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<i>Dear Workforce</i> Should We Rehire A Worker Fired For Bringing Marijuana Brownies To Work

November 4, 2001
Q

Dear Workforce:

Our president wants to re-hire a former employee who was fired for bakingmarijuana into brownies and serving them at a function attended by companyemployees. Company practice has been to not rehire employees terminated forcause, but the boss says the employee has learned his lesson. How do I convincethe boss this is a bad idea?

-- Holding out on hashish, AssistantHuman Resources Manager, manufacturing,Auburn Hills, Michigan.

A Dear Holding Out:

I can empathize with your dilemma. The employee's behavior showed a prettyoutrageous lack of judgment, not to mention put the company in potential legaljeopardy. If the boss is not willing to consider your viewpoint, you mightsuggest he speak to other company presidents for a second opinion.

Still, if your boss is determined to be forgiving, then your best bet is toconvince the boss of the necessity for a three-way rehiring interview with theemployee. Let the boss play good cop while you play bad cop. Raise all yourarguments that run counter to employment, yet be reluctantly willing to give theemployee a second and last chance. While willing to forgive, the boss mustemphasize that he's not totally willing to forget. And the boss must alsoacknowledge in front of the employee the validity of your serious concerns.

If the decision is to rehire, then I would have a meeting with thisemployee's supervisor also, again letting him or her know the trial nature ofthis process and that initially there will be close supervision, as if theindividual is a new employee. (A definite probationary period will be ineffect). If all parties can agree with this plan then I believe the employeewill, over time, either prove his professional reliability, or his liabilitywill quickly be exposed.

SOURCE: Mark Gorkin, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" and American Online's"Online Psychohumorist," Washington, D.C., May 31, 2001.

LEARN MORE: See "Starting a Drug-TestingProgram"

The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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