Home > Alcohol At Work > Confronting An Employee About Alcohol Abuse

Confronting An Employee About Alcohol Abuse

Employee Drug & Alcohol TestingIf there’s one thing that is for certain, it’s that your employees should never reek of alcohol when they are on the job. If you have noticed an employee coming to work smelling like a brewery, this is something that should be addressed promptly. The question is, How do you approach and deal with an employee who has been drinking on the job?

How To Confront An Employee About Alcohol Abuse

Review Company Policy

The first thing you should do is consider your company policy. Does your company have a policy in place for drug and alcohol testing? Does the company enforce a zero tolerance policy? Do you have any contracts that require you to follow a specific 3rd party procedure such as the Department of Transportation’s policy for drug and alcohol testing? Before you consider what you’re going to do, know exactly what you’re required to do.

Is The Employee Really Under the Influence?

Before confronting the employee, observe their behavior. Do signs of alcohol use really exist? Does the employee exhibit motor skill problems, slurred speech, alcohol odors or irrational emotional behavior?

Confronting An Alcoholic Employee

This should be done privately and professionally. You want to talk to the employee in a calm manner without making judgements or accusations. If you suspect that the employee is obviously under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then now is not the best time to start reprimanding them over their work quality or other performance issues. You should emphasize concern for their personal well-being and provide them with information about any employee assistance programs that might be in place.

Employee Drug & Alcohol Testing

The next step is to send the employee for drug and alcohol testing, provided that your company policy allows testing or is required to do so under law. If this is not an option, talk to the employee about referring them to a doctor for evaluation.

Sending An Employee Home

An employee who refuses medical attention and is obviously under the influence needs to be sent home. You should not allow this employee to drive. Call the emergency contact number listed for that employee and have them pick up the employee. The warning signs that you interpreted as the employee being under the influence could have also been signs of a more serious medical condition. You should not let this person leave unattended.

For more information on a drug free workplace or drug testing, contact ARCpoint Labs of Worcester today.

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