Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is the Flu or Are You Being Scammed by the Employee Addict?

So, how would you know if something like the flu is what's really keeping your employee out of work for three or four days if they just got out of the hospital after treatment for alcoholism? Good question! Employees who return to work after receiving alcoholism or drug addiction treatment can certainly get sick later on with the flu or other illnesses anyone else might get. It can be helpful to require that the employee obtain a letter from a physician to explain further absenteeism, but acquiring such a letter is not a difficult task for a determined employee who has recently relapsed. A better alternative is to have your company employee assistance counselor (Hey there fella! Do you have one that works?) receive follow-up information from the treatment provider and then with proper consent forms signed by your employee, act a contact to discuss employee problems you might later encounter. The key of course is the treatment program following up on patient's it treats, and also sharing appropriate information with your company's EAP. Employees do get sick my friend. But those that are following through with their post-treatment, self-care recommendations will be less likely to drink or use again, necessitating their lying about work absences. You have only to consider whether the absenteeism pattern you are observing is reasonable like any other employee. Appropriate feedback from the EAP counselor or human resource manager who has knowledge of the treatment provider's follow-up record for your employee will be the best way to feel good about welcoming your employee back to work after the flu.