If someone reports a co-worker of being intoxicated at work but has no proof, can that person lose their job?

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If someone reports a co-worker of being intoxicated at work but has no proof, can that person lose their job?

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the person has no employment contract protecting his or her employment, then yes, he or she can lose his or her job. Workers without a contract are generally considered "employees at will"; as the term implies, and employee at will only works at the will of the employer, and may be fired at any time, for any reason whatsoever--including an allegation of drunkeness at work, or simply even that a supervisor does not like him or her. Unfortunately, employees at will have almost no workplace protection, apart from the fact that they cannot be fired due to certain specifically defined types of discrimination (such as against a race, religion, age over 40, disability, sex) or for using a protected benefit (like FMLA leave) or filing a protected claim (such as for overtime).


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