Employee on boosters – what steps can the employer take?
We define boosters as psychogenic or hallucinogenic compounds that cannot be classified as drugs. Their primary function is to induce a state of euphoria and relaxation similar to the emotions experienced while taking drugs. Taking legal highs causes various effects in the human body – a lot depends on the composition, dose and personal tolerance to the product. Quite often, however, it is noticeable that a given person used this type of measures. The problem may arise when this occurs in the workplace and while performing your duties. The employment relationship is based on the performance of tasks ordered from above by the superior at the place and time indicated by him. Each employee must therefore comply not only with the binding contract, but also with the health and safety rules in the company and the provisions contained in the Labor Code. Pursuant to Art. 100 of the Labor Code, an employee is obliged to perform work conscientiously and diligently and to follow the instructions of his superiors concerning work, if they are not contrary to the provisions of law or the employment contract. The basic principle of the labor law is that the employee comes to the company sober and remains in this state until the completion of his duties. This also applies to the consumption of any intoxicants, which can certainly include legal highs. In other words, the use of legal highs at work is completely prohibited and if it does, the employer may take appropriate consequences against his subordinate.
In fact, an employee performing his duties must not take even the smallest amount of designer drugs. Therefore, it will not matter for the employer whether a given person has taken such a measure in large or small amounts. Of course, in the latter case, it is easier for the employee to hide his condition from his superior. The amount of consumed legal highs should therefore be compared to the amount of alcohol consumed or drugs taken at work – no dose is allowed here. Currently, the provisions of the Labor Code do not provide for direct consequences in the event of using NPS while the employee performs his duties. However, the establishment should have regulations that will prohibit the use of this type of stimulant and specify the legal consequences for undertaking this type of behavior (at least once). A properly structured work regulations may contain provisions according to which the employer is entitled to inspect an employee suspected of using NPS while performing his duties. Remember, however, that no supervisor has the right to force an employee to undergo drug testing (especially if these are blood or urine tests). Of course, the boss’s refusal to undergo NPS verification may be considered by the boss as a sufficient reason to draw consequences against the employee. The most severe penalty for the use of designer drugs may be disciplinary dismissal, which takes place pursuant to Art. 52 § 1 of the Labor Code Pursuant to this provision, the employer may terminate the employment contract without notice due to the employee’s fault in the event of:ciężkiego naruszenia przez pracownika podstawowych obowiązków pracowniczych;
• an employee committing a crime during the term of the employment contract which prevents him from being employed in the position he holds, if the crime is obvious or has been confirmed by a final judgment;
• loss of rights necessary for the performance of work in the position held by the employee at fault.
If the employee is in a state that does not allow him to perform his duties and we prove that it is solely his fault, the employer may terminate the employment contract with immediate effect. Such situations may include: the fact that the employee swears and uses offensive words towards the supervisor or his colleagues, behaves aggressively towards any person, destroys plant property or simply leaves the workplace. The head of the workplace or a person authorized by him is obliged to prevent the employee from working if there is a justified suspicion that he appeared at work after using alcohol or consumed alcohol during work. The circumstances underlying the decision should be made known to the employee. At the request of the head of the workplace, a person authorized by him, as well as at the request of the employee referred to above, the examination of the employee’s sobriety is carried out by an authorized body appointed to protect public order. Blood collection is performed by a person with appropriate professional qualifications. The above regulation, although it concerns alcohol consumption by an employee, also applies to intoxicants, which are certainly legal highs. An employee with boosters does not need to immediately expect disciplinary dismissal, although it is legally permissible. A tolerant employer may apply a different penalty provided for in the provisions of the Labor Code. Pursuant to Art. 108 § 1 and 2 of the Labor Code for the employee’s failure to comply with the established organization and order in the work process, occupational health and safety regulations, fire regulations, as well as the adopted method of confirming the arrival and presence at work and justifying the absence from work, the employer may apply:
• a reprimand;
For non-compliance with occupational health and safety regulations or fire regulations by an employee, leaving work without justification, appearing to work under the influence of alcohol or drinking alcohol while working (this also applies to designer drugs) – the employer may also apply a fine.