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Por y para profesionales del Derecho

Portal jurídico de Aranzadi, por y para profesionales del Derecho

12/07/2024. 15:50:34

LegalToday

Por y para profesionales del Derecho

Explicando el riesgo y la responsabilidad a sus clientes – Parte 1

En el blog anterior analizamos expresiones relacionadas con la Ley de Empleo. Durante los próximos meses explicaremos cómo hablar de «risks (riesgos)» y «liabilities (responsabilidades)». Los abogados suelen asesorar a sus clientes sobre cómo evitar reclamaciones derivadas de disputas laborales informándoles de los riesgos potenciales. En la siguiente entrevista, un abogado (el Sr. Vega) explica a sus clientes (el Sr. y la Sra. Howard), que son dueños de negocios y empleadores, el riesgo de responsabilidad asociado con las pruebas de drogas en el lugar de trabajo. Lea la conversación y responda algunas preguntas.

Mrs. Howard: Good morning. Mr. Vega.

Mr. Vega: Please have a seat. Right, then. On the phone, you told me that you wanted to speak to me about drug testing at your company. Maybe you could tell me something about what’s going on at your company at the moment. How’s business?

Mr. Howard: Good, business is fine. Actually, the demand for cleaning services and facility management is growing in the area. But we’re here to ask for your advice – we think we’ve got a drug problem among our employees and we’re considering starting drug testing. There are at least three of the younger men, window cleaners, we’re sure are taking drugs while they’re working, and we think it’s bad for our reputation.

Mr. Vega: Right. If I could just jump in here and summarise what you’ve been telling me. You suspect that several of your employees abuse drugs and so you’re contemplating implementing a drug-testing programme, is that correct? And you’d like me to inform you about the legality of such a course of action.

Mrs. Howard: Yes. What do you think?

Mr. Vega: Well, if you subjected your employees to drug testing, and you found out that a worker abused illegal substances and then terminated his employment, there’s a good chance that you could be sued for violating the employee’s right to privacy.

Mr. Howard: But what about my rights? Such as my right as an employer to maintain a drug-free workplace?

Mr. Vega: Exactly, I agree with you Mr. Howard, but we have to look at what the law says. Generally speaking, the courts in our jurisdiction have only tended to rule in favour of the employer in those cases where the dismissed employee has been engaged in safety-sensitive work. And where the employer had implemented a long-term workplace safety policy that included not only drug testing, but also the opportunity for workers to get treatment for their drug problems.

Mr. Howard: But that could take forever! We can’t risk waiting until they’ve had a chance to kick their drug habits!

Mrs. Howard: John’s right – we need to act on this now.

Mr. Vega: I’m afraid I have to disagree with you both. In my opinion, you risk more by acting hastily, by reacting to the problem without thinking, theres significant risk of costly litigation that you’d most likely lose.

Mrs. Howard: That may be true, but we can’t just sit back and do nothing.

Mr. Howard: I couldn’t agree more! There must be something we can do to respond to the situation right now. After all, there’s most definitely a safety issue involved. We’re responsible for the safety of our workers and for the safety of others.

Mr. Vega: I see your point, and you’re absolutely right – you do bear responsibility for the safety of others. Let me suggest something you could do immediately: you could consider reassigning the workers in question to different tasks, to jobs that are less safety-sensitive. And then you could launch a new workplace safety initiative concentrating on drug and alcohol abuse, with employee meetings. Memos informing the workers of the new policy.

Mrs. Howard: Thats not a bad idea…

—————-

Lea la conversación de nuevo y decida si estas declaraciones son verdaderas o falsas.

1 Mr. Howard says that the drug problem at his company is affecting business. __

2 Mr. Vega informs her clients that the issue of employee drug testing is an unsettled area of the law. __

3 If they dismiss a worker on the basis of a drug test that reveals the worker has taken drugs, Mr. and Mrs. Howard risk being sued for infringing employees’ rights. __

4 Mr. Vega points out that under certain circumstances, the courts have decided that employers were entitled to dismiss an employee for work-related drug use__

5 Mr. Vega recommends laying off the workers suspected of consuming illegal drugs in the workplace. __

Respuestas:  1.F  2.T  3.T  4.T  5.F

Durante la conversación, el abogado y sus clientes expresan opiniones y están de acuerdo y en desacuerdo en varios puntos. Las palabras y frases que utilizan se muestran a continuación. Haga coincidir cada frase (1-11) con su función:

0 expresando una opinión

A expresando acuerdo

D expresando desacuerdo por

A+D expresando acuerdo, pero agregando una opinión diferente

1 Exactly!

2 I agree with you. Mr. Howard, but we have to look at what the law says.

3 I don’t think we can risk waiting until they have had a chance to kick their drug habits!

4 John’s right — we need to act on this now.

5 I’m afraid I have to disagree with you both.

6 In my opinion, you risk more by acting hastily, by reacting without thinking.

7 That may be true, but we can’t just sit back and do nothing.

8 I couldn’t agree more!

9 I see your point …

10 … you’re absolutely right — you do bear responsibility for the safety of others.

11 That’s not a bad idea …

Respuestas:  1.A    2.A+D    3.O     4.O     5.D     6.O     7.A+D     8.A     9.A     10.A      11.A

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