Quantcast
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    A theatre near you
    Posts
    5,654

    Default Can addicts be fired?

    The following came up in a thread about drug testing welfare recipients:

    employers can't fire employees for addiction, as it is recognized as a disease
    Is there any truth to this? If, say, an alcoholic is constantly a no-call/no-show, or is there drunk and therefore doing poor quality work or otherwise not meeting their job description, can't they be fired, disease or no? I mean, sure, they can't fire someone simply because they learn they're alcoholic, if the alcohol isn't influencing their work at all. But once work performance is affected, isn't anyone fair game to be fired?
    "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." ~ Jackie O.
    Livejournal

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    17,246

    Default

    It depends on the terms of employment, but for an at-will employee, yes, you can fire them.
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
    Posts
    1,497

    Default

    I don't know what the law technically stipulates, but I can answer from a real-life perspective. I was fired for alcohol dependency in the early 90s -- the kicker is it happened AFTER I had freely and independently sought treatment, which I was later advised was highly illegal.

    At the time, however, I did not have the emotional or financial resources to challenge it. And, it resulted in me getting sober and leaving a career that was an emotional dead-end for me, so it all worked out.
    "And as cliche as it may sound, I'd like to raise another round;
    If your bottle's empty, help yourself to mine
    Thank you for your time...Here's to life!"
    - Mekong

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,655

    Default

    The Americans with Disabilities Act does recognize drug and alcohol addictions (although the law does not protect current users of illegal drugs). However, there is a difference between being addicted to a substance and coming to work under the influence.

    In other words, if a drug user stopped using cocaine and sought treatment for his/her addiction, he/she may be entitled to accommodations (such as the flexibility to attend a Narcotics Anonymous meeting) by his/her employer in their attempt to get treatment or therapy. (Note: to qualify for ADA protection, the disaiblity must substantially impair one of more major life functions). But if that same person showed up at work under the influence of drugs, the employer would certainly be entitled to fire him/her for violating an organizational requirement that employees show up for work clean and sober.

    It's a fine line, really. An employer might be entitled to accommodate an alcoholic who hasn't kicked his drinking habit yet, but that doesn't mean the employer has to put up with that employee showing up for work drunk.
    DD#1 12/17/03
    DD#2 1/23/07

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,750

    Default

    What WB posted.

    This is from 1995, but still relevant:
    http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/ada/ch4.htm
    You think you've done your journey
    Then you stumble and find that there's such a long way to go

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Where I worked, if you fail a drug test, you're fired. However, if you admit to being an addict before they drug test you, they'll simply make you go to rehab as a condition for your employment.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,952

    Default

    Is there any truth to this? If, say, an alcoholic is constantly a no-call/no-show, or is there drunk and therefore doing poor quality work or otherwise not meeting their job description, can't they be fired, disease or no? I mean, sure, they can't fire someone simply because they learn they're alcoholic, if the alcohol isn't influencing their work at all. But once work performance is affected, isn't anyone fair game to be fired?
    While we would not fire someone for simply being an alcoholic, we would fire someone if he/she were continuously late or not showing up for work unexcused. We'd also fire someone if they came to work drunk or high. We're in Ohio which is an at-will state.

    We're also in the BWC drugfree workplace program in Level I, so if an employee failed a drug & alcohol test, we are required to provide them with a list of resources where they can go for treatment, but we are not required to hold their job for them. However, there are other higher levels of the program where treatment would be included. This is our first year in it so we are starting at the first level.
    Last edited by Mindy3094; 04-07-2009 at 03:00 PM. Reason: clarification
    The Ellabug
    Est. 2/20/06

Similar Threads

  1. Gymboree Addicts - the Toddler crowd
    By wine_o_girlie in forum Toddlers - 12-36 months
    Replies: 232
    Last Post: 09-16-2010, 07:56 PM
  2. Why was I fired for this? God!
    By dirrtydozen22 in forum ChitChat
    Replies: 103
    Last Post: 04-06-2009, 06:17 PM
  3. Cross Stitching Addicts!
    By Jane&Andy in forum Hobbies, Arts & Crafts
    Replies: 186
    Last Post: 07-07-2008, 05:19 AM
  4. WoW addicts...
    By GeekGirl in forum All Things Games & Gaming
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 08-02-2006, 07:38 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •