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Craig Camp

Gordon Ramsay demands drugs tests

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How many states have "at will employment" laws?

Theoretically, almost every state. In reality, none. There are so many laws at the federal (and often state) level that carve out exceptions to the employment at will doctrine that it would be absurd to characterize any state as actually being an employment-at-will state. Employers only delude themselves if they think they can fire employees for any reason, any time. That's how they wind up on the receiving end of civil rights lawsuits, etc., which are based on laws that trump the idea of employment at will.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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What people do in their own time is their own business be it taking drugs or fucking sheep.  What is not their own business is if they come into work with the sheep still on their back the next day

S

Personal experience eh Simon?

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Looks like the legal angle on "at will" isn't forthcoming at this time.

So . . .

I'll jump back in.

It seems to me that much of the issue here centers on whether or not the employee is doing their job to a level that the employer is content with their performance. Period. This has nothing to do with drugs.

If the employee isn't cutting the mustard (bad pun, I know), the employer wants the ability to rid themselves of said employee without incurring a wad of legal costs, etc.

What I'm saying is that in the United States--and especially in "at will employment" states--the employer can rid themselves of employees that the employer deems "unproductive" without drug tests.

So why bother with drug tests? Drug use is not the issue. Whether an employee is valuable or not is the issue. Some "clean/straight" employees are not valuable. Some "drug-users" are great employees. I submit that we cannot generalize about employees' value based on whether or not they are "users."

Edit: FG jumped in while I was writing this. Perhaps I'm being foolish? :unsure:


Edited by MatthewB (log)

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What is not their own business is if they come into work with the sheep still on their back the next day

Wouldn't they be coming in on the back of the sheep? :blink:

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It may be true that drug use often can't be contained, and will eventually impact productivity. But so what? Sometimes it can be contained -- perhaps most of the time. So I can't see how the employer gets the right (I'm talking morally, because the law is completely fucked in this area) to step in until such time as productivity is impacted. The rest is nobody's business.

By the way, on the writers-and-editors side of this, we have a thread going on RWI (Reviewing While Intoxicated) here:

http://forums.egullet.org/show.php/act/ST/f/2/t/22684


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Simon comes to work after a long night at the Wenlock:

"Uhh..Simon..a word please?"

"Ngnnn...uh..yeah, right. Sure."

"It has been reported that you haven't seemed a hunded percent lately. You seem tired and listless--and that "Oral History of the Mellotron Years" book you bought for us last year--well--it hasn't been performing as well as hoped. Some (I cannot, of course give their names) have even suggested that this project was the fruit of an addled mind. Be so kind as to piss in this cup, old boy--will you? We'll all feel better about things. "


abourdain

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If I, as an employer, suspect that an employee might be doing drugs--either in the workplace--or in off hours (to the detriment of work performance), should I  be permitted to demand a drug test? That's a lower threshold of evidence than even a cop or MI5. Meaning ANY employer could demand a drug test simply because, in their judgement they SUSPECT someone of using drugs. That's a lot of latitude to give a regional manager for Pret A Manger..

And could this power be abused? As in selective testing and interpretation of results? Yes. Yes it could.

Next comes the polygraph.

Definitely a good point. I suppose it is something to be worked out between the employer and the employee. I mean, as far as I know, a Chef could require an employee to take a drug test right now if performance-impacting drug use is suspected -- yes/no? Maybe not, now that I think about it. In any event, in terms of having a lower threshold of evidence than MI5 or the police, I would think that the threshold could be lower, given the fact that no one is going to jail based on the results of the test. I guess in my mind, I saw it more as something just between the Chef and the employee.

In a way, this is not terribly different from saying "I know you're doing drugs and it's impacting your work... I'm in your shit and if you fuck up again you're out." It's just going about it a different, although not necessarily better way. In one case you have the Chef using his own personal judgment, in the other you have the Chef using his own personal judgment along with a chemical test. I mean, you can fire the guy no matter what, right?

Giving it due consideration, however, I tend to agree with you that it would be too likely to be abused.


--

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"It has been reported that you haven't seemed a hunded percent lately.  You seem tired and listless--and that "Oral History of the Mellotron Years" book you bought for us last year--well--it hasn't been performing as well as hoped.  Some (I cannot, of course give their names) have even suggested that this project was the fruit of an addled mind. Be so kind as to piss in this cup, old boy--will you? We'll all feel better about things. "

At the risk of sounding like his bestest (sic) sycophantic fan....

