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Post Sarkisian: Are employers obligated to help employees struggling with substance abuse?

A Russian River Brewing Company customer takes a sip of the newly released Pliny the Younger triple IPA beer on February 7, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A Russian River Brewing Company customer takes a sip of the newly released Pliny the Younger triple IPA beer on February 7, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California.

USC fired head football coach Steve Sarkisian yesterday, just 24 hours after being placed on indefinite leave for questionable behavior.

USC fired football coach Steve Sarkisian yesterday, just 24 hours after placing him on indefinite leave for questionable behavior.

Players thought their coach didn't seem right at Sunday's team meeting; Sarkisian then failed to show up for the practice afterward.

Did USC do the right thing in firing Sarkisian, or should it provide another chance after the coach gets help for his drinking?

And more broadly speaking, even though employers rarely have a legal obligation to tolerate inappropriate behavior, should they do more to help an employee who appears to be struggling with substance abuse? If an employee denies he or she has a problem, is there any other recourse for an employer than to terminate the relationship?​

Guest:

Liz Ryan, CEO and Founder of Human Workplace,  based in Boulder, Colorado. Liz is a former head of human resources at a Fortune 500 company

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