Reasonable Suspicion of Nanny’s Drug or Alcohol Use

Aug 11, 2017 | Employing a Nanny, Working as a Nanny

Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace is a top concern of household employers, and one of the ways to accomplish this is to inform your nanny or other employee that drug and alcohol use is not permitted. But what if you suspect your nanny is not following this rule?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employers may be able to identify workers with substance abuse problems by noting aspects of their performance and behavior. While these symptoms may not mean that a worker has an alcohol or a drug abuse problem, employers should be alert to any of these aspects and may have a nanny or other household employee submit to a drug test on “reasonable suspicion.” It is very helpful to have documentation of what observable physical characteristics and behaviors were used as a basis for that reasonable suspicion in case you are ever challenged on it.

Remember, it is not the employer’s job to diagnose substance abuse, but it is the employer’s job to ensure health and safety within the work environment. Clear and firm communication with the employee focused on his or her job performance is key, as is explaining the drug-free workplace policy, performance policies, and what will occur when performance expectations are not met.

Our friends at GTM Payroll Services have created an Alcohol and Drug Use Reasonable Suspicion Checklist to guide you on what symptoms to look for and what testing procedures to follow should you deem it necessary.

For more information, contact us at (518) 348-0400.

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