EEOC Sues Freight Company for Firing Alcoholic Drivers

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by ucfgrad93, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #1
  2. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #2
    There is a fair bit more to the story than your synopsis reveals (even in the article you link to).

    Here it is from eeoc though;

    http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/8-16-11d.cfm
     
  3. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #3
    There is a vast difference between an alcoholic and a recovering alcoholic.

    I have met some people are have been 'recovering' alcoholics for years and years.

    When you are an alcoholic you will always be one.

    "I am not going to have a drink today."
     
  4. ucfgrad93 thread starter macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Sorry, but I don't think they should be allowed to drive a commercial truck.
     
  5. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #5
    If that's the case, how could we, in good conscience, allow them to have a driver's license at all?
     
  6. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    Which do you consider more dangerous? A situation where alcoholics can self-report that they have a problem, get professional help, head down the pathway of reform, and return to work if goals are achieved. Or a situation where self-reporting would mean they lose their job, medical benefits, and have no possibility of working as a driver ever again. How many more alcoholic drivers do you think would be on the road in scenario 1 vs scenario 2?
     
  7. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #7
    Do you believe that they should be able to own a gun? How about be around their own children without a sober adult's supervision?

    Where do you draw the line?

    You've taken a right wing talking point, let it inflame your sense of anti-liberal outrage without thinking it through.

    Life is all about the gray areas. Black and white are extremely rare.
     
  8. likemyorbs, Sep 2, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011

    likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #8
    The article says he's an alcoholic, it never said he drove while intoxicated. Huge difference. If he has a DUI on his record then they have every right to fire him or not hire him, but he doesn't, he has an illness that he's trying to recover from and as far as we know is not a criminal and has not hurt other people. If you've ever had someone close to you be an addict you probably would not feel the same way.
     
  9. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #9
    Alcoholism isn't an illness, that's a disgrace to actual illness. Alcoholics are lazy and weak. They are looking to blame their problems on someone other than themselves.
     
  10. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #10
    Not for the first time you are completely wrong. It is very much an illness and One that can be treated. Don't let that get in the way of your sanctimony though.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #11
    You are confusing alcoholism and being drunk. Showing up to work drunk or drinking on the job, you being an alcoholic or not is a sure fired way to get fired. That argument will not save you.

    It would be like someone firing me from a job because I suffer from chronic depression and yes I am getting treatment for it. Difference is that treatment allows me to function normally and does not effect my performance or job. Does not mean that it is not a battle every day of my life.
    Many Alcholics battle it every day of their life. Problem is not that this guy showed up to work drunk or even drank on the job. No they fired him after he self reported and went in for treatment. That just going to make anyone who suffers with it afraid to seek treatment for fear of losing their job.
     
  12. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #12
    Can it really be treated effectively?

    At least here in the US most alcohol addiction programs seem to end up substituting one addiction for another or failing outright. The rate of relapse also seems to be quite high relative to other diseases.

    From the employer's perspective, an alcoholic is a horrible liability. We can pretend that this worker hasn't ever driven his trunk while even mildly intoxicated, but the odds just aren't that great. The fact is that in aggregate allowing alcoholics to drive multi-ton rigs at lethal speeds is just plain stupid. It opens the company up to greater liability should an accident occur, and it could also be against their liability insurance rules because gross negligence is not usually covered by liability insurance.

    Also, even if it is a disease that can be managed or maintained effectively, that doesn't entitle the individual to a specific job. I wouldn't want a narcoleptic to perform surgery or a blind person to be a firefighter anymore than I'd want an alcoholic operating lethal equipment.
     
  13. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

    CaptMurdock

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    #13
    So when are we opening up the concentration camps for alcoholics, narcoleptics and blind people? Let's not forget the epileptics, the diabetics and the colorblind as well; if you are going to be extreme, let's not do it halfway. Can't just have these people just running around society, can we?

    :rolleyes:
     
  14. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    May I be the first. I've never had the opportunity before. Thanks. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  15. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

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    #15
    As a commercial driver I'll throw in a couple bits of information. The standards for commercial drivers are already higher than most people think they are.

