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Drinking on job could be beneficial, Portuguese court rules

PORTO, Portugal, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A Portuguese court ruled a waste management company must rehire an employee it fired for drinking wine on the job, saying drinking could be good for work.

The waste management company fired an employee in 2012 after he and a driver were involved in an accident.

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Both were found to have alcohol in their systems and were fired.

The court ruled that while it's clear the driver shouldn't have been drinking, "there isn't any special reason that [the scrap collector's job] can't be done with a worker thinking about whatever he wants, looking happy or grumpy, more sober or a little tipsy.

The court said the company couldn't fire the man because it doesn't have a policy on alcohol consumption, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

"Let's note that with alcohol, the worker can forget about life's hardships and be more committed to collecting trash ... and the public may even think that this happier worker is more productive, excellent and quick to remove scrap," the ruling said. "Let's admit it, their work isn't the most pleasant."

The waste management company was ordered to rehire the man and give him 14 months of back pay.

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