Peru’s highest court says happy drunks shouldn’t be fired for showing up to work inebriated

Peru’s highest court, the Constitutional Tribunal, or TC, published a non-binding judgment stating that individuals who show up for work inebriated should not be sacked if they don’t behave violently or use foul language, daily Peru21 reported Wednesday.

Firing a worker because he is drunk is “disproportionate and unreasonable,” reads the TC’s judgement.

According to the TC’s seven judges, no worker should be fired unless he is violent, injures someone or causes material damage, uses foul language, or slips his employer or coworkers a spiteful note.

The judgment is non-binding, said TC Judge Fernando Calle, and it’s about protecting the worker’s right to due process.

But although the document is non-binding, it has spurred debate and criticism from many of Peru’s lawyers.

“It concerns me that, according to the TC, economic prejudice is necessary (in order to consider that someone) has engaged in gross misconduct, and for his dismissal to be justified,” said lawyer Ricardo Herrera.

The TC’s judgement goes against Peru’s law on competitiveness and labor productivity, said lawyer Beatriz Alva Hart, and the fact that it prohibits drunkenness and violence in the workplace.

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