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Would You Let Your Employees Drink on the Job?


Is a drunk worker a happy worker?

The Huffington Post notes that a court in Portugal ordered a garbage company to re-hire a worker it had terminated because he was drunk on the job.

The main reason was that the company, which wasn’t named, didn’t have a formal written policy on alcohol in the workplace. But the court went further, suggesting there might actually be benefits to being soused at work.

"It is to be noted that with alcohol, the worker may forget about life's hardships ... and the public may even consider that this happy worker is a very efficient, excellent and quick remover of scrap," according to the ruling, as quoted by HuffPo.

Most U.S. companies that don’t want their employees hitting the Wild Turkey tend to write such language into contracts. However, they are routinely broken. In theory, getting a cold one from the beer cart during a sales golf meeting or having wine at a client dinner, can violate the policies. Mostly, companies don’t enforce these rules unless someone goes too far.

However, at the same time, drinking on the job can be dangerous. No one wants a drunk at the wheel of a construction crane, or someone smelling like Ketel One and Listerine at a client presentation.

Still, would allowing a worker to take a dram now and again spur creativity or make them happier? Let us know if you would allow your employees to drink on the job.


Ray Hennessey

Written By

Ray Hennessey is the former editorial director of Entrepreneur.