We suspect a top level executive in our not-for-profit company of being a substance abuser. What recourse is available?

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We suspect a top level executive in our not-for-profit company of being a substance abuser. What recourse is available?

For the 2nd time in 6 months, a director went missing after calling in sick. 1st time, he called his superior, disappeared for 2 days, then turned up in hospital. 2nd time, he called his subordinate, disappeared 1 day (no call/no show), then turned up in hospital. His subordinate reported to the Board that when he called the hospital, he was told the emp. was in the psych ward. He is generally a good worker, but we are worried as he has access to the checkbook and the authority to sign contracts. We believe he was in detox for heroin. Can we mandate a **** test? Remove his authority? Fire him?

Asked on May 12, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

New Jersey is an "employment at will" state, so unless this person has a written employment contract, or your company has a written employee manual or procedures that could be considered an employment contract, you do not need a reason to fire him.  The same would be true as far as your ability to take away his authority to sign checks or contracts.

I know of no law in New Jersey that would prevent you from requiring drug testing as a condition of continued employment.  N.J.S.A. 2C:36-10(f) makes "defrauding the adminstration of a drug test" a crime of the fourth degree, except where the continued employment is as a police officer, school bus driver or one of a number of other occupations, when it is an even more serious offense.


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