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German court: Hangovers are an ‘illness’

Your hangovers normally cost you a few litres of water, rest and some pain killers right? But what does it cost the government or your employer when you have a hangover?

It is now possible to call out of work should you have a hangover in Germany. German courts ruled that hangovers are an illness which spells good news for Oktoberfest revelers enjoying the giant-sized pints.

This decision was made after plaintiffs claimed a company offering anti-hangover “shots” and powders were making unlawful claims about stopping the after-effects of alcohol. “Information about a food product cannot ascribe any properties for preventing, treating or healing a human illness or give the impression of such a property,” the court’s statement said.

This however will be bad for business because it could mean that employees won’t be able to show up to work losing a sizable chunk of their labour force.

According to mixed survey data and U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics analyzed by Motley Fool, hangovers hurt businesses’ bottom line, resulting in a staggering $41.8 billion in wasted salary. While big businesses may feel less pain from the absence of employees, small businesses are more likely to take a hit when workers use sick days to nurse a hangover.

But there could be a silver lining for companies in Germany worried about the new law hurting their profitability. The study found that even when workers showed up feeling the effects of drinking too much the night before, they were less productive — working for only five hours of the day.

Instead, 46.3 percent of hangover workers pretended to work when they really weren’t, and almost 46 percent of the 1,000 respondents said they went to the bathroom an excessive number of times. Another 19 percent said they’ve actually taken a nap at work to help their hangover.