Q: We have a long-term employee who has an ongoing problem with alcoholism and related issues. He has been in and out of treatment more than once. Since the last time he returned to work following treatment, his attendance has been less than stellar.
Recently, he stomped off the job at the end of a workday following a loud dispute with his supervisor, who had merely asked him whether he had taken care of a serious customer service problem with an important customer.
Later that evening, in an apparently intoxicated state, the employee left an extremely derogatory and threatening voice mail for the supervisor containing numerous offensive uses of the "F" word in a threatening manner as well as several negative and derogatory statements regarding the company and its management.
Shortly afterward, he was admitted to the local hospital after apparently overdosing on alcohol and drugs.
Given that the employee's voice mail contains numerous negative and derogatory statements about the company and its management as well as his immediate supervisor, do we have to take him back if he attempts to return to work? Does his alcoholism create coverage under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Read the rest of the article from the Nebraska Employment Law Letter here.