Drunken truck driver must be rehired because she was essentially fired for her disability – alcoholism

Is Canada even crazier than we are?

6 thoughts on “Drunken truck driver must be rehired because she was essentially fired for her disability – alcoholism

  1. Cup-less for 30 years. That is probably driving them crazy. The ones spelled with an “e”, that is. Leafs: suck it.

  2. This might be under just Quebec’s human rights code which might be different in the rest of the country.

  3. Speaking as a former employment attorney, I have a question. What is a “reasonable accommodation” for an alcoholic truck driver? Once she crashed her truck with a BAC twice the legal limit, it would be a liability nightmare to let her continue working as a truck driver. Imagine that this company let her continue driving for them, and she was involved in an accident where someone was hurt. If the accident was even arguably her fault, how do you think a jury would react to the fact that she was allowed to continue driving for them? The only accommodation that would make any sense would be to offer her a job doing something other than driving. But that would only be reasonable if the company had such a job available. That would probably depend on the size of the company. If the company was large enough and the woman requested to be transferred to a non-driving job, this decision might be a little less crazy. But only a little.

    1. The court’s ruling indicates to me that they expected the company to take some action like installing one of those alcohol breathalyzers to her truck – the ones that won’t start the truck if you blow alcohol into them.

      I’m not sure whether that would be a reasonable accommodation for the firm. I think that would hinge on whether she always drives the same truck, or whether trucks are randomly assigned, in which case the firm would be expected to install that device on every truck.

      Furthermore, such a device, as I understand it, would keep her from drinking BEFORE a haul, but not DURING one. She could pass the breath test, then plop a twelve-pack on the passenger seat and start roaring down the road, consuming beer the same way I’d wolf down Mountain Dew. (And let’s face it, if she’s really an unreformed alcoholic, she’ll go to such lengths to keep drinking.)

      Bottom line – is it wise to create a legal precedent that places someone with a history of reckless drinking/driving back behind the wheel? Seems pretty fucked-up to me. As you pointed out, she was fortunate not to harm anyone, but her next lack of control may not be victim-free. That seems like both (1) an unnecessary risk to society at large, and (2) a lawsuit waiting to happen for the trucking company.

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