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Craig Camp

Gordon Ramsay demands drugs tests

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Steven: Very impressed that you not only remained awake during a CLE course, but actually absorbed some information.

I constantly impress myself with my ability to find something interesting in even the most boring esoteric crap. The only CLE class during which I actually lost consciousness was "Telecommunications Law: The Transactional & Regulatory Environment - Part IV" and in my own defense I made it through parts I, II, and III just fine. But Part IV was just too much.


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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I constantly impress myself with my ability to find something interesting in even the most boring esoteric crap. The only CLE class during which I actually lost consciousness was "Telecommunications Law: The Transactional & Regulatory Environment - Part IV" and in my own defense I made it through parts I, II, and III just fine. But Part IV was just too much.

Suffering any CLE is tough.

I thought I was going to *die* on reading up on maintaining/removal of underground storage tanks and remedial efforts of groundwater contamination. :wacko:

What's with this sons of the soil?


Edited by beans (log)

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Okay this is the last time I'm going to mention this...or not. See "Treehouse of Horror VII" original US airdate 10/27/96. Nick, You can watch the show weekdays on either WCKD-30 Bangor at 6pm or WPXT-51 Portland at 5 pm (I don't know which station you're closer to Down East). Can't say when the episode will air again. Check it out, it's good for your head and won't show up in your urine.

And yes, I am almost completely full of shit. Good call. rolleyes01.gif

As far as CLE goes, I've found it a lot easier to pay attention now that I'm the one paying for it. Funny how that works. Since I no longer do Employment/Labor Lit (thank you Jeebus), I tend to stick with topics which actually interest me. You ain't lived until you've gone to KC to take depositions in an ADEA case and the client takes you to Houston's when you request REAL, AUTHENTIC BBQ. How'd I let that food reference slip in?

B., right back at ya.

Okay, for those of you reading this thread because you're interested in the topic (which apparently excepts those who initially responded to my last post): I really think drug testing, in most circumstances, is an erosion of personal liberty and condoning it sets us on a slippery slope to Stalinification of free will (or something). If that don't sound like a bad bumper sticker, I don't know what does.

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Okay, for those of you reading this thread because you're interested in the topic (which apparently excepts those who initially responded to my last post): I really think drug testing, in most circumstances, is an erosion of personal liberty and condoning it sets us on a slippery slope to Stalinification of free will (or something).

We could have easily agreed if you'd said that as simply in the beginning. :smile: As happens so frequently these days, the erosion of personal liberty comes from the difference in paradigms between those who wish to control and those who they wish to control.

So far as the Simpsons, I haven't had a TV in well over fifteen years :shock: so I missed the whole point of that reference to sons of the soil - if that's what it was. I did just read a brief synopsis of "Treehouse" and can see I haven't missed much.

To try to settle the "Sons of the Soil" bit, I think the earliest reference is in Balzac's Les Paysans .... "The inhabitants of cities can have no idea what gleaning is to the inhabitants of the country; the passion of these sons of the soil for it seems inexplicable; there are women who will give up well-paid employments to glean. The wheat they pick up seems to them sweeter than any other; and the provision they thus make for their chief and most substantial food has to them an extraordinary attraction."

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To try to settle the "Sons of the Soil" bit, I think the earliest reference is in Balzac's Les Paysans .... "The inhabitants of cities can have no idea what gleaning is to the inhabitants of the country; the passion of these sons of the soil for it seems inexplicable; there are women who will give up well-paid employments to glean. The wheat they pick up seems to them sweeter than any other; and the provision they thus make for their chief and most substantial food has to them an extraordinary attraction."

I'd like to agree with you and Balzac (whoever the fuck he is), but I have no idea what you're on about. Being parasitic by nature, I prefer to live off the fruits of other's labors.

To sum up my two putatively substantive contributions to this thread (which I thought were clear enough to begin with), I don't think you should have to piss in a cup to get a job or keep a job - gettage and keepage of a job should be based on one's performance, deportment and personal hygiene. Also, where the employee involved is not either operating heavy equipment or some sort of transport, the government, by way of enforcing the ability of employers to test, should piss off (if you'll forgive the expression).

