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Gordon Ramsay demands drugs tests


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Insulted? Hardly ever. Worked in too many lawfirms, law departments and courtrooms to take much to heart. A few kitchens too. :biggrin:

But this turning into what a lawyer can do as a result, oh brother. Can't swing a dead cat without hitting one of those trial advocates wanting to initiate legal recourse.

But, in all earnest, this does not diminish in any part whatsoever the tragic death of Chef Dempsey. That indeed is motivation and reason enough for one to mournfully review with bitter respite of how that horrible loss could have been precluded.

edit from sore hands from busy weekend....! Can't type to save my life today! :laugh: Uggh, typos.

Edited by beans (log)
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" A lawsuit can happen when it can be shown that an employer has been "negligent" in respect of his/her duty of care towards employees."

Exactly wrong. A guilty VERDICT or legal CULPABILITY can happen when it can be shown that an employer has been "negligent" A LAWSUIT can happen very easily--all it takes is a plaintiff and a lawyer with a reasonable expectation of hourly wages. Large companies don't fear guilty verdicts or actual liability--as much as they fear the expensive and time consuming legal process. ( see McDonalds vs The Stupid Twat Who Stomped On The Accelerator With Coffee In Her Lap). Mcd settled that case--though they knew that they would surely have prevailed under Res Ipsa Loquitor ( "Coffee is hot. Coffee, when poured on genitals, hurts and maybe even wounds"). This policy of mandating concern is seen only as potential expense and risk..and companies--in an already risky business--will of course react with their usual reptilian logic and minimize that risk. Ergo: Drug tests, mandatory referrals, conversations being recorded for the record and distributed to appropriate officers of the company, etc. The question soon evolves to "Why should I give this guy a break? He might screw up and sue me!"

abourdain

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No no no..What I'm saying is that companies will be much more careful about initial hires..much less inclined to give somebody "risky" a break. That chefs and hirers would operate defensively--in their own self interest--with less inclination to risk give somebody the traditional second chance. I don't WANT that kind of frightened thinking'

By the way, Tony, have I mentioned that I'm enjoying this--and that I hope you are too?

I should also mention that the kind of policy you describe is surely the inevitable way of the future. As inevitable as the Starbucks soon to appear on your corner.

abourdain

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I should also mention that the kind of policy you describe is surely the inevitable way of the future. As inevitable as the Starbucks soon to appear on your corner.

Whoa...strange that you bring up Starbucks, Tony. One truly did appear on my nearest shopping corner yesterday. It was the first day and a bit of a laugh to watch the staff tumble over each other. Mocha liquid goo squelched down the front of one bloke and they couldn't find the coffee beans they were giving out for free with those $20 cards. I just sat on a comfy chair and soaked it up, along with a few free samples, before ambling around the corner to be accosted by another franchise's mascot, this time Maggie Moo. My god I have moved to a suburban hell hole. Interestingly the Starbucks had a Fortune 100 best company to work for sticker on the door, so I suppose they have bi-laws and what not along the line's of what the other Tony mentions. Do franchises like these have stronger employer responsibility codes, typically?

- Weka

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least."

- Goethe

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By the way, Tony, have I mentioned that I'm enjoying this--and that I hope you are too?

I'm enjoying it fine thanks Mr B. I think we're sort of talking at cross purposes here. I think the sue it if it moves culture is as crazy as you do and I'm not for one moment suggesting that people not be held responsible for their own drug taking or their drinking.

Its not so much an issue of suing the boss because somehow he's responsible for your drinking/drugging, but suing for unfair dismissal if the boss fires you without giving you a warning and a chance. If the boss says "I'll arrange to get you some help" and you say "fuck off, I don't need any help" and the boss then subsequently fires you for coming into work high, then yes you may sue but your chances of success are slim if the boss can show that help was offered. Why big companies settle these cases out of court when they know they'll probably win is a different issue, maybe to be discussed at another time.

And help SHOULD be offered IMO. The two alternatives are either fire on the spot, or turn a blind eye. Yes if you do the latter and DON'T cover your arse and said smashed chef goes beserk and pours a pan full of scalding chicken stock over the saucier you would be dead meat in court because you failed to protect the health and safety of your other employees from an intoxicated chef who you KNEW had a problem.

So really all of you out there employing drunk/stoned chefs need to get yourself an employment disciplinary procedure so that you can, if necessary fire after due process and not be sued (or found guilty). Those of you turning a blind eye or just hoping it will get better or that nothing bad will happen-you need to get yourself a prayer book.

