Law Firm Policy on Drug and Alcohol Addiction

The firm regards alcoholism and drug addiction as illnesses and will make reasonable accommodations to assist partners, associates and employees (members) suffering from such illnesses to obtain treatment, provided that the firm is aware of the member's condition and the accommodation sought by the member does not impose an undue hardship on the firm.

The impairment of any member's performance due to drug or alcohol addiction could have adverse impact on the firm's representation of its clients. For this reason it is important for a member with a substance abuse problem to seek help as early as possible.

Treatment for a drug and/or alcohol problem may be eligible for coverage under the firm's group health plan. Consult your summary plan description for more details.

No member will be disciplined for voluntarily seeking help for a substance abuse problem so long as he/she cooperates in a qualified treatment program approved by the firm and the member. The member's choice of treatment will be approved if it is acceptable to a physician specialist selected by the firm in consultation with the member's personal physician. A member will not be considered to have sought help voluntarily if the request for help is made in response to corrective counseling/discipline and/or an investigation of a possible violation of this or any other policy.

The firm has named an administrator of this policy who will represent the firm in helping any member to obtain treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction. No other person in the firm will be informed of any consultation or referral under this policy without the consent of the affected member, except on a strict need to know basis as required to complete and/or monitor his/her ongoing work. No disclosure by a member to treatment personnel will be reported to the firms except with the member's consent or as otherwise authorized by law.


The use or possession of alcohol while on the firm's premises and/or while performing work on behalf of the firm will result in discipline including possible discharge. Although this restriction does not prohibit a member from consuming limited quantities of alcohol while at lunch, if off firm premises, such consumption is discouraged. For if a member returns to work under the influence of alcohol, he or she shall be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.

A drug or alcohol problem does not excuse performance deficiencies or behavioral problems. Individuals who have drug or alcohol problems will be held to the same standards as other similarly situated individuals.

The firm is committed to the recovery of members suffering from alcoholism or other drug addiction. This policy is designed to encourage those who want help to get the help they need before clients or the firm are compromised. If you have any questions about this policy, contact _______________________who has been named the confidential administrator of this policy.

*The PBA Board of Governors approved this recommendation on Nov. 28, 2001.

**The PBA House of Delegates approved this recommendation on Nov. 30, 2001.