When Is It Reasonable to Test Employees for Drug or Alcohol Abuse?


Drugs and alcohol present very real hazards in just about any work setting, but supervisors must be especially wary when monitoring employees working on safety-intensive tasks. Employees who may be impaired by drugs or alcohol can put themselves and others at risk if they operate equipment while under the influence. Supervisors must be prepared to:

  • Identify signs of an employee working under the influence.
  • Understand the social and operational implications of confronting that worker.
  • Discern what is reasonable suspicion of intoxication.
  • Follow correct procedures to ensure employee privacy and safety.

RedVector courses for supervisors, managers and human resources

All of this must be accomplished while making judgment calls based on employee behaviors that could potentially be interpreted in multiple ways. As a result, managers face a difficult decision every time they suspect a worker is trying to get the job done under the influence of drugs or alcohol and respond appropriately. The proper training can help supervisors navigate these complex situations and understand the legal and practical issues associated with testing employees for drugs and/or alcohol use.

RedVector’s drug and alcohol suspicion training has received approvals from the Project Management Institute (PMI), Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

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