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Craig Camp

Gordon Ramsay demands drugs tests

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Sadly, this same logic (based on risk profile and odds) could also be used to justify not hiring (for example):

- any ex-convicts (depending on your source, current recidivism rates seem to be between 65% and 70%),

- black women in Vermont (where they are incarcerated at a rate 35 times greater than white women),

- an openly gay male who engages in high-risk sexual behavior (at which point odds of contracting AIDS can range from 1 in 10,000 to as low as 1 in 500).

In fact, by this same logic one could argue that it is in the best interest of everyone (customers and employees) to fire any of the above employees if they are working for you.

I know it's extreme -- but I think you see my point.

The simple reality is that rigid rules and structures are never and should never be a replacement for skilled management and good judgement.


fanatic...

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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?

That's absolutely right and it is the knee jerk reaction of most employees who have a drug/drink problem. That is why it is important that those conversations are formal and minuted. The employee might not like it but come the crunch the employer needs to be able to show that he was not negligent of the employee's welfare, and that of others he may come into contact with and that he at least tried to help. He needs to show that he did everything "reasonable" and he may need to produce evidence of this.

If the employee has refused all offers of help but the employer can show that he offered it goes a long way to letting the employer off the hook in any suit brought by the employee himself for unfair dismissal or any third party who may have been "harmed" by the employee's actions as a result of drugs/drink.

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At my last office, we had regular drug tests -- random and otherwise -- and people were sacked on the basis of failing one regardless of whether their performance was in any way impacted. It was also an industry where testing was federally mandated and that may make a difference.

Separate from that, we had a situation where an employee was drinking on the job. And on the job in this case meant while visiting and performing on-site work for a client. Although there was no degradation of performance, we were entitled to (and did) release him on the basis of future liability risks. We did offer to pay for treatment instead and were declined. I don't think we could have released him without that step. Or at least not without risking legal retaliation.

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We did offer to pay for treatment instead and were declined.  I don't think we could have released him without that step.  Or at least not without risking legal retaliation.

I'd want to research that one (but I won't). I think if someone is actually drinking on the job, the employer is entitled to shoot them out of a cannon. But I'm not sure. Of course, I'm limiting this to the facts you present. In this situation - someone boozing while at a client's - I think you've got a slam dunk for dismissal whether job performance is impaired by the drinking or not. That's not to say that you shouldn't offer treatment. We're not animals, after all. Well, most of us, anyway.

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We did offer to pay for treatment instead and were declined.  I don't think we could have released him without that step.  Or at least not without risking legal retaliation.

I'd want to research that one (but I won't). I think if someone is actually drinking on the job, the employer is entitled to shoot them out of a cannon. But I'm not sure. Of course, I'm limiting this to the facts you present. In this situation - someone boozing while at a client's - I think you've got a slam dunk for dismissal whether job performance is impaired by the drinking or not. That's not to say that you shouldn't offer treatment. We're not animals, after all. Well, most of us, anyway.

employers have the right. it's covered by a standard employment contract (i'm tempted to guess that the clause need not be in the contract for the employer to have the right), usually under an "expected conduct" clause, where the dismissal is allowed if certain behavior is manifested in the workplace. being drunk falls into this category, as does sexual abuse - analgous under different clauses other behaviours are also cause for dismissal - stealing. logically irrespective of anything else.

-che


Edited by CheGuevara (log)

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employers have the right. it's covered by a standard employment contract (i'm tempted to guess that the clause need not be in the contract for the employer to have the right), usually under an "expected conduct" clause, where the dismissal is allowed if certain behavior is manifested in the workplace. being drunk falls into this category, as does sexual abuse - analgous under different clauses other behaviours are also cause for dismissal - stealing. logically irrespective of anything else.

-che

Standard employment contract? I think you'll find that most people do not have employment contracts. At least in the good old US of A. I take it from your liberal use of the letter "u" that you're not from these parts. Contracts may be more ubiquitous over there than here.

No, this falls under that ancient legal theory - don't get drunk at work.

Oh, and whenever someone tells you that the contract they've given you is "standard" bend over and prepare to be boarded. If they don't want you to consult a lawyer, at least request some lubricant.

np: Keep It Greasy - Frank Zappa


Edited by abbeynormal (log)

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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.

-----------

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

sl, i never said that you were taking the moral highground but rather that by utilizing drug use as the off-work behaviour which, as you said, is "not impacting the cook's work right now, but the chef can reasonably predict that it will become a problem later", you focus on a behaviour which inherently carries with it a moral highground flavor - you can add to that the negative social connotations. i clearly understand your hypothesis.

the analysis needs to take place at a higher level, as a decision - albeit based ona druguse hypothesis like the one you present - will have a permanent impact on employer vs. employee rights, and in doing that curtailing your freedom and privay.

as to employer's responsibilities, as malachi mentioned in his last post, management skills are responsible for dealing humanely and in the interest's of your employees. through mutual respect and honesty, you can avoid the need for strict and intrusive legislation.