And get yourself a television machine.

Perhaps next we can discuss the origins of the Sons of the Pioneers. Happy Trails. happy27.gif

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As far as CLE goes, I've found it a lot easier to pay attention now that I'm the one paying for it.

What you need to do is buy the unlimited package from law.com. Then you can take all the classes. I use it like a reference library. I took like 105 credits this year.

Oh, regarding the actual topic, did everybody see Minority Report? Enough said.


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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Being parasitic by nature, I prefer to live off the fruits of other's labors.

Yes. Having been a guitar player in a previous life and having been to your (excellent) website I sense the truth of your statement.

Now, to get back to the topic, have the results of the drug testing on Dempsey come back? While it's unlikely, wouldn't it be something if the results came back negative? So much talk.......

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I understand that the results are due back 9 July.

Apparently that's the date that the Coroner's Inquest will reconvene (pending the results of the toxicology tests). Seems like an awful long time to get a report back.

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It's always a rude awakening to learn that life isn't like CSI, where they get DNA, tox, and fingerprint results in five seconds and all the women on the job are totally hot.


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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Seems like an awful long time to get a report back.

I was thinking the same thing. This apparently happened on May 4. See article.

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At the end of the day, if you're doing your job professionally and are overall a positive contribution to the business then I don't care if you're smoking crack, worshipping satan or dressing up in sheep costumes and getting paid for sex -- as long as its on your time and its not interfering with your job performance then it's all good and it's your business.

this is the only argument that counts here.

the moment you begin to deleve into people's personal lives, you enter a grey area of civil liberties and the workplace. in the US most investment banks, if not all, require a drug test to validate an employment contract. it is merely a PR stunt, as you never get tested again. barring a few jobs were other people's lives are at stake - airline pilots for one - drug testing should not be allowed in the workplace. should we begin testing for child abuse, alcoholism, s&m lifestyles - seems highly absurd, an therefore the same goes for drugs. what you do on your own time is just that, your own f*king time.

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Granted, but what happens when it does begin to screw up you, and your collegues work: violent mood swings, absenteeism etc, and this continues besides some friendly and not so friendly warnings.

Alternative one: Your fire the employee, bad references, downhill spiral. Their family starve. Employer has to find a new person and start from scratch to train them up.

Next you will say you should fire someone because they (or their wife) are pregnant.

Alternative two: Offer help and support. Overcome problem, Grateful employee. Experience retained. Productivity increases.

You choose.

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The question  soon evolves to  "Why should I give this guy a break? He might screw up and sue me!"

the question has already evolved to that degree, especially in the US. in it not so much the legal system per say, but rather the cultural characteristic which has slowly crept into society's genes. the coupling of a litigious society with an effective - in avoidance of a counterargument, effective when taken comparatively - legal system.

the mc.d's example is what comes to mind when i reflect on the above, as it was highly publicized, and higly criticized in the media. nevertheless, mc.d's coffee cups in the US are stamped with a warning sign - stamping costs i am certain were included in the cost/benefit analysis - lest any customer forget "Coffee is hot. Coffee, when poured on genitals, hurts and maybe even wounds" (and it did apparently - 3rd degree i think). another example are the ads, both in the subway and on tv - "been injured at the job, had an accident without due compensation, let the firm of buster and spenCer give you a free consultation..,.blah, blah." my point is, it's ingrained already...and unfortunately - or fortunately probably - you have a legal system that is highly effective - for it provides for geniuine security to the common man - unlike most third world countries.

tonyfinch is correct when he says you do have a duty as an employer - at some level you need to protect the employee from the stronger party. i'm as liberal as most east and west coaster in the US, however i do value a welfare state that does provide the small employee with some rights and places upon the employer some due responsibility.

the legal system in the US can be analogized to the rampant corporate influence on government - it's completely out of hand, it has turned itself into a risk/benefit analysis with no concern for the common good of the people, and so on...

