Yesterday, we wrote about the alchohol related firing of USC Head Coach Steve Sarkisian. Since that time some more details have come out about the firing, including reports that Sarkisian’s latest alcohol incidents constituted a breach of an agreement he entered into in August with USC.
My guess would be Sarkisian signed a “last chance agreement”. Bascially, it is a zero tolerance agreement where an employee acknowledges they have had drug/alchohol issues in the past, they can’t perform the essential functions of their job while impaired, and if they return to work imparied again they will be fired. They come in various forms, but the point is to document previous use and avoid any future claim by the employee in the future for an impairment-related firing.
Still no word from Sarkisian’s camp and USC goes back to trying to find a new coach. All employers should make sure to consult with an attorney before they go the “last chance” route. They can be tricky and the past history of the employee has to be considered. There is no “one size fits all”.