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Worker wins case against company who sacked him after he drank alcohol during working day

Worker wins case against company who sacked him after he drank alcohol during working day

The company had hired a private detective to follow him.

A man has won a court case against his company after they sacked him for allegedly drinking during the working day.

The man, who had worked as an electrician for the company for 27 years, was accused of 'repeated excessive alcohol consumption during the working day, which endangered his physical wellbeing and that of his workmates', according to his dismissal letter.

However, a Spanish court has found that the company had provided insufficient grounds for dismissal.

A company has been told they unfairly dismissed an employee for allegedly drinking on the job.

The electrics company has, as a result, been ordered to either reinstate the man in his job, or pay him €47,000 ($51,775) in compensation.

The high court in Murcia heard of how the company had hired a private detective to follow the electrician over a few days in July 2021.

The employee's dismissal letter accuses him of spending 5 July 2021 drinking multiple alcoholic drinks throughout the day.

It claims that the man and his co-worker bought some food, four cans of San Miguel beer and a litre of Estrella de Levante beer. And that, later that same day, he was seen buying and drinking another can of beer, before driving the company van back to its base.

On another occasion, the private detective reported that the man and two colleagues were seen drinking seven litres of beer before the end of their lunch break, then drank cans of Heineken before heading back to the company's headquarters.

The company hired a private investigator to track the employee.

And, on a third day, the man was allegedly seen drinking a bottle of beer before lunch, then drinking three glasses of wine with his meal, and finished with a shot of brandy.

Despite the evidence that the company appears to have piled up against the former employee, the court has ruled in favour of the employee.

The court said in its ruling that the private detective never mentioned whether the ex-employee showed 'signs of inebriation or clumsiness', and that there was 'no proof' that the man was 'under the effects of alcohol, inebriated, intoxicated, or drunk'.

It wasn't enough evidence for a fair dismissal, according to the court.

The ruling read: "Neither has it been proved, even circumstantially, that his physical and mental faculties were reduced or diminished during his tasks as an electrician, nor that he was impeded when he drove the company van at the end of the working day."

Plus, the court ruled, all drinking, 'whether in a healthy fashion or not', had taken place during work breaks.

It was also pointed out that the company had failed to take into account how hot it was in July, when the man had been investigated.

The argument was that the 'climatic conditions and the geographical habits should be considered,' when it came down to how much the man was drinking.

So, when you put it like that...

Featured Image Credit: R Kawka / Alamy Stock Photo/Alex Segre / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Food and Drink, News, World News