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Does getting fired for coming to work drunk violate disability laws if one is alcoholic?

San Francisco, CA |

if I have a case for a suit, is there a time limit by which I would need to file the suit?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. No. You cannot be fired in CA if you voluntarily enter rehab. and they fire you for THAT reason. But, of course, if you go to work drunk or get drunk at work, you can be fired for that. Not only is it bad for the company's business, you could be considered a danger to yourself or others.

  2. Alcoholism is a disability under the ADA and the Fair Employment and Housing Act and it would be illegal to fire an employee BECAUSE the employee is an alcoholic. However, employees are still required to follow reasonable work rules:

    To paraphrase 42 U.S.C.A. § 12114: An employer may: prohibit the use of alcohol at the workplace by all employees; require that employees shall not be under the influence of alcohol; hold an employee who is an alcoholic to the same qualification standards for employment or job performance and behavior as other employees. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

  3. My colleagues are spot on. You can be fired for coming to work drunk. You cannot be fired for being an alcoholic or for going to rehab.

    The time limit for filing a claim of disability discrimination is one year from the act you complain of. You must file an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing by that time.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

  4. Hello.

    Terminating an employee for coming intoxicated to work is perfectly legal, and is not the same as being terminate for entering into a rehab program, which would be an illegal discrimination.



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