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.