Substance Abuse at Work

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I read an AP report, this morning, that one in twelve workers admits to using drugs. This number doesn’t surprise me, and if anything, seems a little low.

I want to stop right here and say that drug use in the workplace is stupid & ridiculous. It’s not just a safety issue. It’s not just a productivity issue. It’s a common sense issue.

We don’t pay you to come to work to be stoned. The. End.

That being said, I’m always wary of employers who try to force specific behaviors outside of the workplace. Smoking marijuana is more or less illegal, but what about employees who drink after work? What about colleagues who smoke three packs a day? Watch pornography? Eat fatty foods?

Corporate America should train its employees to create goals & objectives that are metrics-driven and tied into the business. Then the company should train managers to hold colleagues accountable for achieving those goals (& hold managers accountable for being good managers, too). The corporate, off-site, paternalistic legislation of behavior is both stupid and a waste of time. I’m not sure it adds to the company’s productivity, and it certainly doesn’t help the bottom line.

What about the cost of health insurance, you ask? Doesn’t a company have the right to dictate behaviors if it subsidizes health care coverage? My answer is no, and it’s Reason #2908 why we need a more thoughtful, national health insurance program that removes the burden of healthcare from our employers and allows corporations to innovate and produce goods & services — not dictate and lecture its employees on drug use, obesity and smoking.

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