Last-Chance Agreement

September 25th, 2021

Here are some of the terms that typically appear in last-chance agreements for employees with drug or alcohol problems: The agreement should specify what the employee must do to keep their job. With respect to drug and alcohol-related problems, the employer often requires the worker to undergo a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, requires regular status reports or medical clearance to go directly to the rehabilitation facility, and regular drug or alcohol testing after the employee returns to work. The ADA will advise employers against dictating the medical treatment of employees. However, a last-chance agreement is an exception to this rule; Employers have more flexibility because they offer to dismiss or retain any other discipline if they do not have to. It may be helpful to give the employee general deadlines to meet each of the terms of the last chance agreement to ensure that the employee is progressing towards a return to work and productivity. For example, the employee could be asked to go to rehabilitation as soon as the facility can accommodate him/her, to submit status reports halfway through and after graduation, and to undergo monthly drug or alcohol testing within the first six months of returning to work. In order to minimize the likelihood of additional arbitration proceedings and possible misunderstandings, this type of agreement is usually very short. This is often a general consent of an employee who has committed a serious breach of the guidelines. Then comes its signature, in which it commits to make improvements in terms of compliance with the policy in the area indicated.

The infringement that led concretely to the drafting of the contract is described in detail, but the overall picture of most forms is comparable to that of a warning for most entry-level jobs. Readers of this column know that I am not a fan of the oxymoron “progressive discipline”. My dislike is about last chance deals, the latest written warnings and similar “or other” documents. They are degrading, dehumanizing and hostile. They are also counterproductive, both as relational intervention agents and for the prevention or defense of damage. After reading and approving the terms of the last chance agreement, the worker and employer must sign and date the agreement. Last chance agreements can be a very useful conservation tool in some situations, but they should be tailored to each individual situation. Employers who choose to use it should contact their lawyer. For more information on other topics to consider, see: Using last chance chords as a storage tool.

The agreement should contain a summary of the employee`s behavior and performance failures and cite the company`s guidelines that have been violated. A summary of progressive discipline received by the worker may also be included or, if the employer has kept detailed personnel records, these may be referenced. . . .

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