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'Dog Whisperer' Sued For Being Alcoholic Unfriendly

11/10/2010 10:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

"Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan is not an alcoholic's best friend -- not even close ... according to allegations in a new lawsuit obtained by TMZ.

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The former Executive Director of the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation claims he took a leave of absence to seek treatment for alcoholism in June, returned to work the next month clean and sober ... only to be stripped of his title and ultimately fired.

Sean Hawkins claims in his lawsuit filed today in L.A. County Superior Court ... it's even worse, because he was assured before he took the leave of absence that his job would be safe.

Hawkins alleges the very first day he returned to work, company big wigs stripped him of his title.  Then a few weeks later he says he was given an ultimatum -- a pay cut or the door.  Hawkins says when he asked for a little time to think about it, he was fired.

Hawkins is suing for unspecified damages.

Cesar's rep could not be reached for comment.


72 COMMENTS

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1.

Sin D    

What...he didn't "sit" on command?

1261 days ago
2.

All ur OONTZ r belong 2 us    

I see in the crystal ball....


Vodka Whisperer.

1261 days ago
3.

Carl    

Maybe they found out this guy did something illegal or at least against company policy (like embezzlement) while he was working for the company. They may not have known about it when he went into rehab, but they probably reviewed what he did as director once he went in.

1261 days ago
4.

TheMachine1    

Do not know the facts of the case but I do know when you miss a lot days your employer learns just how much they need you. In this case they might have figured out they did fine without him.

1260 days ago
5.

Seanw    

Why not a wrongful termination suit? Seems like they fulfilled the agreement. He returned and still had a job. It's completely understandable that you don't put a guy back into the same position that enabled his alcoholism until he's proven himself. Also you don't pay someone the full salary for a top executive position when they are still in recovery.

Rewarding alcoholics for alcoholism is not the key to recovery. The fact that there was a job to come back to is the reward for seeking and completing a dryout program. The reward for not falling off the wagon would be to recover your position and income by re-establishing trust over time.

His "let me think about it" response sends a pretty scary (to management) message that he doesn't know what he wants. If the position was a lower management desk job it's one thing but when the position is top executive and the guy doesn't know what he wants -- the bar is higher.

Alcoholics are social engineers gone bad. They are master blame shifters and manipulators. That is part of the so called "disease" they lay claim to. In order to assist them in recovery it is essential that those whose lives they affect do not become party to their manipulations.

I think the company acted in his best interests by firing him and making up his mind for him. He was clearly uncertain about whether he wanted the job because it was offered with a pay cut. He should have known exactly what he wanted and made the choice. This lack of decisiveness is typical of alcoholics but not of top notch senior executives. The best thing for him was to have someone read his response and make for him the decision he clearly was unwilling to make on his own.

The sad part is that the court may become his enabler. I hope not. The best thing that could happen to Sean Hawkins would be for him to drop the suit and take responsibility for the situation he created for himself. The most irresponsible thing he could do is sue.

1260 days ago
6.

Paddy    

What business needs a bloody boozer on staff??? Get your act together buddy and quit the whining!!!!

1260 days ago
7.

Caleigh    

So he is suing Cesar Milan?

1260 days ago
8.

kickaboo    

I don't like Cesar, he's cruel at times to animals. Victoria Stillwell always trains with positive results, never using methods that could hurt the animal or cause pain.
I wish Hawkins luck in sobriety and case against Millan. Perhaps one wouldn't get the same position back but firing someone who took actions against an illness is extreme.

1260 days ago
9.

ajp_    

oh congrats on getting sober, now your fired. A month isn't very long to be sober after being an alcoholic. Either way he sues and wins and doesn't have to work and drinks or he is rock bottom and drinks.

1260 days ago
10.

david    

I met Caesar Milan. He doesn't know his head from his ass! Everything you see is staged. I watched him and his crew down at the Laurel Canyon dog park in Hollywood. His techniques are quick fixes, not long term solutions. I was invited on the show that day with my doberman, Floppy. Floppy loves jumping the 4ft dog park fences looking for food. When the great dog whisperer finally talked to me, he literally had no advice to give. I got pissed off that they had wasted my saturday for this, they begged me to give a second chance. I refused. His staff hounded me for weeks, calling my home, cell & work. I finally had to threaten to get a lawyer if they wouldn't leave me alone.

1260 days ago
11.

rebecca    

Omg not cool Cesar.

1260 days ago
12.

big al    

hes just gonna use the money to buy booze.

1260 days ago
13.

panthergirl89    

Way to kick a dog while he's down. Jerk!

1260 days ago
14.

SSinOC    

This sets a bad precedent. You can sue if you go into rehab and are fired when you return and or substance abusers will be afraid to take time off for fear of losing their job. Either way if someone has a problem it can become your problem if you're a part of it in any way.

1260 days ago
15.

feebee    

I think Cesar should be firing the doctor that did his facelift.

1260 days ago
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