Wrongful Termination Question

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Wrongful Termination Question

Hello, I was recently terminated from work because of misconduct during a
business trip in Texas. My employer hosted a partner networking event at a bar
and the employer provided alcohol at the event. I have a problem with alcohol and
am a registered in Alcoholics Anonymous. Returning back from the work event, at
the hotel lobby, the team continued to drink casually and I said some
inappropriate things while under the influence at the time that offended a few
individuals. My employer states that I was terminated because I have to maintain
professional conduct at all times and this was a work function. Drinking alcohol
during work is prohibited under company policy, yet they provided that to me and
it impaired my ability to perform on the job. Do I have a case to file a wrongful
discrimination lawsuit for having a disability as an alcoholic?

Asked on August 17, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, this does not constitute a case of wrongful termination due to discrimination. If you were fired solely due to the fact that your were an alcoholic, then you may have a claim. Here, however, you were fired for inappropriate behavior; behavior that was under your control. Your employer did not put a drink in your hand, you did that. You could have skipped or left the event early, or attended the function and sipped on a soda. An employer cannot be held responsible for the voluntary actions of one of its workers. 

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.

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