The policy is signed by the authorized representative of the union, by the authorized representative of the employer and finally, by the employee. Giles Electric Company’s Drug Free Workplace Program does not incorporate a comprehensive drug awareness and education program aside from the memorandum. In addition, the company policy for a drug free workplace was silent on any provision for training for supervisors to detect and manage substance abuse issues. The testing policy just stipulates that two managers or supervisors would determine an employee’s cause of irregular behavior. The company’s provision for seeking assistance through the Health and Welfare Plan was included in the program.
There were three (3) identified rehabilitation centers which can provide counseling and treatment. The employee was clearly advised that “he or she may be suspended without pay prior to, during and after any rehabilitation or counseling program and must prove to be alcohol or drug free before returning to work” (Drug Free Workplace Program 1996). Ramifications of Including or Omitting Relevant Provisions Both the employers and the employees benefit with including precise provisions regarding all pertinent information indicated in the drug free workplace program.
As indicated it has important consequences for the employees’ eligibility for medical and indemnity benefits. Since the scope of work of Giles Electrical Company could be classified as risky in nature, any work related accident should be closely examined and investigated as to the nature of their occurrence. If the cause of the accident is drug related in nature, then any compensation due to the employee would be forfeited. The policy clearly specifies and explains all relevant information needed by the employee in this regard. The employer, on the other hand, would likewise be guided on the provisions regarding the appropriate measures of testing a suspected employee.
The provisions also explicitly warned against undue and unjust discipline, discharge or discrimination against any employee for seeking voluntary treatment for drug related program not within the jurisdiction of the program. It would be more helpful for supervisors and managers to have specific provisions for training as to the detection and management of substance abuse issues. The absence of any provision in this regard might be construed as a loophole due to the subjective nature of determining the cause for irregular behavior.
This might be an area where tendencies for grievance and objections could arise.
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