3) Do not identify employees as “alcoholics” or “drug addicts.” The use of such a label may indicate, rightly or wrongly, that the employer considers it a protected disability. As in all areas of labour law, employers should be cautious in dealing with alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace. To avoid a violation of the ADA, employers should have a well-documented record, as they should in all disciplines of the discipline. The following steps are proposed: The agreement should contain a summary of the behaviour and shortcomings of the staff and cite the company`s guidelines that were violated. A summary of the progressive discipline received by the worker may also be included or, if the employer has kept detailed records, it can be referenced. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, drug and alcohol abuse will cost U.S. employers $81 billion in lost productivity per year.5 These figures confirm that alcoholics and drug addicts are not limited to the unemployed. On the contrary, studies show that the vast majority of drug and alcohol users work. According to a 2002 study by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Administration, there are 16.6 million drug addicts aged 18 and over in the United States, 74.6% of whom worked either full-time or part-time. The figures are the same for alcohol users, especially bingues and heavy drinkers.
In 2002, there were 51.1 million adult alcohol drinkers, 80% of whom were either full-time or part-time; Similarly, in 2002, there were 15.2 million drinkers, 79 per cent of whom were employed.6 The federal courts and the EEOC both rejected these allegations and found that reasonable last-chance agreements were consistent with workers` rights under the ADA. Although alcoholism and the guarantee of drug abuse are ADA disabilities, agreements are imposed because of staff misconduct and not a disability. The employee always has the choice not to sign the agreement, knowing that the consequence is disciplinary action that is the same as for any employee who violates the drug and alcohol policy. One of the tools that many employers use to provide discipline for the recovery of addicts in a way that is designed to prevent discrimination on the basis of addiction is the “Last Chance Agreement” (“LCAs”). A last-chance agreement is an agreement between the employer and the worker, usually used by employers to discipline a worker who regularly violates or violates labour rules because of his or her addiction to illicit drugs and alcohol, and who has reached the point of dismissal.