View Poll Results: Is alcohol abuse a disability; do you agree or disagree with the EEOC?

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  • I agree alcohol abuse is a disability, I agree with the EEOC position

    4 9.09%
  • I agree alcohol abuse is a disability, I disagree with the EEOC position

    3 6.82%
  • I disagree that alcohol abuse is a disability, I agree with the EEOC position

    2 4.55%
  • I disagree that alcohol abuse is a disability, I disagree with the EEOC position

    25 56.82%
  • Rutabega

    3 6.82%
  • Other (Explain please)

    7 15.91%
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Thread: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

  1. #211
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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Perry View Post
    It's because it's my business at risk. Not yours, not his, not the governments. My first consideration has to be the business. Not his job. This has been covered.
    And you need to follow regulations in order to have your business. Without those kinds of regulations, abuses would run rampant.

    If he drinks and gets into an accident, it's going to be bad. If he dinks and gets into an accident after being sent off as an alcoholic the lawyers will come out of the woodwork. If the EEOC takes this position then they must also protect the business from future lawsuits because of this guys actions.
    If the queen had balls, she'd be king. If. If. If. There are plenty of other protections that can be enacted. The company overstepped. If the worker had any violation on his record, they'd have cause. He didn't.
    "Never fear. Him is here" - Captain Chaos (Dom DeLuise), Cannonball Run

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    This is what I hate about politics the most, it turns people in snobbish egotistical self righteous dicks who allow their political beliefs, partisan attitudes, and 'us vs. them' mentality, to force them to deny reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Pride View Post
    You can't paint everone with the same brush.......It does not work tht way.


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    See with you around Captain we don't even have to make arguments, as you already know everything .
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    Had you been born elsewhere or at a different time you may very well have chosen a different belief system.
    Quote Originally Posted by ernst barkmann View Post
    It a person has faith they dont need to convince another of it, and when a non believer is not interested in listening to the word of the lord, " you shake the dust from your sandels and move on"

  2. #212
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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    I always enjoy it when someone shows ignorance of my beliefs/position, attempting to straw man them and paint them as absolute, even thought it is obvious that they are not. Usually it demonstrates a sign of losing the debate... as you have.
    I always enjoy shooting a debater's favorite tactics back at them. You tend to deploy the "you're dogmatic" and "you're seeing things as black and white" quite a bit as a means of tailoring the direction of the debate to terms that you find favorable. Such declarations, absent proof, are pretty vacuous.

    Anyways, on to business.

    You are prepared to punish someone who has done nothing wrong. If the employee had had a DUI, or had come to work drunk or smelling of alcohol, I could see your point. None of these things happened.
    It is not I who is punishing this employee, that process is both self-inflicted and imposed on him by the company. I simply support the company's right to do what it feels is in its best interests.

    The employee could have sought treatment on his own. In fact, if I was in his shoes that's exactly what I would have done in order to preserve the privacy of my condition and not broadcast it to all of my coworkers and to my employers. That would have saved the company a huge headache, for even if he did cause an accident in the future, the fact that the company didn't know he was an alcoholic would remove the ability of plaintiffs to charge negligence regarding the company hiring the driver and continuing to use him as a driver after they knew he was an alcoholic.

    An early girlfriend of mine didn't want her parents to know that she was taking birth control pills so rather than using her parent's medical insurance to obtain the pills, we paid for them in cash.

    The point here is that once the admission is out on the table, the company can't escape the liability that develops from knowing about the disability. Politicians use this all the time - plausible deniability.

    Btw, do you know what the relapse rate for folks that remain in treatment is? 10% Pretty low.
    That's good to read but it conflicts with the information that I have available to me. Here, I'll show you mine and then you can show me yours.


    Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders

    In a meta-analysis of alcoholism treatment outcome studies, average short-term abstinence rates were 21% for untreated individuals in waiting-list, no-treatment or placebo conditions, compared to 43% for treated individuals [2,7]. Similarly, Weisner, Matzger & Kaskutas [8] found that treated alcohol-dependent individuals had higher 1-year non-problem use outcomes (40% versus 23%) than did untreated individuals. Overall, these studies suggest that, especially among individuals who recognize their alcohol problems, treated individuals achieve higher remission rates than do untreated individuals.


