Alcoholic Employee Reinstated After Employer's Compassionate Approach Put In Question Seriousness Of Previous Warnings
"In the case, an adjudicator reinstated an alcoholic employee who was dismissed after he was found to be under the influence of alcohol at work. The employee had previously been disciplined for alcohol consumption, lateness|absenteeism and abandoning his shift, and on one occasion had entered into a ""last chance agreement"". The adjudicator held that the employee, as an alcoholic, suffered from a ""disability"" for the purposes of human rights legislation. The adjudicator expressed concern that the employer 's compassionate approach created the general impression in the mind of the employee that the threat of dismissal was not serious. Further, there was no aggressive behaviour from the employee in the incident that led to his dismissal. As such, the adjudicator held that the dismissal was excessive and that the employer had not yet approached the point of ""undue hardship"" in accommodating the employee's alcoholism."