A person with a white bird on the shoulder

Court Rules That Hangovers Are Indeed An “Illness,” And It’s About Damn Time

Do you how many times I’ve Googled “can you die from a hangover” in my lifetime? More than I’m willing to admit…

The answer is yes by the way, but the point is, that a hangover is an illness, a physical illness that, in Panama City Beach circa 2007, is the closest to death that I have ever been. And now finally, a German court is recognizing that.

According to BBC, a Frankfurt court concluded that a hangover is indeed a illness in the eyes of the law as it includes “even small or temporary changes to the body’s normal state.”

Long story short, a company producing anti-hangover shots was taken to court for alleged false claims about treating and preventing illness. With Oktoberfest kicking off this past weekend, it was the perfect time for the court to find that the headaches, the puking, the spinning, the aches and pains, the depression, the randomly crying during a Budweiser commercial with a puppy in it, etc…  the things commonly associated with hangovers are all part of an “illness.”

God bless the Germans eh? Always have their priorities in line.

Now granted I don’t give a flying fuck about their latest hangover cure because in my experience, very few actually work better than a little hair of the dog and some good old fashioned time, but what we should really be focusing on is what this means for work purposes. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t care about this company’s embellished health claims, I care about what constitutes a paid sick day and what constitutes and unpaid “you’re fucking idiot day” after too many pints with the lads on a random Tuesday night.

This groundbreaking ruling, is literally going to change the conversation forever.

It used to go a little something like this:

You: “I can’t come into work today, I’m feeling sick.”

Your boss checks Instagram says and…

Boss: “You didn’t look sick last night when you were ripping Jägerbombs at the local watering hole for 4 hours straight.”

Immediately regretting your own stupidity, both in this moment and the moment you allowed your boss to become a social media buddy, you do what you always do… deflect.

You: “Haha, yeah I think I have food-poisoning, which is completely out of my control and a real illness. Must’ve been those two-for-one jalapeno poppers haha… I’ll never eat there again…”

Boss: “Oh yeah? I’m no doctor but that looks an awful lot like a hangover to me. NO PAY. In fact, YOU’RE FIRED.”

Yep, you’re fucked…

But now, thanks to this landmark case, it’s going to go a little something like this:

You: “Hey boss, got a little too fucked up with the lads last night, dealing with a head-splitting hangover, go ahead and tally me up for one paid sick day.”

Boss: “No problem kid, hangovers are legally a serious illness. See you tomorrow.”

Work life as we know it, will forever be changed. And if it’s completely obvious that I don’t work in a big corporate office based on what you perceive to be a wildly inaccurate account of how sick days actually work in the real world, then you would be correct. I don’t have sick days, I work at Whiskey Riff. We don’t have off days? Do you think I get fucked up after the podcast and then just call in sick the next day? You think breaking country music news and revolutionary stories about the German legal system and it’s impact on the future of the World’s Global Economy take a day off just because Wes has a little hangover? Fuck no they don’t.

Anyways, I digress…

The point is Germany is on to something and it’s only a matter of time before the United States catches up, declares hangovers a “legally recognized illness,” establishes the “hungover” as a protected class, and affords them the God-given rights that they’re entitled to. And what a glorious day that will be.

As the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said…


Cue the music.

A beer bottle on a dock


A beer bottle on a dock