-che

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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.

slkinsey - the only reason you are able to, at best, continue this argument, is beacuse drugs are illegal, thus masquerading its harm in a ficticious moral highground. judging what behaviour outside of work should constitue reason for dismissal, is treading in incredibly difficult areas. your commitment to your employer is during working hours and while representing the company (business trip), period.

what about a 4-pack-a-day smoker who's notion of exercise is his walk to the elevator, and considers processesed plastic popocorn nutrition? he's a heart attack waiting to happen.

if you go for the drug argument, you must be well aware of the precedent you are setting - which is clearly the invasion of privacy through emplyer rights. that's seriously fucked up.

-che


Edited by CheGuevara (log)

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Granted, but what happens when it does begin to screw up you, and your collegues work: violent mood swings, absenteeism etc, and this continues besides some friendly and not so friendly warnings.

Alternative one: Your fire the employee, bad references, downhill spiral. Their family starve. Employer has to find a new person and start from scratch to train them up.

Next you will say you should fire someone because they (or their wife) are pregnant.

Alternative two: Offer help and support. Overcome problem, Grateful employee. Experience retained. Productivity increases.

You choose.

when it begins screwing up you, your colleagues, absenteeism - it's clearly affecting your work. you get warned, and then you get fired.

onto the handling of a "situation" - those are very siubjective options. in order to dicuss the legality or worthiness of drug testing at work, you need to affront the discussion at a higher level, as the implications on civil liberites are high.

the drug issues is only an issue beacuse of its illegality - and its social connotations. (see post above)...now i need to get some damn work done.

-che

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lest any customer forget "Coffee is hot. Coffee, when poured on genitals, hurts and maybe even wounds" (and it did apparently - 3rd degree i think)

The woman who sued McDonalds was apparently clutching the full cup coffee, open, between her thighs while driving or being driven and the car went over a bump - that's how she got scalded. The insanity of the US courts meant that despite what sounds like 100% contributory negligence she was still able to get massive damages against McDonalds (mind you, couldn't happen to a more desrving firm...). However, the damages were reduced on appeal.

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Nobody actually knows how the case ended, because there was a secret settlement after the appeal. Another ridiculous feature of the US legal system.

The case was insane. However, most of the arguments people make about it are based on incorrect information handed down through generations of SPAM. For example, she was not driving the car when the spill occurred. She was stopped; adding sugar to the coffee. (That, at least, was the testimony.) Nor should it come as a surprise to anybody that people drink their McDonald's coffee in their cars. That's why most every McDonald's has a drive-thru window.


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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At the end of the day, if you're doing your job professionally and are overall a positive contribution to the business then I don't care if you're smoking crack, worshipping satan or dressing up in sheep costumes and getting paid for sex -- as long as its on your time and its not interfering with your job performance then it's all good and it's your business.

this is the only argument that counts here.

See Fat Guy? I told you they weren't good enough reasons to have me replaced as UK Co-ord.

  • (To do list :
    score some horse
    repaint pentangle on dining room floor
    take sheep costume to dry cleaners
    catch up on invoices)

.

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It's always a rude awakening to learn that life isn't like CSI, where they get DNA, tox, and fingerprint results in five seconds and all the women on the job are totally hot.

Oooo....really? Consider me rudely awakened. Should I add that show to my must see list? Are there lawyers on it. I try not to watch shows with lawyers. Mention of DNA and fingerprints are the kind of misdirection I'd expect of someone in your profession. winking07.gif Does anyone know how long tests like this take in Ol' Blighty?

I'm trying to figure how the McDonald's coffee-crotch case is germane to this discussion. Was the McDonald's case couched as product liability or negligence? I've seen the pictures of the woman's injuries, it looked like she poured magma on herself, not coffee. I can't make the connection between an employee suing an employer because the employee was allowed to continue working even though the employer was aware of the employee's drug problem and the employee injured themselves on the job due to that drug problem. Is this the line of thinking? I won't claim to know anything about UK Tort law, but I think you'd have a tough time passing the laugh test in a US Court. Correction, I can imagine someone making the claim, but I don't know how far they'd get. Maybe they could sue the employer for creating an unsafe work environment. If anyone thinks you don't need a vivid imagination to practice law, take a look at some of the claims out there.

