Category: Drug & Alchohol Use

OSHA Weighs in on Retaliation and Drug Testing

OSHA Weighs in on Retaliation and Drug Testing

QUESTION: We conduct drug testing whenever an employee is injured at work or in involved in an accident. I recently read that this may violate OSHA’s anti-retaliation rule. How can that be? I would think OSHA would want employers to drug test to keep workplaces drug-free and safe.

Quirky Question #228, E-Cigarettes: To Vape or Not to Vape at the Workplace

Quirky Question #228, E-Cigarettes: To Vape or Not to Vape at the Workplace

Question: Our California company has a no smoking policy but had not thought to include a ban on e-cigarettes, as we had not experienced any problems with them at the workplace until now.  A handful of our employees use e-cigarettes during work hours.  A week ago, a supervisor informed HR that coworkers were concerned about the health effects of being...

Quirky Question #213, Holiday Parties – Potential Sources of Liability

Quirky Question #213, Holiday Parties – Potential Sources of Liability

Question: We are in the midst of preparing for our 2013 holiday party. We plan to schedule an evening event and intend to provide our employees and their guests with free food, entertainment, and alcohol; after all, we’ve worked hard all year and want to celebrate! How do we avoid risk while we host a fun party?

Quirky Question #211, Marijuana Use

Quirky Question #211, Marijuana Use

Question : One day during the lunch break, as I was heading to my car in the parking lot, I discovered two employees smoking what smelled like pot.  I approached the employees and reprimanded them for engaging in illegal activities on the job, and told them that I would have them terminated.  One of the employees, whose mother works at...

Quirky Question # 178: Medical Marijuana and the ADA

Quirky Question # 178: Medical Marijuana and the ADA

Question: We are a large company with operations in several states. Three of the states in which we operate permit medical marijuana use: California, Oregon, and Washington. One of our factory employees, working in an Oregon location, recently requested that we accommodate his medicinal use of marijuana. The employee claims that even if state medical marijuana law and discrimination law...

Quirky Question # 172, Employing Cigarette Smokers

Quirky Question # 172, Employing Cigarette Smokers

Question: Our company recently adopted a policy of not employing cigarette smokers.  We decided to adopt the policy to (1) reduce health our care costs and (2) set a positive example given our business’s relation to health.  We now have two problems.  One applicant admitted that he smoked during his interview and we did not hire him.  He now claims...

Voluntary Leave Policy, Quirky Question # 35

Voluntary Leave Policy, Quirky Question # 35

Quirky Question # 35: I am the HR Director for a large company with operations in Alaska.  Our Alaska-based employees work on a rotating schedule of two weeks on / two weeks off.  Many of these employees commute from the Outside (Lower 48) for their two-week rotations.  During their rotation, these employees live in company provided housing and are transported...

Medical Marijuana Use In the Workplace, Quirky Question # 21 (California Issue)

Medical Marijuana Use In the Workplace, Quirky Question # 21 (California Issue)

Quirky Question # 21: We recently made a job offer to a gentleman as a lead systems administrator in the California division of our telecommunications company.  As part of our routine pre-employment drug testing, he tested positive for marijuana.  However, the applicant presented us with a doctor’s note allowing him to use “medical marijuana” for chronic back pain cause by...

Reasonable Suspicion of Drug Use, Quirky Question # 20

Reasonable Suspicion of Drug Use, Quirky Question # 20

Quirky Question # 20: We recently saw in the newspaper that one of our employees had been arrested for DUI and marijuana possession.  Based on the newspaper article, we insisted on drug testing the employee under the “reasonable suspicion” section of our drug testing policy.  The employee adulterated his urine sample by adding soap to it.  The testing facility advised...

Drug & Alcohol Testing, Employment of Minors, Quirky Question # 13

Drug & Alcohol Testing, Employment of Minors, Quirky Question # 13

Quirky Question # 13: I read your Quirky Question # 12 regarding sexual harassment and the issue of whether the policies need to be tailored to minors.  Your question alerted me to a related issue.  Like the company described in your last question, our firm also employs a number of minors under age 18.  We have a pre-employment and post-accident...