Disabled employees sometimes think they can use their medical conditions to get away with misbehavior. That’s simply not true.
Employers can and should punish behavior that is disruptive, wrong or breaks company rules, even if that behavior may be tangentially related to a disability of some sort.
Recent case: Michael Cunningham misbehaved at his company’s holiday party. Witnesses testified that he poured beer down a co-worker’s dress and argued loudly with a cab driver.
Days later, Cunningham discussed the incidents with his boss and sent him an e-mail saying he realized he had a drinking problem and would seek professional help. Cunningham then called the company’sto arrange counseling.
Still, the company fired him. Cunningham sued, alleging disability discrimination. The court tossed out his lawsuit. It reasoned that he was fired for boorish behavior, not because of any disability. (Cunningham v. Enterprise Rent-A-Car, No. 10-1677, 3rd Cir., 2010)
Final note: Alcoholism is a disability under the ADA, but that doesn’t mean alcoholic employees can come to work under the influence or blame other work problems on the disease. Employers that punish drunken behavior won’t lose an ADA lawsuit.
It’s a good idea to encourage substance-abuse treatment. But you should reinforce the idea that while treatment is protected, you won’t tolerate misbehavior.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/13218/its-ok-to-punish-drunk-worker-for-misconduct-but-not-for-his-disability "
- When employee claims co-worker harassment, investigate promptly, act reasonably
- Foul-Mouthed manager leads to lawsuit against auto dealer
- Annoyed, inconvenienced? That's not retaliation
- Employee concedes shortcomings? Document it!
- Be alert for retaliation suit if manager reports that a colleague discriminates or harasses