Kenoi: County’s no-alcohol policy doesn’t mean instant termination


Mayor Billy Kenoi reiterated Friday the county did not have cause to fire several Elections Division workers in early 2012.

“The reinstatement was based on Human Resources’ review,” Kenoi said. “They found that according to collective bargaining and administrative rules, they were wrongfully terminated.”

Hawaii County’s alcohol-free policy does give county employees warning they could lose their jobs for drinking on county property, Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida said Friday.

But the situation is more complex than an immediate firing.

“Yes, it is possible,” he said. “However, not in every case.”

The county would need to take into account two things. First is the severity of the offense. Ashida said someone who came to work still drunk might be sent home for the day with a reprimand and would likely not be fired.

Second, he said, is the employee’s work history. If an incident is a first offense, and isn’t an egregious offense, the employee might not be fired, either. But if the employee has a history of being written up and reprimanded, an alcohol policy infraction might lead to a job loss.