Drunk employee drives clients home!

The employee is under employment with her employer since 1999 as a pedagogic worker. Together with her foster daughter of the caregiver and two family members of the client she went to her client’s graduation. She drove the three clients in the employer’s van. On the way back the employee was stopped by police to take a breathalyser test. She tested positive. The alcohol level was three times the legal limit. The next day the employer put the employee on non-active and started a civil procedure to terminate the contract of employment.

The judge[1] considers that the employee broke the law by driving the van under the influence of alcohol. Other than that, her function requires a great deal of responsibility. Clients have to be able to trust the professionality as pedagogic worker of the employee, and as driver she has to ensure the safety of her clients. By driving under the influence she created a potential life threatening situation for her clients, other passengers, herself, and other participants of traffic. The fact that no collision took place does not lessen the severity of her actions, or the possible consequences. The judge concludes that the employee is seriously culpable as a result of her actions. The contract of employment is therefore terminated and the employee is not owed a transitional compensation.

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[1] Rechtbank Rotterdam, 26 september 2016, ECLI:NL:RBROT:2016:7329