-franco


Edited by CheGuevara (log)

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by utilizing drug use as the off-work behaviour which, as you said, is "not impacting the cook's work right now, but the chef can reasonably predict that it will become a problem later", you focus on a behaviour which inherently carries with it a moral highground flavor - you can add to that the negative social connotations

Well, you and I will just have to part ways on that interpretation. It sounds like you're saying that someone cannot mention that certain behaviors can predictably lead to on-the-job problems without hypocritically invoking the moral high ground.

As it so happens, there are mayn "good" behaviors that can also lead to a decrease in job performance, depending on the business. For example, in my business, aspiring opera singers who are committed to starting a big family most often find themselves in a place where the requirement to earn money to support that family (which means a 9-5 day job in today's arts economy), the desire to spend time with that family and things like missing out on sleep to care for colicky babies lead to a decrease in the kind of maintenance work, travel and physical condition that are necessary to attain and maintain a high level of performing. So, here we have off-work behaviors that are certainly "good" in anyone's book (starting, supporting and spending time with a family) but which still predictably lead to certain on-the-job problems.

as to employer's responsibilities, as malachi mentioned in his last post, management skills are responsible for dealing humanely and in the interest's of your employees. through mutual respect and honesty, you can avoid the need for strict and intrusive legislation.

Oh, of course. In a perfect world we'd all have good managers who were capable of handling these circumstances humanely and with skill.

Anyway, I'll have to go back and read my previous posts, but I don't think I was calling for any legislation.


--

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Mr Ramsay wasn't kidding about his 'drug' tests.

This coming Monday (23rd june 10 am - 4 pm), Ramsay is having a recruitment drive at his Amaryllis restaurant in Glasgow. The drive is in the form of an open day and prospective employees can meet the great man and talk to current chefs. No ordinary interview's mind - anyone seeking a job will have to agree to a urine test.

Apparently he wants to know what substances any of the jobseekers have taken in the last six months.

I'm no expert, but don't lots of commonly used drugs have a half-life of less than six months?

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Mr Ramsay wasn't kidding about his 'drug' tests.

This coming Monday (23rd june 10 am - 4 pm), Ramsay is having a recruitment drive at his Amaryllis restaurant in Glasgow. The drive is in the form of an open day and prospective employees can meet the great man and talk to current chefs. No ordinary interview's mind - anyone seeking a job will have to agree to a urine test.

Apparently he wants to know what substances any of the jobseekers have taken in the last six months.

I'm no expert, but don't lots of commonly used drugs have a half-life of less than six months?

Yes, most drugs leave your system within 6 months. However hair samples can yield more history.

Money talks for the weak willed.


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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Back in the day I used to test for drugs myself...if you weren't doing em you'd be relegated to the dish hole. Kind of like the Guns and Roses urban legend, who ever wasn't smackin' went packin'.

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It's impossible to know if Ramsay was ever a drug user. Certainly he's never so much as hinted at it.

Lot's of Chef's don't do drugs by the way. I work with a pile of non-users and, coincidentally, have been reading Mr Bourdain's book (kitchen confidential) at work this week in my breaks - the Chefs around me seem singularly unimpressed with his drug-career adventures and have been adopting lofty moral positions about how they would never do such a thing.

I'm not perhaps as popular with these Chefs as I could be :biggrin:

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Youre right, GM is an angel, a true testament to public awareness on the negative effects of drugs in the workplace.


Edited by Andy Lynes (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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(Quote from a now deleted post removed by Andy Lynes, UK Co-ordinator on 22 June 2003).

You're moving dangerously close to slander or defamation or whatever here.How the hell would you know anything about what Ramsey does and doesn't do?

In his Observer interview Ramsey calls for drug testing in the context of the anguish and pain he feels about his younger brother Ronnie-an apparently irredeemable drug addict for years, currently in prison for drugs related offences. Ramsey tells how he has funded attempts at rehab. for him several times and would do so again although he says he knows it won't work. He says watching his beloved brother turn into a junkie and a criminal before his very eyes is the most painful thing he's experienced in life and as a result he feels exremely strongly about drugs.

So, my guess would be he's not using himself somehow.


Edited by Andy Lynes (log)

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Okay FG, let's see if you got your $300 worth. What say you? Is they or is they ain't protected?

Users aren't protected by the ADA. But those who are not currently using, and are seeking treatment, are considered part of a protected class. That's the overview I was spoon-fed, at least. It's not like I've actually read the statutes or the case law, or ever 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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Back in the day I used to test for drugs myself...if you weren't doing em you'd be relegated to the dish hole.  Kind of like the Guns and Roses urban legend, who ever wasn't smackin' went packin'.

Oh please. Won't you just shut up for a bit?

