David Morrison, a principal in the firm's Litigation and Labor & Employment groups, is quoted in "Coronavirus Complicates Workplace Drug-Testing Programs," published Aug. 14, 2020, in SHRM's HR Daily Newsletter.
As the coronavirus crisis continues to impact the workplace and the economy, many businesses are focused on keeping workers and customers safe. However, some safety programs—such as drug-free workplace initiatives—have become more complicated to administer.
The article provides some tips for employers that may be struggling to maintain their existing policies and practices in light of the pandemic.
In the article Mr. Morrison suggested "that when employers are seeking to test only for impairment, they should train managers and supervisors on ways to reasonably observe when someone is working under the influence."
Reasonable-suspicion-based testing could be prompted by the following observations:
- Strong odors.
- Questionable movements, twitching or staggering.
- Dilated or watery eyes.
- Flushed, confused or blank facial expressions.
- Slurred speech or an inability to verbalize.
- Argumentative, irritable or drowsy behavior.
- Sleeping, falling unconscious or otherwise being nonresponsive.
Supervisors should also be trained on how to properly document their observations. "If there is reasonable suspicion that an employee is currently under the influence of marijuana, then the company should explain to the employee what has been observed," Mr. Morrison said.