Chicago, IL asked in Employment Law for Ohio

Q: Can you be rightfully fired for failing a breathalyzer at work the next day after drinking the night before?

Received a breathalyzer at work and failed but wasn’t drinking but had drank the night before

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1 Lawyer Answer
Edmond Mack
Edmond Mack
  • Canton, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Assuming your position with your employer was an at-will employment relationship, it would may be difficult to challenge the legality of your employer's decision to end this at-will relationship based upon a failed breathalyzer test, regardless of whether you consumed alcohol that day or not, if the breathalyzer accurately reflected that you were under the influence of alcohol. However, the question becomes more complicated if the failed breathalyzer test was unrelated to normal, typical or casual alcohol consumption, but was, for example, caused by a prescribed medication. This question also becomes more complicated if the failed breathalyzer was related to an underlying an impairment, such as alcoholism, which under certain circumstances may be considered a disability within the meaning of the Americans with Disability Act. You can learn more about alcoholism and the possible protections afforded by the ADA here:,under%20the%20influence%20of%20alcohol.

Hope this helps.

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