    The way I read the above seems to indicate a 60% relapse rate rather than a 10% relapse rate. Now it might be possible that the way to reconcile these two rates can be found in the condition you attach pertaining to alcoholics remaining "in treatment" but with a trucker being on the move all over the country, remaining "in treatment" for the rest of his career seems to pose a bit of a problem.

    Secondly, my understanding of this process is that successful treatment often involves the alcoholic having a strong support system readily available. Being isolated and on the road removes an alcoholic from ready access to the people who help him over the tough spots. The research points to support systems as being instrumental in maintaining sobriety:


    More social resources, especially supportive relationships with family members and friends, are associated with both treated and untreated remission [15,25,26]. More reliance on approach coping and less on avoidance coping also is linked to a higher likelihood of remission [27-29]. In addition, compared to individuals who remit with help, those who remit without help tend to have more supportive family relationships and to rely less on avoidance coping [20,30].


    Your dogmatism prevents you from looking at solutions. Blame and punish the worker. That's all you know. Your argument does not consider both parts of the problem. Mine does. Since all you can see is black/white, it is necessary for you to falsely paint my position as black/white.
    No, your position does not adequately consider both parts of the problem. You making very definite statements about liability protection which you can't back up. You're writing checks that your account can't cover. I've seen no evidence that a company instituting a random screening process will indemnify them from risk. You stating such a position carries absolutely no weight with anyone but you. You can con yourself that you're looking at both sides but you're simply succumbing to a confirmation bias here - you want to believe that your pronouncements are conclusive because that enables you to more one step further in your argument. If you actually grappled with the issues and found that your pronouncements were not conclusive then you'd have to revise your argument or simple jettison the pretense that your position is a thoughtful compromise between two competing interests.

    This company is exposing itself to liability. I'm telling you that. Others are telling you that. I linked to lawsuits and settlements which demonstrate that. You use declarations from Mount Olympus to disqualify arguments that you don't want to address. The fact that you don't want to entertain these arguments/evidence or engage them doesn't tell us anything about the validity of the arguments and evidence, it simply tells us how you deal with points that raise difficulty for your position.

    The EEOC is preventing rampant abuses of the company. That's what would happen without regulations like these.
    If such cases were rampant before the EEOC made its ruling, then this case wouldn't be so newsworthy, so clearly there have been no rampant abuses by companies. This case is so newsworthy because the rampant abuse of power is coming from the EEOC enforcing cartoonish levels of paternalism in demanding that a company reinstate an admitted alcoholic into his previous position of being a truck driver - taking the protection of "victims" and protecting their "rights" to extreme ends.

    No, the dogmatic libertarian position, which you seem to be spouting, dictates "might makes right". The company has the might, so they're automatically right.
    Now that is a clear case of black/white thinking for nowhere have I employed any reference to might makes right. If anyone is employing the might makes right strategy it is the EEOC which is using the power of government to enforce its unpopular will which elevates the "right" of an alcoholic over the safety of the public. Secondly, North Carolina is a state with at-will employment standards so the notion that an employee has a "right" to a particular job has no basis in fact. The employee doesn't own that job, he's not owed that job and the only thing giving him a leg to stand on is the might of the EEOC declaring otherwise.

    This company is not acting on some malicious whim, it is acting in its own self-interest, thereby protecting the interests of all stakeholders in the company who would be harmed if this employee does cause an accident and it's acting in the interests of increasing public safety by lowering the risk of accident for the general public.

    See, this is the essence of the problem with the libertarian position and why IT is "pie-in-the-sky". It forgets simple human psychology, that, if given the opportunity, an person or company will screw over anyone to get ahead, regardless of how it impacts anyone or anything else... even themselves over the long term. Now, you might want to adhere to this position, but I do not. I find that the ability of folks to work together to find reasonable solutions far more practical and productive.
    This rant of yours is the essence of the problem with liberalism - the lack of analytic reasoning and the over-reliance on emotion and rooting for the underdog when such rooting cannot be defended. Your primary focus is on the welfare of the driver but you give no consideration to a.) the owners of the company, b.) the public, and c.) the workers of the company who run the risk of serious harm if this company is held liable for an accident caused by this driver.

