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Breaking no-alcohol rule may mean no jobless benefits

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

If you have a zero-tolerance policy for employees drinking alcohol on duty, employees who are fired for breaking the rules may be denied unemployment compensation benefits—even if the employee wasn’t impaired enough to be criminally charged with drunken driving.

Recent case:
Eddie Gatson worked as a truck driver and knew his company had a no-alcohol-while-working rule. He drank a beer before his shift and then drove his truck. He was pulled over by police, who smelled alcohol and told him he couldn’t continue on his route. However, he wasn’t charged. The company fired him and he applied for unemployment compensation.

Since he acknowledged breaking the rule, he was turned down because of misconduct. (Gatson v. Q Carriers, No. A08-0009, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2008)

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