Tag: Alcoholism

5th Circuit Rejects Disability Discrimination Claim Based on Alcoholism

An employer wasn’t liable to a former employee who alleged he was terminated because of a disability, his alcoholism, the 5th Circuit recently decided. Although the appeals court didn’t directly address whether alcoholism qualified as a protected disability when it upheld a New Orleans-based district court ruling, the opinion offers guidance on how employers can […]

Alcoholism and the ADA

Have you ever wondered if alcoholism may be covered as a disability? If you have, you’re not alone. This topic can be perplexing for anyone learning about Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifics, especially with how they pertain to current or previous drug or alcohol use.

To fire or not to fire? Even egregious acts require care before termination

What if you had an employee who apparently showed up to work drunk and then loudly swore at a coworker within earshot of customers? Would you: (A) fire the employee on the spot, (B) investigate and then terminate if evidence shows the accusations are likely true, or (C) let it go to prevent the employee […]

Drugs, alcohol, and the workplace: What employers need to know

No employer wants impaired workers on the job, and most take steps intended to prevent drugs and alcohol from causing harm. But despite carefully considered policies, problems often occur. Statistics reported in the June 2 Wall Street Journal are giving employers more to worry about. Statistics from Quest Diagnostics Inc., a major administer of workplace […]

Alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and the workplace―navigating legal risks

By Holly K. Jones Q We administer a voluntary leave program through which workers can donate paid leave to their colleagues to obtain necessary medical treatment. Recently an employee asked to use the program to seek substance abuse treatment for alcoholism. This isn’t the type of treatment we had in mind when we established the […]

Top 10 tips for dealing with substance abuse in the workplace

by Michelle Lee Flores There is clear agreement that substance abuse—whether it’s alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs—adversely affects employers and their businesses. Some estimate the loss of productivity for U.S. employers has been as much as $200 billion annually! General concerns for safety at work, injuries on the job, theft, loss of employee morale, […]

Alcohol abuser creates dilemma for employer

by Caren W. Stanley Q We have an employee in a high-risk, safety-sensitive position who recently admitted to extreme alcohol abuse. We are now concerned that he, his colleagues, and our company are at risk because we can’t depend on his work. We’d like to discharge him, but we’re unsure of the legal risks.  A […]

Alcoholism and ADA, FMLA Liability:What Employers Need to Know

by Brian Burbrink According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 17.6 million people — about one in 12 adults — abuse alcohol. Based on the statistics, odds are good that one or more of your employees suffers from alcoholism and may need treatment. The case illustrations below provide insight into avoiding liability […]

Employees Have a Duty to Reveal Serious Health Conditions under FMLA

by Chris LaRose In a decision issued August 25, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court properly threw out an employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) case. The lawsuit stemmed from the employee’s demotion after four unexcused absences. The employee argued that his absences should have been considered FMLA […]