Ask HR: Smoking in the Boys’ Room

Dear HR,

At one of our sites two employees went into the restroom, and were in there for an extended period of time. When they came out, the supervisor went in and noticed a strong smell of marijuana.

This incident happened at public restroom, so its impossible to say if there was anyone else in the restrooms of the times of the employees.

Are we within our rights to drug test the two employee’s in question? Or would we need to do a full crew random and drug test the entire crew of four? And can we search the two employee in questions possessions?

What they can do legally as an employer is:

  1. Call the police, it won’t likely produce a winnable criminal investigation but it may enforce the seriousness of the situation.
  2. Enforce your Drug & Alcohol policy – does it allow ‘for cause’ or ‘reasonable suspicion’ testing?
  3. Confront employees individually with the known facts and ask for an explanation.
  4. We would advise to DO NOT search their possessions. Let the police handle that if needed.