Episode 003 – The Substance Abuse Epidemic

Episode 003 – The Substance Abuse Epidemic

 

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD) as of 2018 more than 70% of those abusing illicit drugs in America are employed, as are most binge drinkers. 

 

 So let’s get to what’s happening Right Now!

 

Right Now –

 

Unfortunately I have first hand experience in dealing with people and substance abuse, both personally and in business. The number of people suffering from addiction in the US is astounding, in 2017 19.7 million adults battle addiction disorders, and that number of “adults” is considered age 12 and older … think about that … Almost 74% of adults with a substance abuse disorder also struggled with an alcohol use disorder. An estimated $740 billion dollars is lost annually in the workplace productivity, healthcare expenses and crime related costs, let me repeat that number $740 billion dollars! These statistics are from the American Addiction Center a rehabilitation and mental health facility, meaning they help with  people struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. In places like New York State, a rehabilitation facility must now also be licensed to treat co-occurring mental health disorders, which are mental disorders that a person may have while having a substance abuse disorder. These problems are intertwined, and can mask each other. It is a chicken vs. egg theory, which behaviors happen because of which issue. Substance abuse is is not an at home issue, substance abuse in the workplace can cause lost productivity, absenteeism, injuries, fatalities, theft and low employee morale. Other consequences are increased healthcare costs, human resource issues, legal liabilities and increased workers’ compensation rates. 

 

What does that mean for Schmos?

 

Well, it means alot. First and foremost is means that substance abuse is a health issue not a choice. Employers who deal with addiction in the workplace benefit from taking a firm stand on substance abuse and having a plan for dealing with employees who are struggling. We can’t stress it enough, Policy, Policy, Policy. Are your policies for substance abuse state and federally compliant? Maybe it is time to update your policy and procedure. Your first guard against liability is a pre-hire drug screen. You can go back to the previous podcast on Marijuana in the Workplace for weed specific questions. A pre-hire drug screening should always involve a medical review officer, someone who is certified in reading drug testing results. This provides two different things, 1. I will bet you aren’t certified to read the results and you don’t have a MRO on staff. 2. You want to keep this at Arms length, you want to be able to say this drug test was read by someone with no relationship with the company, except of course that you are paying them to read it. Now an applicant can’t claim you influenced the test in any way. How do you protect yourself while an employee is a problem on the job? Most states have a reasonable suspicion policy that you can utilize if you feel someone is high/drunk on the job. Again a reasonable suspicion drug test should be read by an MRO for the arms length approach. Finally you need a policy when an employee is proved to be on a substance while at work, the is where an EAP, Employee Assistance Program is a big help. Before I go in EAPs I want to stress, some job classifications have different rules regarding drug testing like, the fact that a refusal of a DOT driver to take a suspicion test or a random test is an automatic fail. Be careful, make sure you understand what laws the job classification is under. Back to the EAP, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.  EAPs address a broad and complex body of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders. EAP counselors also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges and needs.  Many EAPs are active in helping organizations prevent and cope with workplace violence, trauma, and other emergency response situations. We cannot stress this resource enough, whether it is a substance abuse problem or not, the EAP is a resource every company should utilize. Just like with the marijuana in the workplace podcast, please consult your labor attorney for specific details and questions. 

Episode 002 – Real Estate Like a Boss

Episode 002 – Real Estate

On today’s episode we have Howard Payson, who is a ReMax Realtor and owner of Real Estate Like a Boss. Follow Real Estate Like a Boss on all social media and keep a look out for their videos on Facebook and a new podcast coming out soon.
Follow us on all social media, @JoeSchmoHR and anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Episode 001- Marijuana and the Workplace

Episode 001 – Cannabis Legalization

 

It’s April 23rd Schmos and Cannabis Legalization is on the horizon for every state in the union. Marijuana is in that gray area, its legal and illegal, as of March 1st ten States and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use, but the Federal Government still classifies it as a Schedule I drug making it illegal and says it has no medical use. This massive change in the cultural value of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use has led to interesting questions specifically regarding recreational drug use and how it could affect pre-employment screening, what happens if there is an incident at the workplace and what kind of anti-discrimination action becomes available with legalized recreational use.

