Back in 2010, a Glencore trader named Andrew Kearns was fired for what management perceived as a drinking problem, which they believed was affecting Kearns’s ability to do his job. Kearns denied that his drinking was a problem, and filed a wrongful termination suit, seeking $1.2 million. Last month, a judge ruled no dice on the $1.2 million; yesterday he rejected the remaining piece of the claim, which sought a mere $20,000. Where did things go wrong for Kearns? Ultimately, it came down to not seeing eye to eye with his superiors on a number of booze-related issues. Among them:

A debate over the line between being a fall down drunk and merely mixing it up with clients.

  • Kearns, who earned about $500,000 a year “regularly consumed excessive amounts of alcohol,” which meant he was late for work or unable to function effectively, Seymour said in the written decision. Kearns argued during the trial that Glencore’s claims weren’t true and that he had been doing his job by socializing with clients. He denied having an alcohol problem and said the company singled him out because of a disagreement with managers.

The proper way to stage an intervention, and the appropriate response to such a thing.

  • Cohen told the judge that when Glencore offered to help Kearns see an addiction expert, he responded by spending an afternoon in the pub.

Where and when the real work happens.

  • At a 2010 industry conference in Singapore, Kearns drank at least eight beers and stayed out until 4.30 a.m. at the Brix Club, according to Seymour’s ruling. He slept until the early afternoon of the following day and missed meetings. Kearns testified he was with trading counterparties and had gained valuable business information during the evening.

Ex-Glencore Oil Trader Fired for Drinking Loses Lawsuit [Bloomberg]

18 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (18)

  1. Posted by Homer | December 12, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Really looking for Geezer Oil Trader's take on this. Additionally, this guy misses work for 8 beers over an evening? Not a very strong showing there, champ.

  2. Posted by Guest | December 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    The company was good enough to leave him with a bberg fob to log in and trade though.

  3. Posted by I love conferences | December 12, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Honestly, it's an 'industry event.' How much work typically gets done between the hours of 9-5 at these things?

  4. Posted by guest | December 12, 2013 at 12:53 PM


  5. Posted by guest | December 12, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Missing work over any amount of beer is weak, period. No liquor on the other hand is a different story

  6. Posted by guest | December 12, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    that's what i'm talkin about!


  7. Posted by Movie Buff | December 12, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Coughlin's Law: A an will always be judged by the amount of alcohol he can consume.

    – Doug

  8. Posted by Movie Buff | December 12, 2013 at 2:19 PM


  9. Posted by Shaz's beard | December 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    One time Shaz had 2 appletinis at lunch then went back to work and was so hammered he forgot how to copy/paste. Then proceeded to piss himself.

  10. Posted by Guest | December 12, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Only 8 beers they could prove in court*

  11. Posted by KingCo | December 12, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Earned about $500,000 a year “regularly consumed excessive amounts of alcohol,”…. late for work or unable to function effectively.

    That reads like the job description of a sales trader

  12. Posted by DB Janitor | December 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    To be clear he pisses himself like an un-housebroken cocker spaniel regardless of how strong the bartender made the appletini at Applebees.

  13. Posted by Guest | December 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    sorry, got my drunken oil traders confused. was thinking steve perkins, $520mm in oil futures

  14. Posted by R. Kelly Kneale | December 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Go on . . .

  15. Posted by Guy with A.D.D. | December 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    This guy needs to toughen up!
    I'm doing windsprints at central park at 4:30am

    -Chaz Gasparino

  16. Posted by Jon David Shazar | December 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Come on guys! It's just pre-cum!

  17. Posted by Osn | December 13, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    Ah Brix, the best hooker joint on the planet, full of 8's and above from all over the world. The last stop place for the Singapore oil trader on a night out.

  18. Posted by sleep disorders | December 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    You have carried out an very good job in transient out the note through this blog, contain up the good work!