    I'll leave all of the self-serving flattery unaddressed for we're all entitled to maintaining our little delusions.

  3. #213
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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    I always enjoy shooting a debater's favorite tactics back at them. You tend to deploy the "you're dogmatic" and "you're seeing things as black and white" quite a bit as a means of tailoring the direction of the debate to terms that you find favorable. Such declarations, absent proof, are pretty vacuous.
    I point it out when it happens. You're doing it, so I pointed it out. If you don't like me exposing it, don't do it.


    It is not I who is punishing this employee, that process is both self-inflicted and imposed on him by the company. I simply support the company's right to do what it feels is in its best interests.
    There is no evidence that this is in the company's best interest since the employee has committed no crime, done nothing against company policy, nor made no error.

    The employee could have sought treatment on his own. In fact, if I was in his shoes that's exactly what I would have done in order to preserve the privacy of my condition and not broadcast it to all of my coworkers and to my employers. That would have saved the company a huge headache, for even if he did cause an accident in the future, the fact that the company didn't know he was an alcoholic would remove the ability of plaintiffs to charge negligence regarding the company hiring the driver and continuing to use him as a driver after they knew he was an alcoholic.
    Or... the company could have put in place a series of safeguards in order to protect itself from liability. There are several options here. Not just two.

    An early girlfriend of mine didn't want her parents to know that she was taking birth control pills so rather than using her parent's medical insurance to obtain the pills, we paid for them in cash.
    Incompatible scenario. Again.

    The point here is that once the admission is out on the table, the company can't escape the liability that develops from knowing about the disability. Politicians use this all the time - plausible deniability.
    There is a difference between a company knowing that an individual is an alcoholic, or an individual is an active alcoholic.

    That's good to read but it conflicts with the information that I have available to me. Here, I'll show you mine and then you can show me yours.


    Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders

    In a meta-analysis of alcoholism treatment outcome studies, average short-term abstinence rates were 21% for untreated individuals in waiting-list, no-treatment or placebo conditions, compared to 43% for treated individuals [2,7]. Similarly, Weisner, Matzger & Kaskutas [8] found that treated alcohol-dependent individuals had higher 1-year non-problem use outcomes (40% versus 23%) than did untreated individuals. Overall, these studies suggest that, especially among individuals who recognize their alcohol problems, treated individuals achieve higher remission rates than do untreated individuals.


    The way I read the above seems to indicate a 60% relapse rate rather than a 10% relapse rate. Now it might be possible that the way to reconcile these two rates can be found in the condition you attach pertaining to alcoholics remaining "in treatment" but with a trucker being on the move all over the country, remaining "in treatment" for the rest of his career seems to pose a bit of a problem.

    Secondly, my understanding of this process is that successful treatment often involves the alcoholic having a strong support system readily available. Being isolated and on the road removes an alcoholic from ready access to the people who help him over the tough spots. The research points to support systems as being instrumental in maintaining sobriety:


    More social resources, especially supportive relationships with family members and friends, are associated with both treated and untreated remission [15,25,26]. More reliance on approach coping and less on avoidance coping also is linked to a higher likelihood of remission [27-29]. In addition, compared to individuals who remit with help, those who remit without help tend to have more supportive family relationships and to rely less on avoidance coping [20,30].
    The statistic I quoted comes from Caron Foundation, one of the best rehabs in the country. The research was done on approximately 10,000 individuals. The relapse rate related to folks who remained in treatment and attended an average of at least 1 AA meeting per week. These things are certainly attainable for anyone, even a trucker on the move. As far as a support system goes, yes, that is also key. Support systems also come in many forms, and face to face contact is not always required.

