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Columbia Medical Center and the Cocaine-Addicted Pharmacist: Unjust Termination? (B)


  • Cumber, Carol J.

    () (Department of Economics, South Dakota State University)

  • Carson, Charles M.

    (Samford University)

  • Spies, Alan R.

    (Southwestern Oklahoma State University)


Tom Zenor, a pharmacist for Columbia Medical Center, became addicted to cocaine. He checked himself into a rehabilitation center and, upon request, was placed on leave as allowed by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Upon his return, the company decided to terminate his employment. Zenor was upset at the dismissal, which he saw as unjust. Columbia Medical Center, in an attempt to be proactive, sought to consider any legal recourse Zenor might attempt. Columbia’s Human Resources manager, Carmen Estrada, attempted to construct evidence to defend the company against a potential unjust discharge case. The company operated in Texas, which was an “at-will” state. Nonetheless, Estrada had concerns which included whether Zenor could claim an exception to the Doctrine of Employment at-will, and if including a disclaimer in an employee handbook that employees are retained “at-will” provided adequate legal protection for the organization. (Contact author for a copy of the complete report.)

Suggested Citation

  • Cumber, Carol J. & Carson, Charles M. & Spies, Alan R., 2009. "Columbia Medical Center and the Cocaine-Addicted Pharmacist: Unjust Termination? (B)," Case Study Abstracts 200901, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sda:csabst:200901

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    More about this item


    Personnel; Addiction; ADA;

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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