Discussion Topic #1 Drug Testing in the Workplace
Today, it is quite common for employers to have random drug testing policies and procedures in place for their employees and staff. In most cases, employees must be willing to submit to and pass a pre-employment drug test and then agree to additional random drug screening throughout their employment with the company to help ensure a drug-free work environment. However, in most cases, the employer usually needs to have at least some level of suspicion before requiring an employee to submit to drug testing.
And while marijuana is now legal in several states, it is still illegal on the federal level, which can complicate things for some employers. This means that employers can still require testing and set consequences for employees who test positive for marijuana use. These consequences can include enrolling in a rehabilitation program, loss of benefits, and even termination. However, for an employer to conduct legal random drug testing there are several steps they must follow.
As the HR manager, it falls upon you to create a detailed written “drug-free workplace” policy, that provides your employer and company employees with legal protection. This policy will have to be provided to each and every employee for them to refer to at any time. They must sign and date a copy of the document providing proof that they have both read it and understood it before you place it in their personnel file. There are states with laws in place that require employers to provide current and potential employees with a written drug testing policy. There are also states who require state approval of any written drug testing policy before it is put in place.
It is your task for this discussion to craft a memo to your boss, based on a specific state law, answering the questions below. Do not pick a state that does not have a drug testing policy law, Pick one of the states that requires employers to provide current and potential employees with a written drug testing policy (a link to assist is below). You will have to research the specific state law.
Here is a link to get your started. https://www.ohsinc.com/info/state-drug-testing-laws/
1. Set out the specific requirements for conducting a legal “drug-free workplace” policy specifically on random drug testing. For each specific requirement in your policy, provide short justification for inclusion in the policy [i.e. notice requirements, who is to be tested, now often, consequences for refusing to take a random drug test etc.].
2. Next provide a general “drug-free workplace” testing plan. Some things to consider for your memo are what specific subjects should be included in the policy memo, except random drug testing which you will discuss in 1. above [i.e. pre-employment testing, scope of testing, list of drugs to be tested for, employee retest request, consequences for violating drug policy, reasonable suspicion, what should occur if employee tests positive, etc. This is not an all-inclusive list of subjects to be considered in your general workplace drug testing policy memo.]
You must substantively respond to colleagues. Use a minimum of one HR/legal reference to support your conclusions.
Here are additional links for you to reference.
Discussion Topic #2 Progressive Discipline
Situation – You are the HR director at the State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. A supervisor Josie comes to you and says that they are having various issues with the office manager. Over the past few weeks, the office manager, named Sam, has been arriving at work consistently late. Josie, Sam’s direct supervisor, has spoken to Sam several times about timeliness and reports that Sam is having “personal issues.” On some occasions, although Sam’s jacket is thrown over the chair in the office, no one can find or reach Sam for several hours at a time. The supervisor Josie suspects that Sam is slipping out of work. Most of the required reports from Sam are submitted late, and when they are turned in, these reports often have numerous errors in these important reports.
The supervisor Josie wants to terminate Sam, the office manager, immediately, but is willing to listen to your HR advice on progressive discipline and what should be done with this employee. There is a concern that the employee might retaliate by claiming discrimination, since Sam is a member of a protected class.
1. Based on Maryland state law, write out a plan, addressed to the supervisor Josie, which includes steps of progressive discipline, timing, documentation, and potential termination, if the earlier steps do not achieve the needed results.
2. Include steps that can be taken and documentation that may be needed to protect the organization against a possible claim of discrimination.
Use a minimum of two HR/legal references to support your conclusions. You must substantively respond to colleagues.
Here are some references for you to consider: