Dealing with hidden disability: Navigating protections for workers with addictions

June 18, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Employers generally understand their obligations related to legal protections for people with disabilities. But not all disabilities are obvious, sometimes not even to those afflicted. Such may be the case when employees suffer from addiction to prescription drugsa problem that’s been in the spotlight lately. And with good reason: The costs employers face related to such addictions are staggering.  Medicine sales man rep offering pills

For example, an analysis released in March claims that healthcare costs for employees who misuse or abuse prescription drugs are three times the costs for an average employee. The analysis is from the National Safety Council, independent research institution NORC at the University of Chicago, and Shatterproof, a nonprofit organization working to end the stigma of addiction and support families dealing with it. The groups have developed a Substance Use Cost Calculator to help employers understand the impact of addiction on their business.

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Top 10 tips for dealing with substance abuse in the workplace

August 17, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Michelle Lee Flores

There is clear agreement that substance abusewhether it’s alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugsadversely affects employers and their businesses. Some estimate the loss of productivity for U.S. employers has been as much as $200 billion annually! General concerns for safety at work, injuries on the job, theft, loss of employee morale, and costs related to absenteeism, recruiting, training, turnover, and healthcare utilization illustrate why substance abuse in the workplace is problematic. Below are some tips for dealing with substance abuse in the workplace.  WorkAlcoholic

10 important do’s and don’ts
1. Don’t be the ostrich. Many employers don’t want to deal with substance abuse in the workplace, so they ignore it, thinking it won’t happen to them or a policy isn’t needed. Don’t be that employer. Indeed, chronic abusers seek out employers that don’t have substance abuse policies for their workplace. Many employers also tend to ignore or enable the substance abusing employee in his behavior. If there are suspicions of abuse, rely on your workplace policy and your employee assistance program (EAP).

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