Tampering with a drink

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about report of tampering with one’s drink:

How should I handle a situation where an employee reported that someone had put some hand sanitizer in her glass of water? Her straw and the drink tasted like hand sanitizer which she also kept on her desk. She has an idea who might have done it.

Signed, Very Concerned

Dear Very Concerned:

My response may be a bit more than you were asking for, but this is such a serious matter that I want to make sure you know how strong your reaction should be. Putting hand-sanitizer or anything else in something someone will eat or drink is not just the action of a mean-spirited person, it is criminal in most states. The employee whose drink was tampered with would probably need to be the one to make the criminal complaint, but it certainly would be merited, if it is illegal in your state.

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