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Making A Drug Free Workplace Exception

Question:

We recently acquired a company. We are a drug free workplace and conducted drug screens across the entire workforce for the new company. One employee did not pass, however, he was a top performer and highly recommended by the management of the company we acquired. Our policy does say failure to pass the drug screen could result in ‘discipline up to and including termination’. Can we make an exception? If so, what do we need to do?

Answer:

Yes – it is fine to make an exception, but it is important to document that exception!! Plus, you’ll want to let the employee know you are giving him a second chance and encourage him to visit your EAP or a rehabilitation service. You will likely want to test the employee again but keep in mind it does take awhile to get certain drugs out of the body. It would be a good idea to wait at least 60 or even 90 days before retesting.

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