Wrongful Termination Question

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 3 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. 


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