“Personal service, every time
Margie Roop, LPCC-S; CEAP; SAP
Regional Director, OH
Helpful reference: William J. Judge, JD, LL.M., Center for
Drug Testing Information, Peoria, IL
A supervisor sees someone who he
feels is under the influence of a
Question: Can the supervisor send the
person for testing without checking with
An employee tells you that she saw
another employee drinking from a wine
bottle in a car in the employee parking
Question: Can you ask that employee
to go back and get more details for
What is the primary drug of abuse
within workplaces within the U.S.A.?
Defenses such as anger, tears,
diversion, apologies and excuses are
utilized by the substance abuser to get
you to do what?
You highly suspect an employee of
having a substance abuse problem…
Question: Can you tell them you think
they have a substance abuse problem?
We’re almost there!
Irritability can sometimes denote a
mood disorder (depression), but it can
also denote what else?
Substance Abuse Trivia…
In Animal House, what would John
Belushi yell before each party?
How about the women-folk? What woman
or movie was this?
Every time alcohol touched her
lips, Bruce Willis could just not
Dudley Moore starred in this movie
where he was simply drunk most of the
I know that I am dating myself…..
Who would lock himself in this little
town’s jail cell when he was drunk
(don’t we wish they all did that)?
Extra credit: what was his last name?
What famous alcoholic sang
“Everybody Loves Somebody
WHY IS IDENTIFYING REASONABLE
SUSPICION SO DIFFICULT?
We are not conditioned to LOOK for it at
Who, in their “right mind” would knowingly
come into work under the influence?
The substance abuser is counting on you
thinking this way!
Sometimes we DO see it but don’t want to
BUT, WE HAVE SEEN EXAMPLES OF
REASONABLE SUSPICION IN OUR
“Girls’ night out”
New Year’s Eve
Super Bowl parties
May we have even
However, we’d rather
They just don’t feel
through so much
They’re just having
a bad day…
Well, he told me
he’s having serious
She said she’s on
It’s not my
Reasonable Suspicion exists if specific
objective facts and circumstances warrant
rational inferences that a person is under
the influence of alcohol or a banned
U.S. CONSTITUTION, 4TH
AMENDMENT REGARDING SEARCH
Levels of Proof required in our legal system:
Beyond Reasonable Doubt >>>>>>> ^
Clear and Convincing Evidence >>>>> ^
Preponderance of the Evidence >>>>> ^
Probable Cause >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ^
Reasonable Suspicion >>>>>>>>>>> ^
Hunch >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ^
So, Reasonable Suspicion
More than a hunch?
However, you must have
….in order to have
What you see
What you smell
What you hear
What you’re told
The way to get your facts!
1. OBSERVATION…gives you
Personal observation of employee
Third person report of observation
of employee action
Rumor of employee action
Physical symptoms of being under the
influence of alcohol or a banned
A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic
Dramatic decline in work performance
Excessive sick leave
Information provided by reliable and credible
sources which is independently corroborated
POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL OR A
As a manager, consider THIS a gift!
BUT….. YOU NEED FACTS and MUST
INVESTIGATE AND CORROBORATE:
Work related injuries
Off the job activities (i.e. arrests for DUI?)
Requests for salary advance
Wage garnishment actions
OBSERVED BEHAVIOR (Con’t)
Is there validity/reason for third part
(i.e. does someone have an ax to grind?)
Timely-follow the (DOT) “24 hour rule”
Document facts only
Treat documents confidentially
3. CONFIRMATION-you must!
Review employee’s recent work record.
Confirm suspicions with personnel or
some other level of supervision.
Confirm suspicions with credible
Timing depends upon suspected
Refrain from conclusatory accusations.
(i.e. “You’re a drug addict”)
Know the rules and follow them.
Uniform implementation of company
policy & procedures
Private setting away from work area
Witnesses - only those who need to be
Files are locked
Display respect at all times
HELPFUL TIPS FOR
Document; don’t diagnose! Focus
on performance problem, not
suspicions of substance abuse. Trying
to get person to admit substance abuse
is almost always futile (and misguided, if
substance abuse is not the cause of the
behavior after all).
HELPFUL TIPS FOR
Avoid meaningless threats: Discussion
of disciplinary action must be accompanied
by a strong commitment on your part to follow
through, if needed.
Stay objective and business-like:
Sympathy and apologetic overtones often fuel
the abuser’s knack for rationalization and
HELPFUL TIPS FOR
Reinforce that your actions are in
accordance with your organization’s drug free
Stick to what you know and can
document: unacceptable work behavior:
accidents, mistakes, absenteeism, etc.
Get a second supervisor’s
confirmation when possible, and
HELPFUL TIPS FOR
Keep documentation in front of
you to assist your memory and help
you resist the abuser’s efforts to
Where Safety Is A Critical Issue:
“Immediacy Of Danger”
Will observed conduct
Is there an opportunity
If you do not intervene
will risk continue?
Can you confirm?
MANAGER’S ROLE WITH
honest about how
you’re feeling about
feelings with a
prior to the
Always have a
Allow others to
take lead if you
objective with your
Call for consultation 24/7!
You do not have to be alone!
Remember, the job is the LAST to
go-you may be saving someone’s