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Why Can’t I Just Terminate an Employee Dealing with Substance Use Disorder?

Finding and retaining the best employees is critical to organizational success. Since the cost of recruiting and training a new employee is significantly more than retaining a current one, employee retention is important to your bottom line. Unless you have a written policy stating that employees may be terminated for illegal drug use or being
intoxicated during work hours, you may not be able to fire that individual. Doing so may leave you exposed to litigation.

Remember that addiction is a chronic, treatable brain disease. Employers can break down barriers to addiction recovery by providing education and access to addiction recovery support. The best programs are cost-effective, confidential and non-disruptive to personal and career responsibilities. This is critical for employers to succeed in  retaining top talent.

Benefits play a significant role in attracting quality employees. Mental health benefits for employees and their families/beneficiaries are powerful incentives in today’s competitive workplace. Incorporating addiction support in an employee wellness program shows corporate commitment to your people and their families. Employees want their employers to champion mental health and well-being. Employers and HR professionals are in a position to help change attitudes and promote healthy living. An educated leadership team coupled with forward-thinking policies and procedures are the keys to a healthy workplace for all.

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