Can Your Employer Fire You for Using Drugs?

Can Your Employer Fire You for Using Drugs?
fail drug test

Hartford employment lawyers get calls every week from employees who have been suspended or fired for drug and alcohol infractions. They’re angry and they’re scared. When you’re caught using drugs at work, things are never going to end well. One small mistake can completely change your life. You may take too much of a prescription medication and end up passing out while driving your school bus. Or you could have enjoyed a late night out and operated heavy equipment early at work on a Friday morning. If something like this happens to you, it’s a good idea to call and talk to an experienced Hartford employment lawyer. They may be able to help get your job back or at least fight to get you unemployment benefits.

What is Your Company’s Policy on Drug Testing?

Every company has their own policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Of course, unless you are a taste-tester at a brewery, you won’t be able to drink or use drugs while on the job. If you’re caught doing so, there is often progressive discipline up to and including termination. For certain jobs, you can lose your professional license if you’re caught using drugs while on the clock. You need to review your company’s drug and alcohol policy as soon as you’re hired so you’re familiar with the consequences. Your Hartford employment lawyer will need to review this policy as well before they determine if you have a legal claim or not.

How Did Your Employer Find Out You Were Using Drugs?

There’s a big difference between your admitting that you have a drug problem as opposed to your boss learning on their own. For example, if you realize that you are addicted to opiates and want to go to rehab, you can certainly talk to your human resources director and ask for help. They may be able to secure you a place in an in-patient drug rehabilitation center. Or they may be able to give you a couple of months off to take care of your problem. However, if you deny having an issue and then are caught using drugs on the premises, it’s a different story altogether.

Your Hartford Employment Lawyer May Be Able to Prove the Drugs Were Prescribed

The whole point of hiring a Hartford employment lawyer is for them to help you get your job back. If this isn’t possible, they may be able to negotiate a severance package from your employer. At a minimum, they can fight to get you unemployment benefits. If you’re fired for gross misconduct, which would be the case if caught using drugs on the clock, then your unemployment claim will be denied. Rather than have that happen, let your Hartford employment lawyer negotiate a fair outcome with your employer. If you weren’t using drugs at all, then your attorney may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for such things as wrongful termination, defamation, and the like.

Drug Rehabilitation May Be an Option

Today, more companies are offering their employees an option to go to rehab rather than lose their job. However, this is usually limited to situations in which an employee proactively asks for help. Most policies do not offer this option to people who have already been fired or suspended. The point of these programs is to help employees get help. It is not meant to serve as a get out of jail free card for someone who tests positive for drugs while on the job. Typically, an employer will hold an employee’s job while they get the help they need. They’ll also help the employee get in touch with a representative from their health insurance company to secure in-patient treatment.

Call and Talk to an Experienced Hartford Employment Lawyer Immediately

If you’re suspended or fired from your job because of suspected drug use, you need to act fast. If you haven’t been terminated yet, it’s probably only a matter of time before you’re fired. Sometimes, companies suspend an employee while they check with their attorneys about what they should do. Once they get the approval to let you go, a letter will be drafted informing you that you have been terminated. The minute this happens, you need to call Aeton Law Partners and ask to speak with an experienced Hartford employment lawyer. In fact, you should give them a call as soon as you suspect you may be fired. This way, you know your case will be handled properly from the start.

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