I laughed my self into a six pack stomach..."Oral History of The Mellotron Years" :laugh: Only a mind seriously deprived of oxygen for over thirty minutes somewhere in the adolescent years could come up with something that juicy. I say heroin was a blessing for good old Tony B.

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Simon comes to work after a long night at the Wenlock:

"Uhh..Simon..a word please?"

"Ngnnn...uh..yeah, right. Sure."

"It has been reported that you haven't seemed a hunded percent lately.  You seem tired and listless--and that "Oral History of the Mellotron Years" book you bought for us last year--well--it hasn't been performing as well as hoped.  Some (I cannot, of course give their names) have even suggested that this project was the fruit of an addled mind. Be so kind as to piss in this cup, old boy--will you? We'll all feel better about things. "

It should be a case by case basis. Blanket policy has many faults. If a chef can work productive, taste every element on every dish that goes in front of the guest, then what do I care what his late night activities are? This isnt the matrix were talking about fixing, its negative influence.

If joey pot smoker decides to sell joints to the entire staff and they start a new business together, then thats not cool and someone needs to be made an example of.

To each his own, just dont let me know everything.


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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"fucking sheep."

Playing with your food should be a firing offence.


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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In a way, this is not terribly different from saying "I know you're doing drugs and it's impacting your work... I'm in your shit and if you fuck up again you're out."

Again, I submit that the key is "it's impacting your work."

Why not simply say, "Your work is not up to par. I don't know the cause of this. But your work *has* to come up to par. If there's any way in which I can help, let me know"?

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Simon comes to work after a long night at the Wenlock:

"Uhh..Simon..a word please?"

"Ngnnn...uh..yeah, right. Sure."

"It has been reported that you haven't seemed a hunded percent lately.  You seem tired and listless--and that "Oral History of the Mellotron Years" book you bought for us last year--well--it hasn't been performing as well as hoped.  Some (I cannot, of course give their names) have even suggested that this project was the fruit of an addled mind. Be so kind as to piss in this cup, old boy--will you? We'll all feel better about things. "

difference is, I own both the piss and the cup

S

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I laughed my self into a six pack stomach..."Oral History of The Mellotron Years"  :laugh: Only a mind seriously deprived of oxygen for over thirty minutes somewhere in the adolescent years could come up with something that juicy.

I hear the sales suffered mostly due to competition from "The Virtuosi of the Chamberlain" released by Oxford University Press at around the same time. Clearly nothing Simon could have foreseen.


--

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In a way, this is not terribly different from saying "I know you're doing drugs and it's impacting your work... I'm in your shit and if you fuck up again you're out."

Again, I submit that the key is "it's impacting your work."

Why not simply say, "Your work is not up to par. I don't know the cause of this. But your work *has* to come up to par. If there's any way in which I can help, let me know"?

Thats great. Professional. Leave the drug hating conspiracy theory out of it. Good advice. Are you a chef Matthew?


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Are you a chef Matthew?

Hell, no. I'm a home cook, at best. :smile:

Oops, wrong thread.

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In a way, this is not terribly different from saying "I know you're doing drugs and it's impacting your work... I'm in your shit and if you fuck up again you're out."

Again, I submit that the key is "it's impacting your work."

Why not simply say, "Your work is not up to par. I don't know the cause of this. But your work *has* to come up to par. If there's any way in which I can help, let me know"?

Thats great. Professional. Leave the drug hating conspiracy theory out of it. Good advice.

Good idea... But there does come a point where the Chef has to decide if, based on the drug he thinks the guy is using, he really wants to wait until the big fuckup happens. Presumably this should be before the guy sticks his hand into the fryer or cuts another guy on the line for looking at his stuff funny or nods out in the middle of the Saturday rush.


--

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Simon comes to work after a long night at the Wenlock:

"Uhh..Simon..a word please?"

"Ngnnn...uh..yeah, right. Sure."

"It has been reported that you haven't seemed a hunded percent lately.  You seem tired and listless--and that "Oral History of the Mellotron Years" book you bought for us last year--well--it hasn't been performing as well as hoped.  Some (I cannot, of course give their names) have even suggested that this project was the fruit of an addled mind. Be so kind as to piss in this cup, old boy--will you? We'll all feel better about things. "

difference is, I own both the piss and the cup

S

Assistant opens office door.

"Ummmm, Mr. Majumdar, why are you on the back of that sheep?"

"I own this sheep. Anyway, can't you see I'm busy? Now shut up, leave, & close the door behind you."


