USA – With the dawn of marijuana use, there have been numerous challenges surrounding its legalities and usage. One of these issues is the continuous use of marijuana by employees, which differ significantly. In addition to that is its high demands to the flexibility of professionals assigned to the human resource who take charge in addressing the employer’s personnel.
In legal issues concerning addicted employees, one of the hardest problems is looking for possible ways on how to address an employee who is addicted to marijuana use. How far can you go when you are asked to interview an addicted employee? What should you ask him? What can the company provide for the employee and what happens if he decides to return to work? Naturally, asking the employee about his present addiction situation might affect his performance at work.
Some state laws, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act, govern these issues concerning marijuana use. Under some situation, these employees are permitted to take time off from their work to take appropriate action concerning their addiction which is considered a disability.
They can take weeks or months off to register at a rehabilitation center, or they can also modify their working hours so that they can attend some therapies. Although the ADA does not protect these employees, companies typically do whatever they can to assist those who are struggling with their addiction.
On the other hand, there also exists denial employees. No matter how hard an addicted person tries to hide their situation in the workplace, employers will always be able to notice some changes in their behavior. These behaviors may include unsteady pace, indistinct speech, distant stare, and the like. When these behaviors become evident, the employer immediately calls the attention of the employee and asked to undergo drug testing. The safety and security of the whole workforce should always be the priority.
Often, some employees will deny their addiction and even refuse the assistance offered. Sometimes, it might also take more than one approach for them to admit that they have addiction issues. It may not be that easy to convince them, but once they cooperate entirely, it is vital for the employer to state what kind of behavior and performance they are expecting as well as the consequences of failing.
When an employee returns after rehabilitation, the employer needs to be aware that it is a long process and does not stop after the person goes out of the rehabilitation center. The employer should also understand that their employee needs their support more than ever.
As the laws regarding marijuana use continue to change, it creates a considerably challenging issue for employers. In some states, it is being controlled by federal law, while others allow it for recreational usage. With this, employers should conduct and practice specific ways of identifying employees with addiction issues. Other than that, they should also be well acquainted with what to do and how to help their employees with problems about marijuana use.