HR Management & Compliance

Self-Reporting Addicts and Substance Abuse Discipline in the Workplace

Yesterday, we gave a brief primer and linked to a number of resources for dealing with substance and opioid abuse in the workplace. Specifically, we looked at understanding the problem, identifying employees who might have a problem, how to approach said employees, and when you can and can’t intervene when it comes to an abuse issue.

Stuart Ritchie / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Today, we’ll look at two more challenging situations: disciplining an employee with a substance abuse problem and handling a situation when an employee voluntarily self-reports his or her addiction. Understanding both of these situations is critical for any HR manager to successfully navigate substance and opioid abuse in the workplace.

Now What? Disciplining an Employee with a Suspected Addiction or Substance Abuse Issue

If you read the resources from yesterday’s article, you are now familiar with the problem of substance and opioid abuse in the workplace, learned how to identify employees who might have a problem, and even learned when and how to approach them. But what next? The temptation for many employers is to immediately fire such employees. Experts believe that is not the right approach. This article will help you understand alternative approaches to disciplining an employee with a substance abuse problem.

When Employees Claim to Be Addicts—What, if Anything, Should Employers Do?

Understanding which employees have substance abuse problems can be very challenging because of the lengths that employees with a substance abuse problem will go to hide their issue. For that reason, you might be blindsided by an employee who decides to self-report his or her addiction. However, some addicts identify the seriousness of their situation and will seek help from their employer. You need to be ready for when this happens. This article provides an excellent overview of how to approach this delicate situation.