What is an employer’s liability if it sends an intoxicated employee home and the employeehas an accident on the way?

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What is an employer’s liability if it sends an intoxicated employee home and the employeehas an accident on the way?

If an employer determines that an employee is under the influence (or appears to be under the influence). Company policy is to drug test and send employees home pending the results. Is the employer liable if the employee causes harm to himself or others traveling home? For example, if the employee is under the influence and causes a car accident.

Asked on October 7, 2011 under Personal Injury, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, the company would almost certainly NOT be liable. They have a right to send home any workers who are intoxicated or under the influence or otherwise unable to work (or likely to be disruptive or poses a hazard)--in short, tey do not need to keep people on site for are drunk or drugged, and in fact would be courting liability if they allowed that person to stay on site and something happened. However, the employer is not responsible for what happens to the employee after he or she leaves the workplace; the employer is not the employee's guardian. The employee him- or herself would be liable for any injuries which he or she causes and could be sued by any injured parties.


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