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#1 Ringlet

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:03 PM

I interviewed a guy today that used to work for our company about 10 years ago. He was a good employee then (for about 3 years) but was laid off due to work shortage. After my company he worked for a couple places but was let go again (because of the recent economy).

He told me that while being unemployed for so long he became depressed and turned to alcohol. He tried to "control" it early on but it got out of control. He has rehabbed a few times but says he hit his "rock bottom" a few weeks ago when he got a DUI. He said he's been to AA meetings daily ever since and is trying to get his life back.

Then I coincidentally call him to interview for a job.

Would you hire him back?

#2 Kris

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:12 PM

I would, I think a new job would be a great boost to his self esteem and would be great in helping him on his recovery!

#3 jenny

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:18 PM

Ya...not doing so wouldn't that be cause of discrimation.

#4 Rox028802

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:45 PM

I think the guy deserves a chance :)

#5 TM3

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:54 PM

for sure i would. He never did anything at work there for it doesnt affect his work and may give him something to be happy about.

#6 Sam

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:59 PM

Depends on the job, but most likely yes.

#7 vals

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:13 PM

As long as he is making an effort to get control of his issue and willing to put forth the same energy at work as he did before than I see no reason not to hire him. You'll know pretty quickly if he is doing the type of work you would expect from him and always have the option to terminate him if it doesn't work out. I rehired past employees more than once, especially if they were good before and it always worked out.

#8 Mama2Gracie

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:49 PM

as long as it doesn't involve driving, then I see no reason not to hire him back. Everyone deserves a second chance.

#9 Aimster

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 04:02 PM

My brother went through the same thing with one of his former workers. He hired him back and says he's his best worker!

#10 creative mama

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 04:11 PM

What's the job? What kind of responsibility would he have/what would he be doing?

I'd be on the line about hiring him to be honest. It's wonderful that he's on his way up, but having hit rock bottom only two weeks ago means he's got a long way to go. What effect would it have on you/your company if he relapsed? Is the job going to be stressful - he may not be able to manage the stress well right now.

#11 Kiana

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:02 PM

Im surprised to hear that he told you that in an interview... thats a first impression for most people... that being said my decision would be based on the entire impression I got from him... if that was the only 'red flag' than I could probably overlook it... you have 3 months probationary to let him go if you find it affects his job.

#12 Claudia

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:04 PM

I'd give him a chance. You said he was a good employee before and everyone has past issues. No reason to assume he won't be a good worker.

#13 DivineMrsM

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:12 PM

I'd give him a shot. Everyone deserves a chance to start over. Worst case scenario, fire him.

#14 Ringlet

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:18 PM

I offered him the job. I hope this helps him get his life in order.

#15 DivineMrsM

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:22 PM

That's really awesome!!!!

#16 Jill

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:39 PM

That's great! I think it the very least you can count on him to be honest! Who drops a bomb like that without having to, knowing full well he could totally blow his chances?!? I think it shows a lot of character.

#17 Tired Mom

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:44 PM

Ya...not doing so wouldn't that be cause of discrimation.


You can't fire someone for needing treatment, or being jailed. I think its a different story before you employ them though.

Something like alcoholism could impact a persons ability to do the job. It is nice to give them a chance. Hopefully it goes well.

#18 jenny

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 07:03 PM

I agree with you...but it draws a fine line. If it was a taxi service lets say, then no I don't think you could not hire him . But something like telemarketing and then not hiring on the basis that he's a recovering alcholic, then that would be on the line of discrimination. KWIM?

I hope it all works out for the best. And kudos to him for being open and honest about it up front. It takes a lot of courage to do that.

#19 sims

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 08:06 PM

hoping it all works out

#20 Spanky2

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 06:55 AM


Ya...not doing so wouldn't that be cause of discrimation.


You can't fire someone for needing treatment, or being jailed. I think its a different story before you employ them though.

Something like alcoholism could impact a persons ability to do the job. It is nice to give them a chance. Hopefully it goes well.


Actually, substance abuse is considered a disabilty under the Ontario Human Rights Code. If his substance abuse past is the only reason you WON'T hire him, you've discriminated against him and could be liable if he sues. In fact, I'd recommend you ask that this post be removed immediately. Broadcasting this on-line is not a good idea.

#21 Trea

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 08:10 AM

YES, YES, YES!

I have been very involved with recovering alcoholics for 19yrs not. My mom is 19yrs sober and her DH is at 20yrs. They were both very involved with the AA community in London and I attended a lot of functions with them.

If he is going to AA and has been open with is addiction *I* feel that means he is really wanting to move on. He is in recovery and actively participating in his recovery.

I would though do a written contract with him that states that he will get no warnings. His first offense of at work drunkenness is grounds for dismissal. Have that written down. I THINK that will help make that legal.

Often having/getting a job will assist with recovery.

