suspected drug use

Discussion in 'Employment' started by sven1277, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. sven1277

    sven1277 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 636

    I have an employee who is suspected by my other employees that work with him daily of possible drug use. We.don't have any hard evidence, but good reasons to suspect it. I trust the information I'm getting from my other employees and there is no alterior motive. I want him to get tested, but I'm not sure what the options are. If he tests positive, does he still qualify for unemployment? Thanks for your input.
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  2. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,233

    Does he drink alcohol?
    I think the only thing that matters is performance. If he is obviously intoxicated that effects his performance.
  3. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,365

    I'm not so sure that they will qualify for unemployment if they fail a drug test. i highly doubt it, but i'd check the state laws. My wife goes through this with her work.. When they suspect someone, they use one of those tests from the drugstore, and they had a few fail but they never fired them. lol.. If your gonna do a drug test, best thing to do is make it a suprise.. I have a brother in law that won't work, and the few times he does get a job he uses his kids pee to past the piss test.. so just saying. If it was me.. i'd do a "random" drug test.
  4. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Find out what the law for your state prescribes for employee drug testing. Once and only when you have established that your company has the law protecting your rights have what ever testing done ASAP.
    If positive sack him and take your crew out for lunch for protecting your intrest and their jobs.
    If negative monitor this employee more carefully in the future and retest as needed.
    Protecting your livelihood and the jobs of your employees by sacking employees that are under the influence of anything is just good business sense.
    easy-lift guy
  5. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,358

    Can I ask what type of drug use is suspected?

    Even before testing there is a lot that you can do to find out if he is using.

    Depending on the drug or drugs that are suspected, there are a lot of behavioral clues, hints, and insights which will be displayed by the user.

    Is he a good worker that is losing his battle with addiction?

    What is his track record like? Has he worked for 20 different companies before yours?

    The #1 issue is that you absolutely can not have somebody endangering your employees and #2, you cannot have someone either costing you or losing you money. This is a business.

    However, addiction is far from being a one sided issue and many times there are multiple issues to sift through.

    I have seen some of the smartest, strongest men that I admired more than anybody in the world fall victim to addiction. Some can recover and make it out, and some cannot.

    P.S.... Not every drug shows up on a store bought drug test kit. Even those companies that specialize in drug testing for a broad base of employers usually only use a 10 panel drug test. Do you know what that means? That means that drugs like Suboxone (which is a maintenance prescription drug for recovering opiate addicts) do not show up on the test. For all the good that Suboxone does for recovering addicts, it can still be abused severely and be potentially dangerous if abused by somebody in our industry. And that is just one example of a drug not found on the standard 10 panel.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,023

    Id just go out of business and move too another state.

    Drug rehab will likely cost you in excess of 100k and you will have trouble getting health insurance after that.
  7. sven1277

    sven1277 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 636

    This is just conjecture from my employees. They think either pills or heroin. He has left work early on multiple occasions sick to his stomach. He has come in late frequently. Like 12-1pm. They say sometimes his mannerisms are suspect. Today, my crew leader saw him from afar talking to wither person at a low income apartment complex we mow for just a quick min. He said it looked like a quick exchange. 20 min later he saw another quick exchange with the same guy. Another employee who has worked beside him said that the employee in question dis confess he had used pills and heroin in the past. So no hard evidence but a lot of circumstantial evidence.
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  8. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,358

    Ok, this is what I was afraid of....

    Super dangerous territory that you are in my friend.

    There is no worse addict than an opiate addict in my opinion.

    People think cocaine addicts are bad but the physical withdrawals and physical dependence that opiates tax the human body with are literally so bad that there will be a point where he will do anything... ANYTHING.. to get his fix.

    This includes stealing, putting people in danger, and going to any length imaginable to get right.

    I could go over some tactics with you to move forward in P.M or here on the board...

    Might be good on the board so other people can learn as well....

    But the last thing that you want is him popping into somebodies house while he is trimming. Or going into somebodies vehicle while he is blowing... Or... telling some willing like minded individuals where the crew will be during the day and at what house where it will be easy to drive by and grab some pruners or trimmers or blowers and drive off. Pawn shops will grab those up in a heart beat.

    The above examples are all things that I have seen happen before, numerous, numerous times.
  9. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,114

    Had an ex employee do that before. Another guy had pericot in his car for a medical reason, guy went in his car and stole it

    This was after he went through everyone's tool box in the shop. Which he didn't know someone was watching him.

    He found the pills and disappeared for 5 hours. We called the cops, and his ass got fired.
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  10. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 897

    Coming in late frequently seems like a reason to terminate employment. Have you documented the occurrences and written him up?

    I'm all about compassion, but impaired on the job is a huge liability to you and your company.

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