According to statistics, drug and alcohol abusers among employees account for increased absenteeism, more on-the-job injuries to themselves or others, and lower productivity.
If you are a federal contractor (for $100,000 or more) or grantee, you must comply with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. Under this Act, you are required to:
- certify that you will provide a drug-free workplace
- publish a statement notifying your employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace and stating what action will be taken against your employees for violations
- establish an ongoing, drug-free awareness program
- require each employee directly involved in the work of the contract or grant to notify you of any criminal drug statute convictions for a violation occurring in the workplace
- notify the federal government of such a violation
- require the imposition of sanctions or remedial measures for an employee convicted of a drug abuse violation in the workplace
- continue in good faith to comply with the above requirements
Employers may want to consider implementing an employee assistance program (EAP) in their workplace. EAPs are a type of employee benefit designed to help employees and families of employees whose attendance and job performance are adversely affected by job stress, personal problems, or alcohol or substance abuse. Also, EAPs are generally incorporated into an employer’s overall health promotion and wellness program and may be one of several methods used to reduce health care costs.
In order to educate your employees about your business’s stance on substance abuse and any program you may have, you should:
- Tell new hires about the policy (orientation is a good place for this).
- Periodically remind current employees about your commitment to making the program work.