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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - Drug-Free Workplace Advisor

Impose a Penalty on or Require Satisfactory Participation in Treatment

Upon receiving notice of an employee’s conviction of a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace, the employer must take appropriate action within 30 calendar days. Options include (1) taking appropriate personnel action against employee up to and including termination (consistent with requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act), or (2) requiring the employee’s satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a Federal, state or local health, law enforcement or other appropriate agency. Regardless of which action an employer chooses, the response should be applied consistently and fairly. Although each case should be evaluated individually, it is generally in the employers’ best interest, particularly legally, to treat similar offenses with similar consequences. Many employers provide an employee with the opportunity to seek treatment before initiating disciplinary action. These disciplinary procedures should be detailed in the policy statement.

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