Can someone with a history of alcohol addiction be fired for having a high B.A.C while at work?

Asked on February 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In a situation such as this, the employee was not fired for having an addiction, rather they were fired for their conduct (i.e. being impaired while on the job). And in an "at will" work arrangment, an employer can terminate an employee for this reason, any reason or no reason at all. The fact is that they can set the terms and conditons of employment much as they see fit as long as no form of actionable discrimination is an issue.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they may be fired, because if they are being fired for having a high B.A.C. at work, they are being fired for conduct, not for a disability--i.e. they are being fired for being intoxicated at work or drinking at work, not for simply having  an addiction. Employers may terminate employees for their conduct or behavior, even if that conduct or bahavior flows out of an addiction.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.