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Employee, a non-CDL Driver, on Hydrocodine Texas

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  • Employee, a non-CDL Driver, on Hydrocodine Texas

    I have recently found out that one of our employees who is a non-CDL Driver is taking Hydrocodine 4 times a day long term with a proper prescription. This employee is a driver and there is no other work with the company that he is qualified for.

    Is there any legal issue with terminating him. He basically DUI at all times. The way we found out was via a random drug screen and he told us voluntarily, without us asking, that he was on the meds.

  • #2
    http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-251-...aminophen+Oral

    I'd want more information from his prescribing physician as to whether or not he can drive when the drug is taken as prescribed. Now, how you get that, I don't know.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
      http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-251-...aminophen+Oral

      I'd want more information from his prescribing physician as to whether or not he can drive when the drug is taken as prescribed. Now, how you get that, I don't know.


      We are going to send the prescribing physician a copy of the job description and a letter that askes if he feels the employee is capable of doing his job and to send us a letter saying so. My bet is the Doctor, in a perfect CYA action, won't write such a letter.

      Comment


      • #4
        If he non-union or in a at-will state, you can terminate because you don't like the color of his shoes. I don't think driving a company vehical on Hydrocodine 4 times a day is going to be in a protective class even though it is a legal presciption. My husband can not be at work (very large company) if he has taken any type pain medication. It called big time company liability.
        Tell him off the medication and be able to pass a drug screen or look for another job. Mean while, I would let them near a company vehical

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        • #5
          vfielder, I think that's jumping the gun.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            I agree with Patty. I would wait to see if the doctor responds to the letter first.

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            • #7
              Hydrocodine is an opiate narcotic. If your job is at a desk, no problem...but when operating a motor vehical, sorry respectfully, but I can't see or comprehend any doctor giving the okay to drive a commerical vehical when under the influence of a narcotic. The company puts themselves up to major liability if they where aware, allowed it and by chance an there's an accident.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by vfielder View Post
                Hydrocodine is an opiate narcotic. If your job is at a desk, no problem...but when operating a motor vehical, sorry respectfully, but I can't see or comprehend any doctor giving the okay to drive a commerical vehical when under the influence of a narcotic. The company puts themselves up to major liability if they where aware, allowed it and by chance an there's an accident.


                I respectfully disagree. I have a very good friend who takes a much stronger prescription than the employee here in question, who is not only completely functional but drives himself to and from work and drives as a living on a daily basis.

                The presence of narcotics does not necessarily mean the driver is impaired.

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                • #9
                  My opinion is that you need to consult your legal counsel on your responsibility for his actions while "on this drug" and consult your doctor, not the employees.
                  Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

                  I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

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                  • #10
                    I agree with HR Generalist & Patty. I would see if the dr. replies to the letter first & then go from there. You may need to get legal counsel involved as noted by CatBert.
                    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                    • #11
                      Consider that if he's in an accident, and tested, you could have a massive lawsuit on your hands to defend, especially when it comes out that you were aware that he was driving while using the drug. Much harder to defend (since he could easily be overusing at some point) than a simple accident. The increased liability of proving that he WASN'T impaired could be substantial.
                      I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you Alice. I was starting to worry if was the only one who thought this was a major safety issue

                        Okay guys, were not talking about driving back and forth to work in your personal vehical. This is very much a "safety and legal" issue for the company.

                        Payroll your best bet is start doing some major research in HR drug and alcohol policies. In this neck of the woods you can't even drive a fork lift while on this medication let a lone a company truck. Your requested to take sick leave or put on light duty task while on the medication

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                        • #13
                          I agree with not jumping the gun. My sister-in-law is a bus driver for a county transit authority that is self insured and has been on not only Dilauded but Fentynal patch for chronic pain for many years. Not only did her physician note that she was safe to drive but so did the company Dr. and she still drives to this day.

                          Having worked in the medical fields for 26 years, I can attest to the fact that many people (especially those with chronic pain) can after becoming accustom to pain medication function completely normal.

                          Comment

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