Alcoholism blamed for liquor store manager’s booze theft

Arbitration board revises decision and determines employer should have accommodated alcoholic rather than fire him
By Jeffrey R. Smith
||Last Updated: 01/08/2008

A British Columbia liquor store manager who was fired for stealing alcohol has been reinstated by an arbitrator because his alcoholism wasn’t accommodated.

Brian Gooding was employed with the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch in New Westminster for 26 years, working his way up to the position of store manager. He was considered a very good employee and didn’t have any disciplinary problems.

Gooding had been a fairly heavy drinker since his teen years, but when he had difficulty getting along with the new area manager, he began to get more stressed at work and started drinking more. Every day at the end of his shift, he would have “several beers” and then some whisky in his car before going home. At home, he had some more “stiff drinks” followed by one or two bottles of wine at dinner.