Dealing With Drunk Employees

Unfortunately for employers, situations arise that no one is fond of or wants to deal with. Take this story for example:

Two weeks ago a Virginia Beach, Va., Jessica Snyder, a twenty-eight-year-old teacher at Plaza Middle School was arrested after she arrived to work drunk and fell in the halls of the school. She was charged with public intoxication. (source)


Drunk Employees

As you can imagine, the administration at Plaza Middle School was none to pleased with Ms. Snyder’s behavior and it has led them to a place they don’t want to be.  But these things do happen and as an employer, it’s better to be safe than sorry when an employee shows up to work drunk.

Know what to do with an intoxicated employee

Don’t be caught in a situation where you’re not sure what to do when an employee shows up drunk. Know your company’s policy front to back. As for the communication and dialogue with the employee, Business Know-How gives us some great suggestions. These suggestions will help to get the employee away from everyone else in the workplace:

1.  Approach the person in a friendly, non-aggressive way.  They’re not going to respond well if you come at them angered or in a confrontational way.

2.  Involve one of their sober friends. Allow the friend to calm them down and converse with them. Chances are, they’re more likely to respond positively to a friend.

3.  Don’t tell them what to do. Offer them choices of where to go to take this situation away from where others are trying to work.

4.  Don’t be fearful. Talk to the drunk in a calm and collected way, but seem confident. Control the situation, as you try to isolate them from other employees.

5.  Ask the drunk questions about him or herself. This will keep them from becoming too agitated with the situation. It continues to keep them in a better place than they’d be if they were confronted aggressively.

Don’t counsel your drunk employee

The best thing to do is not counsel a drunk employee.  Again, get them away from everyone else.  Give them the day off and make sure they have a safe way to get home. This is going to avoid any potential liability on your part.  Bring them back in when they’re sober to discuss what happened.  Have an alcohol policy in place so you can discuss the situation logically.

If you need proof your employee has been drinking, contact our ARCpoint Labs team. We can even come on-site and do a breath alcohol test or saliva screening to have you definitive answers in minutes.


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