I would like to relate a story I was told today, about an HVAC contactor I often work with. I have not seen the paperwork, so the tale may be a little garbled, but here it is, and I'd like to hear your take:
One man shop hired helper fresh from prison, on probation; the man had been serving time for drug charges. Helper prooved to be excellent worker, quite adept. Helper gets busted while in company truck. Drugs in system, drugs on truck. Employer nailed with $15,000 penalty. Part of this, if not all, was because employer had felon working on Federal job. Guy in company truck, on company time, employer held responsible. Helper returned to prison. Employer also threatened with seizure of truck and tools.
Does this story sound right? For the sake of discussion, let's stipulate that employer is squeaky-clean, and would never tolerate such activities were he to suspect them. Drugs involved: Meth.
Our insurance carrier sent us a notice, they are not covering this type of situation, it is up to each employeer to have screening and testing, if they want insurance coverage. and the additional coverage is HIGH no pun intended.
Have the ac contractor go to the ACLU. I'm sure they can pull ADA or some such other garbage out of the air and win in the Supreme Court. That way we can all be forced to employ drug addicts. Sorry for the political rant, but I had to pay out big once because letting go a slacker from the company once " we actually caught him sleeping on the job" caused him "mental cruelty" and he won.
That is why my company aaplication states clearly that no drug use is tolerated and and a drug test may be required for any or no reason at any time. Those who do not sign the line under that are not hired. I also have a statement that prohibits bieng under the influence of alchol during working hours or anytime on the clock or in company vehicle.
Since I started this thread, I have been able to "get the facts" of this story from the contractor himself. The $14,000 loss he suffered was the combination of penalties for missing deadlines on the job, and equipment that was rented, but not used.
The facts of the story are that he sensed his guy was coming apart, but wanted to get through this one big job before the guy crashed. He lost that race. His guy was pulled over, driving under the influence of Meth, there was additional meth in the truck, he had been missing appointments with his probation officer, and was -you guessed it- working out of state. He's back wearing stripes.
I suppose that incidents like this are why my attitude toward drug us has gone from 'live and let live' to 'I wish you could just shoot them on sight.' Misery loves company, and meth heads have a particular talent for spreading misery around.
This season has started off with a surge in construction thefts by (according to police reports) people who "look like they belong on, and are familiar with" construction sites. These drug-motivated (and e-bay facilitated) thefts hit us right in the heart- no tools, no work.