Court orders to re-hire drunk worker

A Porto court has forced a waste management company from Oliveira de Azeméis to re-hire an employee it had fired after discovering he was drunk, registering 2.3 grams of alcohol per litre of blood.

The man was tested after the litter truck he was travelling in as a passenger went out of control and toppled over onto its right side because the driver, too, was under the influence of alcohol.

Greendays, the waste management company, proceeded to sack the two workers and accused the passenger, the most inebriated of the pair, of violating the health and safety norms of the workplace and damaging their financial interests and public image. However, the court’s decision was contrary to that of the company’s.

The judges stressed that there was no criterion regarding the consumption of alcohol on duty and, therefore, a norm should be established setting a limit of 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre.

“We can understand that the duties they fulfil are unpleasant,” said the judges. “With the help of alcohol, workers can forget about the bitterness in life and commit themselves more fully to the job.”

Greendays has announced that it will appeal against the court’s decision.