Alcoholism is an addiction to alcoholic substances. In some cases, addiction may be regarded as a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act.
The Act makes it against the law to discriminate against a person because of his or her disability. There are some limited exceptions and exemptions.
Alcoholism can also cause or contribute to other disabilities, including the impairment of physical and mental capacity. Discrimination on the basis of these impairments – whether the impairments were the result of alcohol addiction or other causes – is against the law.
However, short-term intoxication would not be covered by the definition of disability.
It is not unlawful to discriminate against an employee on the basis of his or her disability if the person cannot perform the inherent requirements of a job after reasonable adjustments have been made.