This'll perk you up!

Just got home from work, and decided to come here to watch videos and check out a few galleries.  I stumbled upon this video:'m too tired to fuck around with the embed shit, so you get a link.  
Believe it or not, this feature actually instigated a debate within the feature comment society.  So if it can strike thought in Ebaum's lower IQ population, I figured it would work well in the blogs.
The topic here is drug use in the work place.   The video is of an employer who video taped himself firing an employee who, to him, was obviously intoxicated on what he assumes is an opiate of some sort.  The employee, who had only been hired on the day before, admits to having a prescription for percocets.  Percocet is an addictive pain killer that contains Acetaminophen (a medication found in most over the counter pain killers) and Oxycodone (an addictive prescription narcotic - also a pain killer).

Up for dispute is both the way the boss fired the guy, and whether he had the right to fire him at all.  Personally I don't see anything wrong with the way the boss handled the situation.  According to him, he somehow mentioned in the job posting that he was not interested in hiring anyone on drugs.  This tells me that the employee was deceitful in his application, otherwise he wouldn't have been hired.
Yes, I do believe that it is ok to deny employment to people on any medication that is shown to alter one's behavior.  In fact, I believe it's ok to deny employment to those with legitimate cause for a prescription of this kind.   Going by the video, it appears that this is a mechanics shop.  This means that there are many tools and machines being used that can cause serious injury or death.  In the video the boss mentioned tasks where the employee would be driving customer's vehicles.  It's not fair to the employer and other employees to allow someone who is potentially intoxicated to operate that equipment.  It creates an unsafe work environment.  It would be like your boss asking you to ride shot gun next to a drunk driver.  It's not right.    Also, people with certain injuries or medical conditions can pose some of the same safety hazards sober - depending on their physical capabilities.  Although that's not always the case, the employee could re-injure themselves on the job, bringing about a messy and costly compensation case, or worse.  It's simply not a liability that responsible business owners are willing to risk - they shouldn't have to.
This brings me to my next point.  Screening.   Most people would think that the boss should have done a better job screening potential employees.   Although a drug test and medical exam requirement would have indicated the use of percs, many employers do not travel this route.   Often times a probationary period takes their place, and the place of many indicators that don't show up on a resume or in an interview besides public intoxication, such as reliability, work ethic, etc.   Usually, the terms include requirements that, if not met, can result in immediate termination, without warning.   These requirements vary, however the employee agrees to these terms usually before they are hired.   I'm guessing that this employer, having shown a straight forward approach to terminating the employee, was up front about the terms of the employment granted. 
I will agree that this employer made the assumption before deciding to terminate this employee.   However, he demonstrates the ability to recognize the signs of drug abuse after explaining that many of his family members have issues with addiction.  In addition, the employee confirmed the suspicion by admitting to using percocet, and offered no alternative cause for his intoxicated appearance and behavior.  I don't know what that behavior was exactly, but the employer acted on a hunch that ended up being correct.   If the employee had an excuse, such as a neurological or psychological issue, and could demonstrate that it did not effect his performance, or create a liability to the company, the employer would definitely be in the wrong, and could have faced serious consequences.   Even if that was the case, the employee would have to prove his boss guilty of wrongful termination by proving that the basis of his termination was incorrect.  He would have to prove that he is using his medication properly, and that the proper use of his medication will not result in potentially dangerous side effects. 
I also do not believe that, despite all that was said by the employer, that the employee has a verbal abuse or harassment claim.   The employee approached his boss initially.  The employer did not confront the employee.   It's not like the boss went looking for him.   Also the employee had ample opportunity to remove himself from the situation.  The employer repeated "Just get out" many times, however the employee subjected himself to his employer by sticking around, trying to redeem himself.  What he should have done is immediately left, and contacted a labor ministry member.  I don't know how it goes in the States, but in Canada, if you have a problem with the company you work for, whether it's with human relations or workplace safety - you contact the Ministry of Labor, and they conduct an investigation.  
Taking a video of the termination may not have been an inappropriate action.  Say the employee did try and take legal action.   This video proves a lot for the employer's case.  Near the beginning of the video it appears as though the boss was monitoring the shop with surveillance cameras, making it known to employees that they are being captured on video.  With this prior notice, I believe that any video captured by the employer on the property is valid.   I don't believe that he should have uploaded the video publicly though, because the employee was shown, and can be identified.  Although no names were mentioned, it is possible for a future employer to find that video and base his/her decision to hire him based on the video's contents.   If the employee were to get clean, and try to get his life on track, the video could hinder this progress and can be considered slander.  However he would have to prove tangible loss caused by the video in order for this to be true.  He can't just assume that nobody will hire him because of it, and take the boss to court on that premise.  He would actually have to obtain a statement made by a potential employer stating that he was not hired because of the video. 

