An HR manager's "unnecessary allegations" and "overreach" have contributed to a finding that although a drug and alcohol tester's failure to declare he was taking Nurofen Plus provided a valid reason for dismissal, his sacking was unfair.
The FWC has confirmed the right of employers in safety-critical industries to dismiss workers whose out-of-hours conduct impairs the safe performance of their duties, in the case of a flight attendant who called in sick during a layover after being hospitalised with a blood-alcohol reading of .205.
The FWC has extended time for a BHP joint venture mineworker to lodge a general protections claim challenging his sacking over a failed drug test, but has agreed there is "great weight" to the employer's view that it is essentially an unfair dismissal application in disguise.
The FWC has highlighted the additional credibility provided when employers test for drugs in accordance with the Australian Standard, in upholding a multinational mining company's sacking of a marijuana smoker who breached its zero tolerance policy.
A senior FWC member has upheld the sacking of an underground mineworker who tested positive for THC and continued to have elevated levels of the drug in his system 22 days later, finding it the "only course of action open" to the employer.
The FWC has upheld a building company's sacking of a safety officer who insisted his job was limited to an advisory capacity despite repeated warnings that he was to rigorously enforce safety across sites.
The FWC has found a vessel operator's decision to sack an experienced captain for breaching its zero-tolerance alcohol policy was harsh in the circumstances, arguing that it bore some responsibility for unresolved matters that affected his mental health and could have imposed less punitive penalties.
The FWC has accepted an employer's argument that the "paramount" importance it placed on OHS justified its sacking of a long-serving employee with an "unblemished history" who recorded more than twice the workplace blood alcohol limit after drinking four glasses of red wine the previous evening.