however, that an employer may not take action against an employee simply because that employee has exercised the right to take leave under the federal FMLA for treatment.

However, if the employer has an established policy, applied in a nondiscriminatory manner that has been communicated to all employees, stating that under certain circumstances (including enrolling in a substance abuse program) an employee may be terminated for substance abuse, pursuant to that policy an employee may be terminated whether or not the employee is presently taking FMLA leave.

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