A man who drank ten beers and told his boss to ‘F*** off,’ at a work party has won his unfair dismissal case.
He also sexually harassed female colleagues, and called one a, ‘Stuck-up b****’.
But it was unfair to fire him for the events at a work Christmas party, the Fair Work Commission ruled, because unlimited alcohol was served.
The ruling, which has made waves among Australian firms, was based on the fact that workers cannot be expected to maintain ‘office conduct’ if alcohol is freely available.
The worker had a good employment record, and the Fair Work Commission’s Adam Hatcher said his behaviour was ‘isolated and aberrant in nature’.
Hatcher said, ‘An exacerbating factor in that respect was the manner in which alcohol was served at the function.
‘In my view, it is contradictory and self-defeating for an employer to require compliance with its usual standards of behaviour at a function but at the same time to allow the unlimited service of free alcohol at the function,' he said.
'If alcohol is supplied in such a manner, it becomes entirely predictable that some individuals will consume an excessive amount and behave inappropriately.'