As the issue on substance abuse continues to haunt the workplace, more and more companies are now laying out their drug policies. The aim is not to reprimand erring employees who are found positive for drug use, but rather to protect the welfare of these employees and the whole workforce.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has devised a model for marijuana workplace policy. Based on its recommended framework, here are some of the highlights of the NORML policy:
- The company shall promote its interests in guaranteeing a secure, healthy, and efficient working condition for its employees, co-employees, and the customers it serves. The use or possession of alcohol or other intoxicating drugs in the workplace poses a risk to everyone. For these reasons, a framework that contains conditions for employment and continuous employment with the company will be established.
- Federal and state governments shall define controlled substances in order to describe them according to five levels of drugs. Schedule I drugs shall be the most restrictive and illegal to possess or use, while Schedule V drugs will be easily accessible at retail stores even with no prescription.
- Employees will not be allowed to report for work while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs that can have an impact on the employeeâ€™s ability to safely continue with their job duties.
- The company will not engage in random and/or pre-accident drug testing of workers. Any problems with substance abuse will be determined using behavior and performance measures only.
- The company is aware that there is a distinction between substance use and substance abuse and that the former is not tantamount to abuse. Employees can freely choose their own lifestyle choices when outside their workplace or otherwise with the company. However, such choices should not interfere in the performance of their jobs.
- Employees shall be restricted from reporting for work or staying on duty while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicants in their systems. Furthermore, they will not be allowed to consume alcohol or other intoxicants during office hours, as well as during their meal and break periods.
- Failure to comply with these substance abuse policies will merit a disciplinary action, which could include discharge. For more details about the policy, you can get in touch with the immediate superior or the chief operating officer (COO).
This framework from NORML should serve as a base structure for companies to develop their own drug policies in the workplace.