Edited by Tonyfinch (log)
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The last time I worked with Dempsey he had purple rings around his eyes from lack of sleep, looked like he lost about 10 pounds since I had seen him last. As always, he had the usual extreme burns and cuts on his hands and forearms. A guy with no balance in his life.

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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about a year ago

Oh yeah, in case you were worried about Gordon he was plump as ever, cocky as ever, and abusive to his staff as ever. But you didnt hear that.

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 use to work a wood burning grill at Trotters without tongs or utensils, my hands and forearms were always a mess. Dempseys were worse. Hey ill let you in on a little secret, promise you wont tell............?????????

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 use to work a wood burning grill at Trotters without tongs or utensils, my hands and forearms were always a mess. Dempseys were worse. Hey ill let you in on a little secret, promise you wont tell............?????????

Is Trotter one of those guys that want you to use a cake tester on meats?

As for the secret? I'm all ears...

2317/5000

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Its not so much an issue of suing the boss because somehow he's responsible for your drinking/drugging,  but suing for unfair dismissal if the boss fires you without  giving you a warning and a chance. If the boss says "I'll arrange to get you some help" and you say "fuck off, I don't need any help" and the boss then subsequently fires you for coming into work high, then yes you may sue but your chances of success are slim if the boss can show that help was offered.

I live in an employment at will state. No such thing as in unfair dismissal. It is a two way street and does not require any forewarning on either the employee or employer's part.

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I live in an employment at will state.  No such thing as in unfair dismissal.  It is a two way street and does not require any forewarning on either the employee or employer's part.

Same here.

2317/5000

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This is very exciting for me because I just took a CLE (Continuing Legal Education) course on employment law and learned all about "employment at will." So just to clarify, as they say in the CLE classes, employment at will does not equal employment at whim. To wit, federal law trumps state law, and there are approximately 27 massive bodies of federal law that act to limit the employment at will doctrine. In particular, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 bears on the issue of drug use, and at the very least prevents you from terminating an employee who is actively seeking treatment and staying clean. Other federal laws that operate to limit the employment at will doctrine include the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Bankruptcy Act of 1978, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and of 1991, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1968, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (aka ERISA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1999, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the Judiciary and Judicial Procedure Act of 1948, the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, the Railroad Safety Act of 1970, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988, and a whole bunch of whistleblower protection laws.

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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The last time I worked with Dempsey he had purple rings around his eyes from lack of sleep, looked like he lost about 10 pounds since I had seen him last. As always, he had the usual extreme burns and cuts on his hands and forearms. A guy with no balance in his life.

This is an accurate description of 99.9 % of the brigade when I was at L'Oranger, under Marcus Wareing.

I have to say that in the two years I was there, I was never witness to drug use during service or by the cooks I frequented on our rare days off ( to insure balance...).

I can't see how anyone with an accute drug problem could of survived the pace. Deeper rooted disturbances might be the explanation in Chef Dempsey's case.

Michel

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What we have in this country and will continue to be for many more years the most free thinking society on this planet (now im not saying its perfect).

Are you serious?

"free thinking"?!?!

I wouldn't describe the US as "free thinking" much less the most "free thinking" society.

Go to Canada.

Go to Holland.

Go to one of a dozen countries where differences are tolerated and even celebrated and where change is accepted and even embraced. Go to one of a dozen countries where Ashcroft would be described as a lunatic nut job fascist.

fanatic...

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This is very exciting for me because I just took a CLE (Continuing Legal Education) course on employment law and learned all about "employment at will." So just to clarify, as they say in the CLE classes, employment at will does not equal employment at whim. To wit, federal law trumps state law, and there are approximately 27 massive bodies of federal law that act to limit the employment at will doctrine. In particular, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 bears on the issue of drug use, and at the very least prevents you from terminating an employee who is actively seeking treatment and staying clean. Other federal laws that operate to limit the employment at will doctrine include the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Bankruptcy Act of 1978, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and of 1991, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1968, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (aka ERISA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1999, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the Judiciary and Judicial Procedure Act of 1948, the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, the Railroad Safety Act of 1970, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988, and a whole bunch of whistleblower protection laws.

We all love our Fat Guy don't get me wrong...but that last post read like the ingredient list for a Totino's meat lovers deluxe. I got vertigo half way through.

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Dude that class cost me something like three hundred bucks. And believe me it was a hundred times as boring as that post.

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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Go to Canada.

Like every country I've been to, Canada is populated by a mix of free thinkers and tools. That's just the way the world is. A society can't be free-thinking; societies don't have brains and they don't think at all. They're collections of individuals. There's only one nation I'm a part of that is composed of nearly 100% free thinkers, and that's the People's Republic of eGullet.com.

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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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