What can you do if employees show up to work under the influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Intoxicants in the workplace

HR LAW Alcohol at Work

“Is an employee fit to work?” the causes behind at that moment in time can sometimes be irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.

Barry Crushell

As an employer, it is difficult to know exactly what you can and can’t do when you suspect an employee is intoxicated at work. We asked the following questions from Barry Crushell an Employment Law expert at Tully Rinckey in Ireland.

  • What process should you follow?
  • Can you ask your employee straight out if they have been drinking?
  • Are you allowed to discipline them in some way?
  • Can you force them to take a drug test?
  • Are you allowed to have random drug tests?
  • What disciplinary action can you take?
  • What are the other things to look out for?

Listen to Employment Law Podcast on Intoxicants at Work


Listen on the go – Download Inc60 Podcast App

Barry answered the above questions and a lot more. He gives a background on the legislation in Ireland. He also gives us some practical examples that employers can relate to. Most importantly he helps employers insulate themselves from claims of inappropriateness while protecting their business, other employees and their customers.


Barry Crushell is a Partner of Tully Rinckeys Dublin office and Chief Operating Officer for European Operations. In this role, Barry advises a wide range of Irish and international clients on a full spectrum of complex commercial and employment law matters. Barry counsels a variety of commercial and business clients at every stage of the corporate life cycle – from early-stage funding through to exit. He also provides commercial clients with practical responses to new employment legislation, case law, and regulatory changes, and has the ability to strategically advise on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment law matters.