What If: You Go To Work Drunk (And Get Dismissed)?

1月 31, 2018


So, a litany of alcohol-based and subsequently alcohol-fueled decisions have resulted in you being dismissed on the spot after showing up at work drunk.

You went into work and, to the best of your memory, you were told to leave the premises and to not to come back again tomorrow, the day after that, or at any point in the future.

Although you have no one to blame but yourself for getting yourself fired, you might be surprised to learn that – even in such circumstances – your employer still can’t legally dismiss you without prior notice.

You may have made a terrible mistake, but mistakes do not invalidate your rights.

Even if you turn up to work while suffering from the full effects of an all-night bender, your employer still has to give you (a) thirty days of notice of dismissal or (b) pay thirty days of salary in lieu of thirty days of notice (if they really want to get rid of you as soon as possible).

However, what if your manager or some other supervisor has told you not go back to work at all?

In such a case, no matter what anyone has verbally stated: unless you have been given written notice of dismissal, you’re still employed by the company and should still go to work until written notice of dismissal is given to you.

Be polite and – if you can stand the pressure and possible intimidation – continue to go to work as normal until either of the two conditions of dismissal as stated above are fulfilled.

If you choose not to go back to work (after being told not to go back to work), then the company can say that you chose not to go to work (rather than being told not to) and use your supposed deriliction of responsibility as an excuse to cirumvent the legal procedure for dismissal.

Following this, the company then has an excuse to not pay any outstanding salary and provide you with other documents related to you leaving the company (even if it wasn’t voluntary).

If you continue to go to work as usual and your company continues to tell you that you’re not welcome, send the company a registered letter telling them to pay you the thirty days of salary (and any outstanding salary beyond that) as per the law or else you will report them to the Labor Standards Office.

While it would be in their best interests to pay you what you’re owed, the company may ignore you – but you will, at least, have evidence that you were illegally dismissed should the company try to claim that you voluntarily resigned by not turning up for work anymore.

Ultimately (for non-union members), if the company won’t back down, you will have to follow-through on your threat to report the company to the Labor Standards Office if you wish to get reclaim the money that is legally owed to you.

It should be noted that most of this advice also holds true for people who have been illegally dismissed for any reason at all.

However, please understand that in all cases (and especially without a union to support you) it could take a few months of pestering the Labor Standards Office before the issue is finally resolved.