Tackling Drugs in the Workplace
Latest News and Updates
Employers Unsure About Impact of State Medical Marijuana Laws
More than 50,000 medical marijuana patients are registered in California. Michigan has issued more than 60,000 registration permits and another 110,000 requests for permits are pending. The proliferation of state laws legalizing medical marijuana may raise workplace safety concerns and may motivate some employers to re-examine drug-testing policies.
New Legislation Defines ‘Impairment’ and Addresses Other Employer Concerns Created by Arizona Medical Marijuana Act
Legislation signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer April 29, 2011, amends Arizona’s drug-testing statute by defining terms and adding much-needed protections for employers in light of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
10th Circuit: Employee Fresh out of Drug Rehab Not Protected by ADA Safe Harbor
An employee terminated after testing positive for illegal drugs has no Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim based on his former employer’s subsequent decision not to reinstate him even though the employee had completed a one-month inpatient rehabilitation program, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held.
Final Medical Marijuana Rules Released in Arizona
The Arizona Department of Health released its final medical marijuana rules, implementing the Medical Marijuana Act passed by voters last November.
9th Circuit: Pre-employment ‘One-Strike’ Drug-Screening Policy Does Not Violate ADA
A hiring policy that permanently disqualifies candidates for failing a drug test does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) or California employment law’s protection of rehabilitated drug addicts, according to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Medical Marijuana User's Claims Against Employer Dismissed
An employee who was terminated after testing positive for marijuana, which he obtained and used pursuant to Michigan’s medical marijuana law, has stated no legal claims against his employer, a federal court in Michigan has ruled, dismissing the employee’s wrongful discharge action.
Company Settles Methadone Treatment Case
A Pennsylvania copper parts manufacturer has agreed to pay $85,000 to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit filed when the employer withdrew a job offer to an applicant after learning he was in a drug treatment program.
Alcoholic's Legal Claims Can Proceed
A Texan who went on leave for treatment for alcoholism and was fired can proceed with his claims under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Heroin Use Higher Than Expected
Heroin use is five times more common among U.S. workers than previously thought, according to a report from Quest Diagnostics Inc.
Bath Salts Are New Drug Danger
Federal and state officials are warning of the dangers of two new synthetic drugs that mimic cocaine or methamphetamines and are marketed as “bath salts.”
Religious Bias Suit Settled
A Sanford, N.C., auto parts manufacturer has settled a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the company’s firing of an employee who refused, for religious reasons, to provide saliva for a drug test.
U.S. to Ban Chemicals in Fake Marijuana
The federal government is moving to outlaw five chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana products. The fake pot is alarming health officials. It also raises concerns for employers and law enforcement officials because the chemicals in it can’t be detected by routine drug tests.
Court Denies Unemployment Benefits to Worker Who Violated Drug Policy
A Wal-Mart employee was properly disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for violating the company's drug policy, a Tennessee Appeals Court ruled Nov. 19, 2010. The employee failed to notify his employer of his conviction for cocaine possession.
Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure Narrowly Passes
The final tally for Arizona’s medical marijuana ballot referendum, announced Nov. 13, 2010, shows that voters approved the measure by about 4,000 votes out of more than 1.67 million ballots counted. This makes Arizona the 15th state to approve a medical marijuana law.
ADA Claims Limited
Only people with disabilities may sue employers under an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provision that prohibits the use of qualification standards and other tests that tend to screen out individuals with disabilities, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
Identifying Risky Drinkers
Screening workers for problem drinking may
become a common practice for employee assistance programs by October 2011.
Getting the Right Help
Choosing an employee assistance program can be a difficult task. Several providers suggest that HR professionals put themselves in their employees’ shoes: What will employees experience when they seek help for a serious issue such as substance abuse?
In a three-part package in the November 2010 issue, HR Magazine examined ways employers protect their workforces—and their businesses—from the debilitating impact of substance abuse.
Click the links below to read our cover package or click here to share and discuss yours and others’ experiences with drugs in the workplace.
Putting Drug Screening to the Test
Many employers continue to say no to drug testing. How useful is it?
What to Do About Substance Abuse
You employ your share of an estimated 14 million U.S. workers who abuse drugs and alcohol. Here’s how to help them and protect your company.
The Marijuana Exception
People who use marijuana for medical conditions, as permitted in 14 states and Washington, D.C., may be shielded from prosecution. But employers can still enforce zero-tolerance policies.
SHRM Toolkit: Drug Testing
SHRM Sample Presentation: Identifying and Treating Substance Abuse in the Workplace Training for Supervisors
SHRM How-To Guide: Documenting Reasonable Suspicion
SHRM Q&A: Do we have to follow the FCRA guidelines for drug tests?
SHRM Q&A: We just acquired a company that operates commercial vehicles. Are we required to implement drug and alcohol tests?
SHRM Q&A: What do we need to do to implement a pre-employment drug screen?
SHRM Q&A: What issues should we be concerned with when conducting pre-employment testing as part of our selection process?
SHRM Q&A: Are employees undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol addictions covered under the ADA?
SHRM Q&A: Do we have to pay employees for their time spent going to mandatory drug testing?
SHRM Q&A: We have employees who drive as part of their job. Are we required to drug test them?
SHRM Q&A: We suspect an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Can we test for substance abuse?