For those who have dealt with alcoholism before, you already know that it can be a frustrating disease to deal with. After all, most people believe that an alcohol problem is simply a choice, and not something that needs treatment like other diseases that affect one's decision making. For employees dealing with alcoholism, it is critical to know the boundaries of an employer's actions, whether you are applying for a job, have received an offer or you have worked for a particular employer for a number of years.
This is important because under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), alcoholism is considered a disability that can affect one or a number of major life functions. As such, this post will provide some basic boundaries for alcohol testing
Applicants - The ADA prohibits employers from asking applicants disability related questions. Indeed, an employer may ask whether an applicant drinks alcohol, but additional questions into how often the applicant consumes alcohol and whether they drink at parties or during sporting events may illicit information about a disability.
Prospects who have received an offer - If you have received an offer of employment, it may be conditioned by a drug and alcohol test. While alcohol testing may be permitted, all employees within a particular job standing must be tested, and the test must be relevant to a safety standard.
Active employees - Employers can prohibit employees from being under the influence of alcohol while on the job. Also employees can expect alcohol tests as part of a workplace accident investigation.