Experience level: 
Intermediate
Intended Audience: 
Faculty
Authors: 
Ann Medinger (student), Tyler Burch,PhD

Managing Substance Abuse in the Workplace: A Case Dealing with an Alcoholic Employee

This critical incident depicts Blake, the General Manager of a small telecommunications co-op, in a very difficult situation with a lower level employee, Harvey. The situation culminates when Blake must decide what to do with Harvey, who has begun showing up to work intoxicated after a few decades or so of apparent sobriety. Blake had been made aware of Harvey’s history with alcoholism when he was made General Manager of the company several years earlier. At that time, he was relieved to find out that it had been a long time since Harvey’s last incident at work. One day, Blake found out through Harvey’s supervisor, Timothy, that Harvey had come into work smelling of alcohol. He was also showing signs of intoxication with his erratic behavior. Now, Blake faces a decision based on care and concern for Harvey, company policy, and what is best for the organization as a whole.