to fire or not to fire? that is the question

driver comes in, i ask how’d your day go. he says great ‘played freesbie golf. i say what’d ypu shoot.he says he doesnt keep score he drinks…i say be fore work? he says he only had two beers’ three hours ago…hmmmmmm…he’s a little too talkative and defensive and says i’m over reacting…i tell him to punch out…he’s been a very good employee…1st offense…do i fire him?

I personally think a written warning should be good. Have him sign it.

Maybe I’m just a sucker. But 2 beers, 3 hours ago sounds okay to me. He has already lost a shift, I’m not sure I would make much more of it.

so scott was i right to send him home?

That is a judgment call. Most of the time you hear that a 150 pound man can consume and process 1 beer per hour. If it really as 2 beers, 3 hours ago. He shouldn’t have had any alcohol in his system. It sounds like you weren’t so sure about that. If something had happened and he had an accident and it was determined that you knew he had been drinking prior to his shift, it may have come back on you. I think sending him home probably was a wise choice. It reinforces the message that it isn’t appropriate behavior for your store.

If it was 2 beers three hours ago, no big deal. If he was visibly inebriated, I would send him home. However, you might want to ask what else he enjoyed while playing disc golf. When I first heard of it, it was mainly an excuse to smoke weed. Times may have changed though.

I agree with that post. I would have done the same thing. Even if you are ‘fine’, I wouldn’t believe that someone would have the need to drink any amount of beer prior to driving a vehicle on company time. That’s just crazy to me.

My input is more on the concept he drank before work. That is a no-no. The issue is not moderation. If you allow 2 beers now, what is your cut off later.
Big liability if there is an injury.
'PAST PERFORMANCE IS A GOOD INDICATOR OF FUTURE EXPECTATIONS" This can be interpreted by both parties for future use.
He let me drink last time and work, he will do the same today.

If he had to ask if the driver had been drinking than he most likely had much more than he owned up to. And sending him home was the proper response. If I had to send someone home because I thought they showed up inebriated, I would also fire them as I could no longer trust their judgment.

Are you guys saying that there should be no consumption of alcohol in any amount the day a person is scheduled to work?

I know in talking with my delivery truck drivers that there is almost a zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol in the bloodstream prior to driving for CDL licenses. For example, one guy had a few glasses of wine at a Sunday wedding, and the random UA before he worked on Monday morning showed up as .03 so he was forbidden to drive that day. I personally think that any impairment (from drugs and alcohol to sleep deprivation or other distractions) should be cause to have the employee only wash dishes and not drive that day. Too much liability! It also sends the message that you really care about the driver and the other people on the road.

Drinking alcohol before your shift is a big NO NO. It should never be done. You did the right thing by sending him home. I would document the incident and tell the driver that this practice won’t be tolerated. I wouldn’t fire him now, but I would tell him if it happens again that he will be promoted to customer status. Personally, I feel that an employee can do whatever they wish on their time unless it effects them when they are on my time like drinking or doing drugs before work. They can drink all they want after their shift so long as they sleep it off and get rest before their next shift.

I’m with AD on this. I think you did the right thing sending him home (mainly because he was a driver), but I wouldn’t fire him for an incident that I would be “borderline” on. A couple beers in the afternoon before work isn’t a huge thing to me, but the odds are very high that it was more than a couple.

Alcohol affects different people in a huge range, but it’s not something I would be taking on a case-by-case basis, I think with these things you have to have a strong policy in place.

Gotta’ side with the cautious and conservative approach on this one myself. I’d have him sign a report for his “permanent record”, and let it go at that. The lost shift ought to be enough to get through to him. One note though, realize that chances of him or any other employee fessing up front about pre-shift activities is going to be a whole lot less. Due diligence on your part will be the norm from here out I think.