    If you have a DUI on your record it is extremely difficult to find a driving job. Your DUI must be a minimum of 5 years old to find ANY driving job. Most companies want it to be 8-10 years old, Old Dominion is probably in the 10 year camp. Many companies will not hire you at all, even if the DUI is over 20 years old.

    The legal limit behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle is half of the local legal limit. In most places the legal limit is .08% BAC, making the limit in a commercial vehicle .04% BAC. If you are found to be driving over that limit you WILL lose you job, no doubt about it.

    As a driver you are at the mercy of random drug/alcohol testing. You can also be tested if there is any suspicion. If you refuse or delay the test you WILL be fired immediately and any future employer will know that you refused/delayed a drug/alcohol test.

    It looks like guy wasn't caught driving under the influence and there should be no problem with him keeping his job. If he were caught driving under the influence he wouldn't have a case.
     
  16. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #16
    The difference between an actual illness and alcoholism is the only thing one needs to cure itself in one instance is to stop lifting a bottle. Give me a break. Ohh it's a disease, reminds me of a southpark episode. "I have cancer, oh man you and me are in the same boat I can't stop drinking..."
     
  17. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #17
    Please move somewhere else ....... anywhere.

    You are embarrassing me.

    People with addictive personalities have a chemical imbalance in their brains, that they are born with.

    Some drugs can mitigate this problem, SSRI's in particular, but alcohol is not one of them.
     
  18. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #18
    I take it you believe depression is not a real illness either?
     
  19. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    What I think hes trying to say is that Alcoholics have to physically lift a bottle and drink, Depression and other mental illnesses are intrinsic to a person's physiology. So they are lazy and weak for giving in.

    ---

    My experience with alcoholics tends to be caused by more serious underlying issues. Depression and the like.

    With mental addiction and illnesses like Alcoholism, you have to ask, what "void" are they filling by partaking?
     
  20. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Nice!
     
  21. CalBoy macrumors 604

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    #21
    Not exaggerating at all are you?

    I'm not suggesting alcoholics shouldn't work or have the same opportunities to enjoy life, but if their condition interferes with the proper ability to carry out a job, they shouldn't be doing that job.

    This particular alcoholic may not have been caught with a DUI yet, but that doesn't ameliorate the risk that alcoholics in general are more likely to drive while intoxicated, nor does it change the fact that the freight company would lose its liability insurance if this worker were to get involved in an accident related to alcohol.

    The company's policy should be as even handed as possible. A policy which does not allow alcoholics to drive dangerous trunks is a good policy. It's common sense risk management.
     
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #22
    by that logic anyone who suffers from lets say depression should not be allowed to drive because they are a lot more likely to kill themselves or drink as well.

    if the condition is being treated then it should not be an issue.
    Problem with this move is now you are going to get more closet alcoholics who do not seek treatment nor report it for fear of losing their jobs.
     
  23. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #23
    The correlation between being depressed and drinking excessively is much less than being an alcoholic and drinking excessively.

    However, I think we would need to know the danger posed by x disorder in y job before we can decide whether or not it's reasonable or not to restrict the occupation in that way.

    Well it also depends if the treatment is reliable even with patient error. One of the biggest problems with treating alcoholism is that most treatments are only as good as the patient's ability to overcome their addiction. I think this would be a different matter if we could guarantee with substantial certainty that an alcoholic would never return to drinking after treatment.
     
  24. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #24
    Believe me when I tell you I would fight that tooth and nail. That is what I consider private information and no employer should ever be allowed to ask question like that. There are plenty of things I do not want an employer to know about it.

    For example I would never in an interview disclose that I was dyslexic or I suffer from depression nor would I really ever disclose that at work on my main record. Those are things that do not need to be known about it.
    Again private information. If he is seeking treatment that means he is trying to get better and as such should be protected.

    It goes back to it is not information an employer should have any access to and is what I would consider private and protected information. It is medical.

    The way you want it there would be a much larger increase in number of drivers who have been drinking because they are too scared to get treatment because they would lose there job.

    One way were you encourage them to get treatment you decrease the chances of a DUI happening. Other way you increase them. Your way greatly increases the chances long term because many will not go seek treatment at all for fear of losing the job.
     
  25. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Trucking companies of that size are all self-insured.
     

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