National Labor Relations Board v. Dixie Motor Coach Corp
In National Labor Relations Board v. Dixie Motor Coach Corp., 128 F.2d 201 (5th Cir.1942) , the issue before the court was whether there was sufficient evidence to support the award of the N.L.R.B. reinstating certain employees. One employee, a bus driver, was discharged for his continued use of liquor.
Witnesses testified that the driver frequently became intoxicated, and that on occasions he drove his bus on his regular run before he had fully recovered from a drinking spree.
The Rules and Regulations of the Railroad Commission of Texas clearly forbade the operation of a motor bus by an operator who drinks intoxicating liquor either on or off duty.
The court held that:
the public interest, as well as that of the employer, requires of any one entrusted with the lives and safety of the travelling public that he conduct himself in a manner in keeping with his responsibilities.... The undisputed facts show that this employee's drinking habits were such as to place upon his employer the duty to discharge him. Id. at 203.
The court found that reinstatement of an employee who drives drunk to a position of public service "would do violence to the public welfare and to the purposes of the National Labor Relations Act." Id.
Thus, the court reversed the order reinstating him. Driving a bus while drunk, like flying an airplane while drunk, offends public policy in such a way that discharge must be justified, if not demanded. The driver's misconduct--driving while drunk--was inextricably related to the performance of his employment duties. Discharge was therefore authorized, and the employer's decision to discharge for such an offense was not subject to being set aside.