Cases listed under subject matter

Alcohol and drug use

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Arangie and Abedare Cables (2007) 28 ILJ 249 (CCMA)

Where a rule obliges an employee to take an alcohol test or leave the premises, the refusal to do so will constitute gross insubordination justifying dismissal.

Black Mountain v CCMA & others [2005] 1 BLLR 0001 (LC)

If the employer's disciplinary code and policy provide for a particular approach it will generally be considered unfair to follow a different approach without legitimate justification.

Exactics-Pet (Pty) Ltd v Patelia NO & others (2006) 27 ILJ 1126 (LC)

In a disciplinary hearing an employer can establish intoxication both by observations of an employee’s behaviour and a breathalyzer test.

Goba and Clubland (2002) 23 ILJ 1300 (CCMA)

As a CCMA commissioner may not be prepared to take judicial notice of (ie accept without proof) the correctness of a breathalyzer reading, employers may have to lead evidence about it.

Jansen and Pressure Concepts (2005) 26 ILJ 2064 (BCA)

The failure to reasonably accommodate an employee with an alcohol problem prior to dismissal may render the dismissal unfair.

Naik v Telkom SA (2000) 21 ILJ 1266 (CCMA)

Alcoholism is a form of incapacity and must be treated as such, rather than as misconduct.

Numsa on behalf of Williams and Robertson & Caine (Pty) Ltd (2005) 26 ILJ 2074 (BC)

The state of being ‘under the influence of alcohol’ exists when an employee is no longer able to perform the tasks with the skill expected of a sober person.

Portnet (Cape Town) and SATAWU on behalf of Lesch (2002) 23 ILJ 1675 (ARB)

Where an employee with an alcohol problem refuses to co-operate and the employer has taken all reasonable steps to assist the employee, dismissal for misconduct, rather than incapacity, is justified.

SALSTAFF/AIWU on behalf of Govender and SA Airways (2001) 22 ILJ 2366 (ARB)

Dismissal may be justified where an employee fails to disclose at the application stage for a job a history of drug dependency.

Scrader Automotive (Pty) Ltd v MIBC (2008 P488/05 (LC))

The fact that an employee is under the influence of alcohol in the workplace does not mean that the only appropriate sanction in every case is dismissal. Each case must be decided on its own merits.

South African Breweries Ltd v Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration and Others (C 665/2011) [2012] ZALCCT 17 (24 May 2012)

Lists the factors to be applied in determining whether a dismissal was fair. An arbitrator's role is to decide this. The commissioner's own sense of fairness must prevail. There can be no deference to the employer.

Taxi-Trucks Parcel Express (Pty) Ltd v National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight Industry and Others (C24/2011) [2012] ZALCCT 18 (6 June 2012)

In applying a zero tolerance rule, consideration must be given to the specific circumstances of the case and the employee's circumstances.

Transnet Freight Rail v Transnet Bargaining Council and others (LC Case no.: C644/2009 Date of judgment: 4 March 2011)

An employee who is not an alcoholic, will be guilty of misconduct and not incapacity when under the influence. The applicable law relates to misconduct, not incapacity.