By establishing clear policies concerning employee substance abuse, the surveying firms reduce their risk of law suits related to third party injuries caused by accidents involving intoxicated employees.
Due to the equipment used by surveying companies, as well as the nature of many job sites, employees who work under the influence of alcohol and drugs pose a danger to themselves, co-workers, and the public. While many surveyors find the subject of alcohol and drug use awkward, especially when discussing off the clock use, establishing a clear comprehensive company drug and alcohol abuse policy is an essential part of risk management. The reason is that a third party who incurs injury as the result of an accident caused by an employee working under the influence of drugs can sue the surveying firm for negligence. At the same time, surveying firms have to be careful when dismissing employees for a positive drug screen. If the employee is taking prescription medication as directed, or if the test yields a false, and he or she is dismissed for drug use, the worker may have the basis for a wrongful termination suit.
The Basics of Establishing a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy
Surveyors can minimize their risk associated with substance abuse in the workplace by establishing a written drug and alcohol policy. Given the nuances of state employment laws in this area, employers need to work with a labor/employment attorney when developing and finalizing their policy. In addition to providing their workforce with the written drug and alcohol policy, they also need to provide in house training regard substance abuse in the workplace. Additionally, SAMSHA, one of the Federal agencies that addresses substance abuse issues, provides an Employer Workplace Toolkit containing valuable information about addressing drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace.