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Working With Addiction

7.16.12

Rosemary Gousman, managing partner of the New Jersey office, was quoted in the July 16 Job Week article "Working With Addiction." The article reported on the dilemma well-meaning employees can face when they suspect a coworker is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Signs of addiction may include behavioral changes, mood swings, memory lapses, tardiness and deterioration in job performance, however, there could be any number of causes for these issues. Rosemary said, "I always encourage people to make complaints to HR instead of a supervisor because they are familiar with the resources available to aid employees." She noted that HR professionals also understand "duty to accommodate" requirements, or the steps employers must take to avoid discrimination. "Some companies, especially government contractors, have a number you can call anonymously because some people are reluctant to get involved," While reporting substandard performance may seem like threatening a suspected addict's livelihood, in the end, it might save his or her job — and life. "Often, people's incentive to get help is the prospect of losing their job."

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