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Employee needs help: What can we do?

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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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