Should a Coworker’s Drug Use Outside of Work Be Reported?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about reporting drug use:

A friend of mine works at a bank and he has become friends with a co-worker. That male co-worker of my friend has been open about doing drugs outside of the workplace. He has noticed a change in his productivity and mood since his friend of 6 months now, has been using drugs. He wants to know if he should talk to his friend who is using or go right to the boss.

Signed–Drugs and Work

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Unfair Write-Up: First in Eleven Years

Question submitted to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a write-up:

I have been working at a major corp. in the same position for over 11 years. I recently went on vacation. I work in accounts payable and process invoices. While away, my supervisor and manager were at my desk. They were first there to look for invoices, which at first was normal. While they were there, they noticed some documents in my trash/recycle bin: an old purchase order which I knew was either closed/cancelled zero balance invoices for prepaid inventory (no need to keep it) A few other documents which I later explained to them I did not need.

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What Can Happen About an Accusation That I Started a Rumor?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being accused
of starting a rumor at work. 

Hi, I’m going to try and do this without names as I feel like I’ve been singled out for a witch hunt. I have been accused of starting a rumor about my supervisor (A) while she was on maternity leave. The rumor I am being accused of starting is that I said our manager (B) was unhappy with the work my supervisor(A) was doing and that she would be not welcomed back into our department. That the supervisor(A) would be re-positioned elsewhere or fired and replaced, and that a specific employee(C) would be taking on my supervisor’s(A) position.

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Can I be Fired for Testing Positive?

 Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about testing positive:

Just a few days ago I was accused of being under the influence of drugs on the job; I do do drugs on my own time but never on company’s time. I had to take a drug test and the test came back positive. Can my employer fire me due to the positive results even when it was done on my own time? —On My Own Time

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Infestation in Federal Building. Management Apathetic

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an unhealthy workplace:

I work in a warehouse that sells groceries and it has been infested with rats for months. There are visible droppings all over and the smell is horrible. Management was warned before it ever became this bad, back when precautions could still be taken. They have ignored all warnings and aren’t making any significant efforts to fix the problem, or clean up problem areas. Mice have even been seen on sales floor. There are a few traps out, but not helping.

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What To Do Next?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a very unpleasant matter:

Well, recently found out that a co-worker had been storing and smearing their faeces in our toilet. We found the faeces all over the basin of the sink. When asked what had happened, everyone was angered and shocked, including the guilty party.

We looked into what we could do to prevent this from happening as we have had minor cases of this in previous months. The next day the smell wasn’t going away. So my boss removed the tiles from around the sink, and behind there was lots of faeces, some in tissue some not. Other rubbish was stored behind there as well, such as wrappers and ladies feminine napkins etc…

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Thrown Up Against The Wall

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being attacked by a co-worker:

I was walking down the aisle at work when a co-worker grabbed my shirt and threw me up against the wall and asked me a question about a girl that was my friend that he also was dating. He wanted information about her and me.

I did not fight back. I went to a manager and told him of the situation. Then the manager told HR who then fired the gentleman. Two days later, HR called into their office saying that they have petitioned to have the employee come back to work.

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No Raise Now?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a verbal warning:
Can a supervisor hold a raise if you were given a verbal warning?
Signed Wondering

Dear Wondering:
I’m sure you don’t want an “it depends” answer. You’d like someone to say, “No, that can’t be done!”

Even labor attorneys, that we are not, most likely will hedge saying it depends on state and federal labor laws, the size of your company, if you are unionized, and how raises are determined by your employer. If you had a union, you’d probably know the answer to your question, so I assume you don’t work under a union contract. We provide communication advice, not legal but here are some thoughts to consider.

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Coworker Over Indulges at Industry Events

I have a dilemma and am hoping to get some advice on how to handle the situation. Many of the folks within the company travel quite a bit, and host or attend many industry events throughout the year. One of the folks who attends these events, seems to always over indulge. Seems now the indulgence is being noticed by outside constituents, who are letting me know what they observed. The person is in a position that would not receive any conversation willingly. How does this person recognize the issue? How do I let this person know there is an issue without consequences?

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