Terminated for Being under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs at Work? Here Are Some Defenses

Posted on: 3 October 2018

Employees have a responsibility to show up at work being of sound mind, which means that if you present yourself at your place of work and are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can expect some consequences. While some companies may issue a warning or suspension of their employee who breaks the employee code of conduct in this manner, others will outright terminate him or her. If you've been on the receiving end of a termination for allegedly being under the influence, but you believe that you were wrongfully dismissed, hire a wrongful termination attorney. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may get justice.

You Had a Reaction to Legally Prescribed Medication

A lot of employees take different types of prescription medication for a multitude of reasons. Occasionally, it's possible to have an adverse reaction to the medication. Perhaps your doctor has prescribed you something new, or maybe you mistakenly took the wrong dosage. How you behave can indicate intoxication, but you might be reluctant to share the reason for your behavior right away—after all, health issues are private. Your wrongful termination attorney can obtain information from experts, including your physician, who can testify that you were indeed on prescription medication and that it caused the behavior that resulted in your termination. 

Your Drink Was Spiked

It's possible for you to show the signs of alcohol or drug impairment after a work-related lunch and get terminated because of this behavior. However, there's also a chance that you didn't knowingly consume alcohol or drugs. In this case, it's possible that someone spiked your drink. For example, someone may have poured alcohol into your drink when you weren't looking or administered some type of date rape drug. Either substance can make it seem as though you're inebriated and that may lead to your dismissal, but a good attorney can dig into the case to prove your innocence.

You're Overly Fatigued

People can act in bizarre and suspicious ways when they haven't slept enough. If you're extremely short on sleep, you might slur your words or even have bloodshot eyes. An overzealous boss may quickly take steps to dismiss you without digging into your situation further. If this has happened to you, take your case to a wrongful termination attorney. He or she will advocate for you, whether you want a settlement or to just get your job back.