Edited by MatthewB (log)

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Good idea... But there does come a point where the Chef has to decide if, based on the drug he thinks the guy is using, he really wants to wait until the big fuckup happens.  Presumably this should be before the guy sticks his hand into the fryer or cuts another guy on the line for looking at his stuff funny or nods out in the middle of the Saturday rush.

Good point but different situation.

If an employee is so fucked up on the job that they may endanger themselves or someone else, I would have that employee leave for that day/shift.

No explanations. My call.

Then I would talk with them later.

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In a way, this is not terribly different from saying "I know you're doing drugs and it's impacting your work... I'm in your shit and if you fuck up again you're out."

Again, I submit that the key is "it's impacting your work."

Why not simply say, "Your work is not up to par. I don't know the cause of this. But your work *has* to come up to par. If there's any way in which I can help, let me know"?

Thats great. Professional. Leave the drug hating conspiracy theory out of it. Good advice.

Good idea... But there does come a point where the Chef has to decide if, based on the drug he thinks the guy is using, he really wants to wait until the big fuckup happens. Presumably this should be before the guy sticks his hand into the fryer or cuts another guy on the line for looking at his stuff funny or nods out in the middle of the Saturday rush.

If that happens, he can take a week or two off to rethink his priorities.


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Good idea... But there does come a point where the Chef has to decide if, based on the drug he thinks the guy is using, he really wants to wait until the big fuckup happens.  Presumably this should be before the guy sticks his hand into the fryer or cuts another guy on the line for looking at his stuff funny or nods out in the middle of the Saturday rush.

Good point but different situation.

If an employee is so fucked up on the job that they may endanger themselves or someone else, I would have that employee leave for that day/shift.

No explanations. My call.

Then I would talk with them later.

I'm not sure it is a matter of being that fucked up on the job now... it's a matter of knowing that certain kinds of behavior (paranoia, violence, debilitating gastrointestinal issues, whatever) can be expected eventually from a person who habitually uses a particular drug. And the fact that it is not always easy to predict when those behaviors will be manifested. For example, you can certainly have a habitual cocaine user who is coping relatively well in the workplace and who suddenly goes apeshit with relatively little warning.


--

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For example, you can certainly have a habitual cocaine user who is coping relatively well in the workplace and who suddenly goes apeshit with relatively little warning.

Yeah, but people go apeshit with little to no warning without coke.

Sometimes religion does that to some people.

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Good idea... But there does come a point where the Chef has to decide if, based on the drug he thinks the guy is using, he really wants to wait until the big fuckup happens.  Presumably this should be before the guy sticks his hand into the fryer or cuts another guy on the line for looking at his stuff funny or nods out in the middle of the Saturday rush.

If that happens, he can take a week or two off to rethink his priorities.

So... if I understand correctly, you're saying, "wait until the big and potentially catastrophic fuckup happens and then make the guy take a couple of weeks off to think about it"?


--

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Good idea... But there does come a point where the Chef has to decide if, based on the drug he thinks the guy is using, he really wants to wait until the big fuckup happens.  Presumably this should be before the guy sticks his hand into the fryer or cuts another guy on the line for looking at his stuff funny or nods out in the middle of the Saturday rush.

If that happens, he can take a week or two off to rethink his priorities.

So... if I understand correctly, you're saying, "wait until the big and potentially catastrophic fuckup happens and then make the guy take a couple of weeks off to think about it"?

When and how you maintain whatever standard you maintain will dictate the overall quality level of your operation. Light tolreance on my end. Pretty much every kitchen I have worked in has excercised a dont fuck around here policy and even if you had 3 or more years of seniority, you werent immune to discipilinary action. I refuse to run a betty ford clinic. Most chefs know within the first ten minutes if theyre up to the job challenge I pose. There just isnt time for drugs in my kitchen. I have light patience for repeat offenders.


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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I feel that those of you who have claimed that the drug use is ok " as long as it does not affect their job performance"  are looking at the small picture...the guy who parties too hard after every  shift is sleeping until 1/2 hour before his  next shift begins, not spending any time with his wife or his kid or his mother or his hobby or his bills or his gym or his dog....the ramifications extend into his personal life, which will then loop back around to affect his professional life.

We had a thread on what determines a chef from a cook..CWS declared it was passion and paying your dues. I said a component was leadership..and this thread illustrates my position pretty well,  I think.

So... what you're saying is that the opinion that drug use is OK if you don't let it affect your work is silly because drug use will affect your work?

Perhaps it's just the flu, but I see some logic weakness in this.


fanatic...

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