||Oracle Tips by Burleson
and Illegal Drug Use at Work
Abnormal behavior by employees may be an indicator
of alcohol and illegal drug use
at work. This is especially true
if the suspected employee has not exhibited any previous signs in the
course of employment.
These signs may include poor work performance and
attendance, apparent physical and emotional distress, and physical
evidence of alcohol on the breath, liquor bottles, syringes and pills.
Although these may be indicators of alcohol and illegal drug abuse, a
conclusion should not be assumed as so without proper investigation
since the same indicators may be associated with other circumstances.
Because drug and alcohol abuse are hard to
justify, it is often much easier and less risky to fire the employee
for poor performance or abuse of company facilities such as surfing
sending non work-related e-mails.
Alcohol and Drugs Story
The job performance of a computer operator slowly
degraded over a period of four months. There was something obviously
wrong since he had always been a good performer in the past.
Gradually, more and more signs of a serious problem began to appear in
the workplace. His attendance and adherence to core work-hours began
to slip. Many days he would arrive at work late for the start of his
shift, or disappear for periods of time. His physical appearance was
more ragged and he looked very tiresome. He also had other outwardly
visible signs such as his eyes were often reddened and his hands
His manager had been meeting with him regularly to
review his performance and bluntly asked him what was causing his poor
work behaviors? He replied that he did not feel he had any performance
issues. This was the same response he gave repeatedly over a period of
Occasionally, his co-workers noticed the smell of
alcohol around him and the pieces of the puzzle started to come into
place. His manager offered him the services of the company’s Employee
Assistance Program for him to
get advice on dealing with whatever the issue was.
He never took advantage of these opportunities to
correct the situation and ended up being fired for poor performance
after receiving several warnings.
The above book excerpt is from:
Firing Computer Professionals
manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"