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I find it rather interesting that you stay away from eGullet for weeks, or days as the case may be--I'm not rabidly hunting down your posts like you with me so I wouldn't know, then you focus in on my depravities like some policing element and overlook the rest of the worthwhile and intellectually stimulating entries contained herein. LML, there's a whole thread here of fine points, good arguements and troubling statistics. Why don't you hone your tremendous yearning for superiority in on the posters who give a fuck. Because I sir, only feed off your petty and selective desire to make me feel small.


Edited by Chef/Writer Spencer (log)

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I find it rather interesting that you stay away from eGullet for weeks, or days as the case may be--I'm not rabidly hunting down your posts like you with me so I wouldn't know, then you focus in on my depravities like some policing element and overlook the rest of the worthwhile and intellectually stimulating entries contained herein.  LML, there's a whole thread here of fine points, good arguements and troubling statistics.  Why don't you hone your tremendous yearning for superiority in on the posters who give a fuck.  Because I sir, only feed off your petty and selective desire to make me feel small.

Web stalking is a lonely crime.


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 find it rather interesting that you stay away from eGullet for weeks, or days as the case may be--I'm not rabidly hunting down your posts like you with me so I wouldn't know, then you focus in on my depravities like some policing element and overlook the rest of the worthwhile and intellectually stimulating entries contained herein.  LML, there's a whole thread here of fine points, good arguements and troubling statistics.  Why don't you hone your tremendous yearning for superiority in on the posters who give a fuck.  Because I sir, only feed off your petty and selective desire to make me feel small.

CWS, so you really think that people are hunting down your posts in order to annoy you? Can it possibly be that your adolescent behavior starts to wear on people, and your attempts to be one of the "cool bad boys" are getting mighty tiresome? It's not all about you.

A Scottish chef brings up a point that is missing in a lot of the posts..there are a LOT of chefs who DON'T partake...it seems like for the last three pages or so, many posters have been working under the assumption that it is a given that every kitchen works in an atmosphere of drugs and alcohol, and yet there have been a number of posts claiming otherwise.

I don't have a problem with a garde manger who smokes pot before, during or after a shift..I guess I have a problem with the " Hey, guys, 'm all fucked up and so I'm cool like you! " kind of mentality.

Actually, this is a sad thread in many ways. :sad:

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Eric Clapton as many of you know released a hit single many years back titled "Cocaine", now the hippocrit is involved in every anti-drug campaign you can imagine. ... By the way, if Eric Clapton were really against drugs, he would cease in re-releasing that hit song "cocaine" on every greatest hits compilation that comes out. Money talks for the weak willed.

Two things here:

1. Did it never occur to you that Eric Clapton may be fervently anti-drug today as a direct result of his own past experiences with drugs, both from taking drugs himself and observing the effects of drug use on his friends and colleagues? This is not hypocricy.

2. That's not the way it works for a musician (or a writer or a painter or whatever). The work is the work. It's out there and that's that. There's no taking it back. I should also point out that the lyrics of "Cocaine" are fairly ambiguous and shouldn't necessarily be taken as a ringing endorsement for cocaine use. Furthermore, you are assuming that Eric Clapton has any control whatsoever over what tracks the recording companies put on his compilation albums. This is absolutely not always the case. What control Clapton can exert over the use of that song is that he can decide whether or not he performs it live, and if he does perform it live he can decide to offer some explanatory comments on the meaning of the song and his personal experiences with drug use. I note, however, that "Cocaine" was not included on his Unplugged album.


--

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It could well be time to give this thread a rest until there are further developments printed in the press. I certainly do not wish to see any further speculation on Gordon Ramsay's private life in relation to this very sad case. Not only is it slanderous and defamatory as Tony so rightly points out, it is also in my opinion in extremely bad taste.

Iventolux, I'd ask you to take a moment and imagine repeating what you have written here to Ramsay's face, especially under the current circumstances. I think it is unacceptable, and whilst I currently have no intention of deleting your posts, you should feel free to do so yourself.

eGullet is not a self contained bubble somehow divorced from reality, there is every chance that friends and collegues of David Dempsey and Gordon Ramsay will read what has been written here. I would not feel comfortable if I thought that this site had in any way added needlessly to their distress.

This is an important subject and worthy of public debate, but only if conducted in an appropriate and seemly manner.

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It could well be time to give this thread a rest until there are further developments printed in the press. I certainly do not wish to see any further speculation on Gordon Ramsay's private life in relation to this very sad case. Not only is it slanderous and defamatory as Tony so rightly points out, it is also in my opinion in extremely bad taste.

Iventolux, I'd ask you to take a  moment and imagine repeating what you have written here to Ramsay's face, especially under the current circumstances. I think it is unacceptable, and whilst I currently have no intention of deleting your posts, you should feel free to do so yourself.

eGullet is not a self contained bubble somehow divorced from reality, there is every chance that friends and collegues of David Dempsey and Gordon Ramsay will read what has been written here. I would not feel comfortable  if I thought that this site had in any way added needlessly to their distress.

This is an important subject and worthy of public debate, but only if conducted in an appropriate and seemly manner.

Point taken, stricken from the board. All apologies.


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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