Employer Ordered to Compensate Alcoholic Worker

May 8, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Brazilian court has ordered an employer to fork over about $50,000 to compensate a worker for contributing to his alcoholism.

The employer – a local brewery by the name of Ambev – was ordered to pay 100,000 reals (US$49,400) to an unidentified worker who, as part of his job as a beer taster, allegedly drank about a liter and a half (3.2 pints) of beer each day. The employee said in his lawsuit that for more than a decade, he drank between 16 and 25 small glasses of beer during his eight-hour shifts at the company – and he claims he also received a bottle of beer after each shift

The worker alleged that the company did not provide the health measures needed to keep him from developing alcoholism, a labor court in the Rio Grande do Sul state said in a statement Friday, according to Reuters.

“Pre” Conditions?

An initial ruling had favored Ambev, or Companhia de Bebidas das Americas, which can still appeal the decision. The company alleged the employee was an alcoholic before becoming a beer taster.

Still, Judge Jose Felipe Ledur said the company still was negligent because an alcoholic should never have been made a beer taster. Ledur also said the employee’s alcohol dependency had worsened in recent years and that even on vacation, the employee felt like drinking the same amount of beer he drank at work, according to Reuters.