 

So let’s get to what’s happening Right Now!

Episode 000 – Affordable Care Act

Episode 000 – Affordable Care Act

 

It’s April 16th Schmos and as of last week the ACA, Affordable Care Act, is starting to come around again as the House Democrats have introduced a new bill trying to augment it. Most democratic and republican primary hopefuls are now crafting their stances on healthcare and ACA specifically. So let’s get to what’s happening Right Now!

Right Now –

ACA

Trump Admin

Since 2018 they Administration has given guidance to the state run ACA boards on how to create short term insurance plans that do not comply with ACA protections as a means to curb the ACA.

House Dems

March 26th introduced the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and making Healthcare Affordable in 2019 bill. This bill aims to expand the availability of ACA subsidies to people in additional income brackets, make ACA premium tax credits more generous, restore full funding to the annual initiatives to promote insurance enrollment through the ACA marketplace and pay “navigators” t help people enroll and rescind recent guidance that gave states more flexibility to modify ACA coverage requirements.

If legislation passes the Dem led House, the Rep lead Senate won’t hear it and President Trump won’t sign it.  

What does that mean for Schmos?

To be honest until everything gets sussed out in the legislature HR professional can only take a wait and see approach. Remember as an employer of a large company which the ACA mandates as 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, you must offer affordable health coverage that meets the ACA minimum value and affordability standards. The ACA minimum value is 60%, which means the insurance plan is designed to pay atleast 60% of the total cost of medical services. The affordability percentage for 2019 is 9.86%, meaning the premium for employee only coverage isn’t above 9.86% of an employee’s household income. If you as an employer do not meet these standards you can be subject to IRS penalties which are calculated per employee, per month, unless you meet certain safe harbor regulations.

We will continue to go forward with monitoring all ACA related issues at Joe Schmo HR and absolutely provide you with any updates you might need.

Let’s try to throw a flag every now and again … – Episode 18

Hey Schmos!  Welcome to the hottest sports podcast this side of the Hudson Valley! The Big Guy is proud to bring to you, The Joe Schmo Sports Show!

We are happy to bring you the second new episode of the year. Please click here to sign up to be a Schmo or Schmo Pro through our Patreon. Also follow us on Instagram and Twitter and like our Facebook Page.

This week we give you the rundown of the NFL Championship games between the LA Rams, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, including the infamous “Non-Call” of the Early Century. The 4th installment of the Americas Rugby Championship. How the MLR season is going to shape up and start this week, along with the inaugural matches of the Toronto Arrows and Rugby United New York. We also have and interview with Marc Masciotti of Marc’s Hot Corner, talking about the MLB off-season and the NY Mets.

Take a step back … relax … Let’s Get Hot!!!

Episode 17 – New Year … New Me … Or Something

Hey Schmos!  Welcome to the hottest sports podcast this side of the Hudson Valley! The Big Guy is proud to bring to you, The Joe Schmo Sports Show!

Happy New Year!

We are happy to bring you the first new episode of the year. Please click here to sign up to be a Schmo or Schmo Pro through our Patreon. Also follow us on Instagram and Twitter and like our Facebook Page.

This week we give you the rundown of the NFL Divisional Playoff games and a little preview of the NFC?AFC Championship games. Talking Top 5 in college basketball right now with some NHL talk mixed in. We also breakdown The Big Guy’s failed trip to Buffalo and how Rugby United New York is going to rule the upcoming MLR season.

Take a step back … relax … Let’s Get Hot!!!

When you’re getting your ass kicked drafting … – Episode 15

When you’re getting your ass kicked drafting … – Episode 15

 

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