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I'm trying to figure how the McDonald's coffee-crotch case is germane to this discussion.

Oh, very simply, whenever the subject of lawsuits, and their frivolty come up, someone is going to mention the McDonald's coffee incident. As FG mentioned, it is so ingrained in the public's mind, with inaccuracies and all, that it has become the stick by which all liability litigation is measured! :laugh:

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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.

slkinsey - the only reason you are able to, at best, continue this argument, is beacuse drugs are illegal, thus masquerading its harm in a ficticious moral highground.

I was not taking any moral high ground whatsoever. I was raising a hypothetical point of discussion.

And, I would like to point out that, if someone who is using a drug off-hours does so in such a way that they are totally in control in the workplace, the employer will never know.

I was speaking more to the hypothetical situation where the chef notices that an employee has been doing a lot of speed. It's not necessarily impacting the cook's work right now, but the chef has seen the road down which most people who become addicted to this substance travel and can reasonably predict that the cook may become dangerous or dangerously impaired -- perhaps with little warning -- in what is already a fairly dangerous workplace. Or, to make another example, the chef notices that one of his/her staff has started shooting heroin. It's not impacting the cook's work right now, but the chef can reasonably predict that it will become a problem later. Or whatever. Etc. Etc. Etc.

So, what I'm asking is what do we do when we have a situation where an employer/supervisor becomes aware of a situation where an employee/supervisee is engaging in certain kinds of off-hours behavior. It follows that the employee is engaging in this behavior to an extent that the fact of the off-hours behavior has become noticable to the employer in the workplace. This could include anything from being hung over to track marks on the arms to facial bruises from fight club to muscles from spending time in the gym -- whatever. At this point we are assuming that the employee's work product is acceptable. So, the employer has to ask him/herself, "is this off-hours behavior I have noticed something that is likely to impact that employee's work performance in the future?" Some of the off-hours behavior will probably have no predictable impact whatsoever. Some might be good. In the case of the habitual abuse of certain drugs, the answer is inevitably yes. So, the next question the employer has to ask if he/she determines that the off-hours behavior will predictably have a negative impact on future work performance is, "do I do something about it now, or wait until the work performance starts to fall off and then try to do something about it, or do I wait until there is some big fuckup and fire the guy?"

And that's really the question, isn't it? I mean, no one here seems to be arguing that it isn't okay for the chef to shitcan a staff member the very first day he shows up late due to a hangover or fucks up an order due to being wired on speed. So the question is what kinds of rights and responsibilities should an employer have in stepping in before something like that hapens?


--

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So the question is what kinds of rights and responsibilities should an employer have in stepping in before something like that hapens?

While I'm not aware of any affirmative duty of an employer to get their workers to get it together (whether before or after the problem affects the work), I think it's in the best interest of the employer keep their employees healthy and performing well. That's the capitalist side. The paternalistic/humanist side might say (I would say) that if you care about the people working for you you want to help them if they have a problem. And it's better to offer help before the problem leaves private life and enters the workplace. many employers now offer confidential treatment and counseling to their employees. I don't know if the food biz has adopted this benefit, though. The real problem is not getting someone to offer to help, it's getting someone to accept the help offered. "I got it under control, I don't have a problem." Ever heard those words before?

What rights does an employer have? Assuming you mean to fire someone with a drug problem that isn't affecting their work. That may depend on whether someone with a drug problem is considered to be in a protected class. I don't know, but I'm sure some bright boy might try and argue that drug abuse is either a disease or disability, possibly putting the abuser in a protected class. Okay FG, let's see if you got your $300 worth. What say you? Is they or is they ain't protected?

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