I've got an employee with a hard drug problem. I don't want to fire him (not even sure I can legally) because he is great when he is straight. Anyone dealt with this problem and how did you handle it? What are my legal rights and and what are his legal rights? Thanks for any help. Pat
We now do pre-employment drug screening. I just don't want the risk. My best (past) employee is now in jail on drug related charges. This guy was FAST and good. The guy would come in early and stay as late as I needed. He would even clean up the truck while he ate lunch. He was a dream employee, unfortunately he was using crystal meth. When he gets out of jail I might hire him back with testing, but I doubt he can perform to his previous level without the drugs.
[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 11-25-2004).]
#154911 - 11/25/0411:51 AMRe: Employee drug problem
I can only say- with sorrow- that the only approach is one of no tolerance. Period. Since drug use is often accompanied by denial and deceit, you are often forced to draw your own conclusions, and find some other reason to let the guy go.
Meth-heads are a particular cross to bear. They are often energetic, with exceptional "people" skills, and present a clean-cut, respectable face. Nevertheless, their logic/judgement is erratic, and they sooner or later crash. bad. You'll also find that they've been doing things in some very unorthodox ways.
I believe in the Navy approach: Not on MY watch, Not on MY ship, not in MY Navy.
#154912 - 11/25/0402:32 PMRe: Employee drug problem
There's also a liability factor. My old shop had a relative (cousin / nephew) that wound up strung out on something. When he got wind he was going to be canned, he took one of the company vans home one night, and never showed for work in the morning.
They found the van (empty, but otherwise intact) by his girlfriend's apartment building. And of course, sharing a last name, all of the equipment being marked didn't make it obvious.
#154913 - 11/25/0405:23 PMRe: Employee drug problem
A few years ago, I had a great guy working for me. Honest, hard working, dependable, would do whatever needed to be done, whatever hours I needed. Just a great guy.
He had a drug problem and I didn't know it. Started being just a little less dependable. But he had been so great that I was willing to overlook a few things.
Then some stuff started missing from the shop occasionally. I never suspected he was taking any of it. But he was.
Lost his temper a few times in really inapproprate places and kind of went bizerk for no reson. I still didn't suspect drugs.
I ended up firing him once I figured it out (and some people explained to me what was really going on with him.)
You can fire him for using drugs unless he's enterig a treatment program for it. And you can sure fire him for being late, missing work, or whatever symptoms he's showing. And do it quick because he can and will damage your business in some way.
#154914 - 11/25/0411:23 PMRe: Employee drug problem
You might take him aside and suggest that he try a program of abstinence and recovery (NA, for example) if he's serious about keeping his job. Explain that if it continues, you'll have to let him go (and be ready to follow through with it) Drug use can not only cause you a liability, but can endanger the others around him because of his mental state. What may seem to him like a good idea could injure or kill someone else.
You may end up with an employee that's better than ever...and all the time!
You're not doing yourself any good by keeping an employee that's on dope, and maybe just as or maybe even more important, you're not doing him any good by enabling this behavior. He'll never seek help if he's comfortable with the way things are. Good luck
#154915 - 11/26/0408:58 PMRe: Employee drug problem
my personal opinion if you find out that a CRACKHEAD is working for you fire them asap and change all locks and codes let all suppliers and some higher end contractors know that this person is a CEACKHEAD. trust me I have worked with these pieces of human feces and seriously believe that they all should be killed. They lie they still they are unreliable and worthless. Thet will go into withdrawl which I call the SUPERFLU. and once in this state they will do anything for that rock just to chase jason these are just my views and i have seen and lived thru the crap junkies will put u thru. Our company test regularly atleast 7 test a year.
hope i didnot offend anyone but once a relative has destroyed a family with drug use it is easy to think this way
#154918 - 11/27/0409:11 AMRe: Employee drug problem