    No, your position does not adequately consider both parts of the problem. You making very definite statements about liability protection which you can't back up. You're writing checks that your account can't cover. I've seen no evidence that a company instituting a random screening process will indemnify them from risk. You stating such a position carries absolutely no weight with anyone but you. You can con yourself that you're looking at both sides but you're simply succumbing to a confirmation bias here - you want to believe that your pronouncements are conclusive because that enables you to more one step further in your argument. If you actually grappled with the issues and found that your pronouncements were not conclusive then you'd have to revise your argument or simple jettison the pretense that your position is a thoughtful compromise between two competing interests.
    Nope. You have presented nothing that refutes my position. I have never said that the protections put in place guarantee no liability... this is your straw man. But minimize? Certainly. This is what happens with a legal contract, which is what this would be. Your position falsely simplifies a complex problem. You have someone who has not committed a "crime", but has the potential to do so. How do you manage this? Now, you could be dogmatic and just eliminate the worker, or you could consider all aspects of the scenario. What you consistently fail to see is that the worker has not done anything wrong at this time. If he had, that would be different.

    This company is exposing itself to liability. I'm telling you that. Others are telling you that. I linked to lawsuits and settlements which demonstrate that. You use declarations from Mount Olympus to disqualify arguments that you don't want to address. The fact that you don't want to entertain these arguments/evidence or engage them doesn't tell us anything about the validity of the arguments and evidence, it simply tells us how you deal with points that raise difficulty for your position.
    There is no difficulty in my position. I've seen your lawsuits and settlements and none of them support your position. The first, in post #71 does not indicate what the company knew... or if it knew anything about the driver having a drinking problem. Also, it does not say whether the company was actually found liable...just that it was named in the suit. Further, Since the company owned the vehicle, regardless of the state of the driver, the company will be part of the lawsuit, since they own the vehicle and employ the driver. So, this lawsuit does not support your position in any way.

    Your Joseph Hazlewood story (post #72). What did the company know? What was the lawsuit based on? Had he been in an accident or had a DUI before? Was the company found liable simply because they were the company, and anyone getting into an accident while driving for them would have created the same scenario? Until you can answer these questions, this lawsuit, too, does not support your position.

    That's two for two.

    If such cases were rampant before the EEOC made its ruling, then this case wouldn't be so newsworthy, so clearly there have been no rampant abuses by companies. This case is so newsworthy because the rampant abuse of power is coming from the EEOC enforcing cartoonish levels of paternalism in demanding that a company reinstate an admitted alcoholic into his previous position of being a truck driver - taking the protection of "victims" and protecting their "rights" to extreme ends.
    It protects one from being punished without committing a crime. And remember. Exceptions often make the news. Perhaps the reason we have not seen the "abuses" in the news is because they are common.


    Now that is a clear case of black/white thinking for nowhere have I employed any reference to might makes right.
    You certainly do. The company has the power. The company decides to change the status of a worker based on no behavior whatsoever. The employee should just shut up and accept it. Might makes right. That is your position.

    If anyone is employing the might makes right strategy it is the EEOC which is using the power of government to enforce its unpopular will which elevates the "right" of an alcoholic over the safety of the public. Secondly, North Carolina is a state with at-will employment standards so the notion that an employee has a "right" to a particular job has no basis in fact. The employee doesn't own that job, he's not owed that job and the only thing giving him a leg to stand on is the might of the EEOC declaring otherwise.
    Or... the EEOC is preventing companies from labor practices that discriminate against folks with disabilities when that individual has demonstrated no behaviors that prevent him from doing his job.

    This company is not acting on some malicious whim, it is acting in its own self-interest, thereby protecting the interests of all stakeholders in the company who would be harmed if this employee does cause an accident and it's acting in the interests of increasing public safety by lowering the risk of accident for the general public.
    If, if, if. The company has no evidence that the employee would get into an accident. The company has no evidence that another employee WOULDN'T get into an accident.

    This rant of yours is the essence of the problem with liberalism - the lack of analytic reasoning and the over-reliance on emotion and rooting for the underdog when such rooting cannot be defended. Your primary focus is on the welfare of the driver but you give no consideration to a.) the owners of the company, b.) the public, and c.) the workers of the company who run the risk of serious harm if this company is held liable for an accident caused by this driver.
    These above comments are the essence of the problem with libertarianism. No ability to actually understand the argument being made... just cherrypicking the parts that they can actually argue, even if, in context, they do not fit. Complete black and white thinking, even when shades of gray have been explained. I have painstakingly explained how the company can protect itself, and stated that the worker would need to follow a very specific plan, to the letter, or he should be terminated. But the black/white thinking of libertarians prevent them from seeing these things. All they see is this: company, good... worker, bad... don't agree with me, you are bad. The inability to see any shades of gray is why libertarianisn, the dogmatic type, will never become mainstream.

