Alcohol in the workplace: When the termination threatens

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Alcohol at work is more tolerated in some farms and less tolerated in others. However, a glass of wine does not justify a termination without notice. This has the Labor Court Dusseldorf decided (AZ 8 Ca 5713/14). Nevertheless, if the boss has pronounced a ban on alcohol, the glass in honor can lead to a warning and repetition to job loss. Tip: Against arbitrary decisions of the employer helps a professional legal protection.

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Case before the Labor Court: A warning would have been enough

In the case, which was negotiated before the Labor Court of Dusseldorf, it was about a 61-year-old casino employee who drank a glass of port while working with a customer. Colleagues reported this to the bank that runs the casino. This announced the longtime employee and justified this with the alcohol ban for the employees. In addition, he did not charge the glass of wine. The Labor Court considered this disproportionate. For one thing, the man had been guilty of nothing else since his retirement in 1991, which is why a breach of duty would have been due at first. Moreover, the glass of wine, which costs between three and five euros, would have been a low-value item.

When alcohol in the workplace justifies a termination

As long as you do not go nuts, alcohol at work is usually not a reason for termination without notice. This only comes into play for serious misconduct, for example if you damage the office furniture when drunk. But beware: If your boss prohibits alcohol, the consumption of alcohol can lead to a warning. At the second incident a termination is possible. Somewhat more complicated is the case of employees who suffer from alcohol addiction. In this case, the employer must first give the person concerned the opportunity to overcome the disease in a therapy.

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