Home Cocktails on the Clock: Banking industry among the most tolerant of intoxication in the workplace, reveals study.

Cocktails on the Clock: Banking industry among the most tolerant of intoxication in the workplace, reveals study.

Press Release: December 07, 2021

Have you ever been tempted to have a drink while on the clock  - particularly during a long, stressful shift? Although it’s not a crime in itself to be drunk, but doing so in a professional workplace environment may be rendered ‘gross misconduct’ and could lead to immediate dismissal without the option to collect unemployment. Most private companies are not mandated by law to have drug-free workplace policies, however, there are exceptions to this. Workers in safety and security-sensitive industries, as well as federal employees are required to maintain sobriety in the workplace under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

DrugAbuse.com conducted a survey of 3,700 employers across the country, asking them to rank their tolerance of intoxication in the workplace from 1 to 10 (1 one being the most tolerant and 10 being the least). The survey revealed that overall, American employers ranked their tolerance of workplace intoxication an average of 5/10. Broken down, female managers (4/10) are slightly more tolerant than male ones (5/10).

When compared by state, employers in Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia were found to be the least tolerant of employee intoxication with an average tolerance ranking of 6/10. Those in Connecticut, Maine and Nebraska don’t feel remotely the same, ranking their higher tolerance of workplace intoxication a 3/10.

The survey also delved into different industries to find out which are most and least tolerant when it comes to being intoxicated on the job. Employers in the banking and real estate industry were found to be equally tolerant (2/10). 

Comparatively, those in public service, charity, and healthcare industries were least tolerant, ranking an average of 4/10, certainly due to the nature of these fields requiring regular interactions with customers, volunteers and patients respectively.


Infographic illustrating these rankings by industry across the US

Over the holiday season, sometimes employers are slightly more lenient when it comes to managing businesses In fact, 1 in 5 employers say they’d be more tolerant of an employee being intoxicated at work if it was during the holidays.

Interestingly, it appears there might be a get-out clause to all this: when it comes to the rising popularity of the hybrid workplace model, it seems many employers find it difficult to determine their employees’ state of mind behind a screen. Nearly 1 in 3 (30%) employers said virtual working has made it nearly impossible to ascertain whether an employee is drunk or high on the job.

And while this may be a concern for employers, 5% of employees believed it’s acceptable to be drunk or high while on the job, during work hours!

Notes to editors

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American Addiction Centers

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