However, I don't believe that the former employee, of one day, went through with any lawful action, or his suicide for that matter.   Now, this is coming from personal experiences I've had, but Perc heads are like their own sub-species of human... if you even want to call them that.  You can call it drug induced psychosis, or whatever you want.  But every person I know who abuses percocets are pathological liars, who will manipulate and take advantage of anyone, including their own family, in pursuit of not only drugs, but money for drugs.   A lot of them even mooch food, shelter, and other structures of life, and will suck a gullible or sympathetic person dry.   These people have no shame, conscious, or moral set.  They care only of themselves, and will often even posses a false sense of entitlement and/or self pity.  These people will swear on their mothers grave over a $5 loan, and still won't pay it back.  They don't even think twice about that, or the many other favors they've been given.   Mix that with a medical excuse, a guy with a PhD, and a script pad, and you have yourself one morbidly self-entitled junky.  I very much believe that many of these people have more than a drug dependency, with a need to be cared for and enabled going far prior to any drug use.  It's like they do not have the ability to recognize or constructively manage responsibility for their actions or even life.  Nothing is ever their fault, they are always a victim.  Many percocet users I know also abuse welfare, try to claim workman's compensation on false terms, etc.  They are huge burdens to society and anyone they're involved in.   This is most likely classed as an illness to most people, but I've witnessed whatever this is in people both before and after the addiction takes effect.  
This employer didn't accidentally hire a person, he accidentally hired an addiction, and thus a huge liability.  Some people question the employer's tone, and the what he said, claiming that he should have gone about it differently.   Ideally, he should have confidentially took the employee aside and terminated his employment professionally.  "I have reason to believe that you are coming to work intoxicated.  Unfortunately we are going to have to let you go, but we are willing to work with you if you meet our policy. If you're able to pass a drug test and submit those results within a week, we will hold your position for you. I really do hope that the company's suspicions are incorrect, and that you can continue to work for us."In a perfect world the boss probably should have driven him to rehab personally, but we have to look at it in the employer's perspective.  As he's mentioned, he has already suffered a $5000 loss due to a former employee with a drug problem.  This means that he's already made the mistake once, and is disappointed in himself for not listening to his wife and almost allowing something like that to occur again.  The boss has a huge responsibility to ensure his employees are not only safe, but have somewhere to work everyday.  One unnoticed crack head can ruin his and all of his employee's livelihood.  I don't know about you, but I would be pretty pissed if someone threatened my business like that.  The very fact that the employee hoped to stay undetected shows how little he actually cares for the company he works for, and the people he works with - who the hell wants someone like that working for them? 
The employee's reaction tells me that the employer did the right thing.  He tried to down-play the situation, obviously not understanding the seriousness of it.  At first, before the employer mentioned that the guy was 30 years old, I really thought he was talking to a teenager.  Some people in the comments even mistakenly called him a kid.  The boss was right, there are other less narcotic ways to deal with pain.  If he's not willing to try an alternative in order to comply with safety regulations, and thus maintain his employment, or admit to his disease and apply for disability, he has no business working anywhere.  He defended his drug use, opposed to defending a desire to improve.  If he admitted to being wrong, and promised to seek help, he may very well still be working there.  But this employer is no idiot.  He has seen drug use, and what it does to people.  He knows that any promises would be empty, and that the guy would deceive and manipulate to get his way. 
So, to all you anti-authority, possibly drug using, defenders of this crack head, stop sniffing your own farts and pretending to be lawyer.  That guy does not need your support, nor does he warrant it.  Besides, I'm sure he's cooking up some of his own sympathy, hand-outs, and ways to get drugs right now as you read this. 
Uploaded 02/11/2013
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