Hope it works out!

#22 mysticmom

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 08:26 AM

She never stated that was the ONLY reason she would not hire him. She was simply asking a question here. There is no discrimination. She simply asked what people thought.

Good for you for giving him a chance. He did not have to tell you that in the interview. KUDO's to both of you!

#23 Ringlet

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 12:21 PM

Actually, substance abuse is considered a disabilty under the Ontario Human Rights Code. If his substance abuse past is the only reason you WON'T hire him, you've discriminated against him and could be liable if he sues. In fact, I'd recommend you ask that this post be removed immediately. Broadcasting this on-line is not a good idea.



I am an HR Manager, I know the law. In this case, there would be no way to prove discrimination - its not like he was offered a job, then told me his story, then I retracted the offer.

I was asking from an employer risk point of view .. do you think someone this freshly sober can turn their life around (rather instantly) or do you think its too much too soon?

#24 Leslie

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 12:54 PM

I think every case is going to be different. I believe everyone deserves a chance to get their lives back on track but it does take time. In some cases, a new job may be helpful and give them some focus -- in others it may be too much 'pressure' initially to take on IF they are not 100% well on their way to recovery.

The fact you said its only been a few weeks would be a bit of a concern for me. And the DUI - did that just happen as well? If so, likely the court date for that etc is still to come in the future., so may be some added stress down the road.

If however they are truly committed to AA and wanted to seek help to make a better life, then I would applaud you for taking the chance and giving him a shot at getting his life on track.

#25 jenny

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 01:53 PM

do you think someone this freshly sober can turn their life around (rather instantly) or do you think its too much too soon?


Absolutely! Sounds like you may be doubting though.

If he has positive things going for him and he sees it, he sure can turn it around this quickly, especially with help he's getting. Each day is a new day and each one that passes is one he can be proud of providing he is turning it around (obviously if he's done good in the fight the day before). KWIM? Alcoholism is NOT an easy battle to fight. But it can be done!

#26 jenny

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 02:05 PM

She never stated that was the ONLY reason she would not hire him. She was simply asking a question here. There is no discrimination. She simply asked what people thought.

Good for you for giving him a chance. He did not have to tell you that in the interview. KUDO's to both of you!


There is discrimination. She's talking and getting suggestions and questioning on whether or not to hire him even though he's an alcohlic. Not hiring him on that basis is discrimation. If substance abuse is classified as a disability then not hiring him on the basis of alcoholism is discriminating against one's disability. He has the same rights as any other applicant. If he wasn't capable of doing the job say cause he doesn't have the degree needed (ex. nursing), then no that's not discrimination.

http://www.ohrc.on.c...sues/disability

#27 Spanky2

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 02:06 PM



Actually, substance abuse is considered a disabilty under the Ontario Human Rights Code. If his substance abuse past is the only reason you WON'T hire him, you've discriminated against him and could be liable if he sues. In fact, I'd recommend you ask that this post be removed immediately. Broadcasting this on-line is not a good idea.



I am an HR Manager, I know the law. In this case, there would be no way to prove discrimination - its not like he was offered a job, then told me his story, then I retracted the offer.

I was asking from an employer risk point of view .. do you think someone this freshly sober can turn their life around (rather instantly) or do you think its too much too soon?


Then I think your original question is misleading. Your OP states "would you hire him back", not "do you think someone this freshly sober can turn their life around (rather instantly) or do you think its too much too soon". I've also had years of experience in HR, specializing in accommodation and human rights, and I gave my opinion on the question you posed.

#28 jenny

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 02:07 PM

I interviewed a guy today that used to work for our company about 10 years ago. He was a good employee then (for about 3 years) but was laid off due to work shortage. After my company he worked for a couple places but was let go again (because of the recent economy).

He told me that while being unemployed for so long he became depressed and turned to alcohol. He tried to "control" it early on but it got out of control. He has rehabbed a few times but says he hit his "rock bottom" a few weeks ago when he got a DUI. He said he's been to AA meetings daily ever since and is trying to get his life back.

Then I coincidentally call him to interview for a job.

Would you hire him back?



She never stated that was the ONLY reason she would not hire him. She was simply asking a question here. There is no discrimination. She simply asked what people thought.

Good for you for giving him a chance. He did not have to tell you that in the interview. KUDO's to both of you!


She said he was a good employee. She is exclusively talking about the problem of him and alcohol and made mention of depression.

#29 Claudia

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 06:04 PM

Considering she already stated she knows the law and has hired him, I really don't see a need to keep this going on and on about whether she was being discriminatory or not...

To the OP, I'm glad you gave him a chance. I hope it works out for the best!!

#30 mysticmom

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 08:09 PM

Amen Claudia, this site sometimes gets so heated over nothing. I am overweight, so when I do not get hired, I should go and say it is discrimination????