    I'll leave all of the self-serving flattery unaddressed for we're all entitled to maintaining our little delusions.
    You can certainly keep holding onto your denial; we're all entitled to stick our heads in the sand. Some much more than others.
    "Never fear. Him is here" - Captain Chaos (Dom DeLuise), Cannonball Run

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    This is what I hate about politics the most, it turns people in snobbish egotistical self righteous dicks who allow their political beliefs, partisan attitudes, and 'us vs. them' mentality, to force them to deny reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Pride View Post
    You can't paint everone with the same brush.......It does not work tht way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    See with you around Captain we don't even have to make arguments, as you already know everything .
    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    Had you been born elsewhere or at a different time you may very well have chosen a different belief system.
    Quote Originally Posted by ernst barkmann View Post
    It a person has faith they dont need to convince another of it, and when a non believer is not interested in listening to the word of the lord, " you shake the dust from your sandels and move on"

  4. #214
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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    It's scary that so many people voted for: "I disagree that alcohol abuse is a disability, I disagree with the EEOC position "

    It really shows how uneducated people really are. Learn a little about psychology and mental health; if you can understand it all (and I don't mean junk psychology .. actually pick up a textbook), the way you view the world will likely change drastically.

    Certain psychology courses should be mandatory for all citizens.

    I am unclear about one part of this post though .. many people are talking about drinking and driving .. is that something the guy was doing while working? If so he should not be working, if not, they had no grounds for firing him.
    They fired him because he decided against getting treatment.

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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    And you need to follow regulations in order to have your business. Without those kinds of regulations, abuses would run rampant.
    Sometimes it's the regulations that run rampant.

    If the queen had balls, she'd be king. If. If. If. There are plenty of other protections that can be enacted. The company overstepped. If the worker had any violation on his record, they'd have cause. He didn't.
    There may be other protections that can be enacted BUT they aren't. By that statement you seem to be acknowledging that by allowing this guy to drive the company is putting themselves into an added risk butit doesn't seem to matter to you.

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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    There is no evidence that this is in the company's best interest since the employee has committed no crime, done nothing against company policy, nor made no error.
    There is a ton of evidence that it's in the best interest of a company to not allow an alcoholic drive their vehicles. If a Catholic priest said that he was attracted to little boys but hadn't actually molested any yet, would you allow him to run the day care center?

    What would happen if this information was known, they still allowed him to be around little boys and he did molest one?

    Or... the company could have put in place a series of safeguards in order to protect itself from liability. There are several options here. Not just two.
    Such as?

    There is a difference between a company knowing that an individual is an alcoholic, or an individual is an active alcoholic.
    Not when the lawyers get involved.

  7. #217
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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Some things are just too easy to let go...

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    There is no evidence that this is in the company's best interest since the employee has committed no crime, done nothing against company policy, nor made no error.
    If it is against company policy to allow alcoholics to drive, then by admitting that he was an alcoholic he outright stated that his driving would be against company policy.

    There is a difference between a company knowing that an individual is an alcoholic, or an individual is an active alcoholic.
    A moot one. It wouldn't matter if the rate of treated alcoholics was 1%, the fact that the driver could fall of the wagon deems him unfit to drive commercially and places the company at risk of liability.

    A couple of other things since I am running out of time.... You keep referring to a "crime". Talk about misleading choice of words. Being late consistently isn't a crime but it can get you fired. Have you checked to see if the company states outright that anyone who is an alcoholic can't drive? If the guy was told that at the beginning (I don't know, but it is possible. Just one of the many details not available to us) of his employment then he is exactly where he should expect to be. Even so with NC being at "at-will" state, they really don't need a reason to fire him at all.

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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Is he under the influence on the job?

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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    Is he under the influence on the job?
    He will always be under the influence of his addiction.

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    Re: Is alcohol abuse a "disability"?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Perry View Post
    He will always be under the influence of his addiction.
    Your claim is that his driving is impaired while sober?

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