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Recycling worker with bad back awarded nearly $60K after he gets canned for cannabis

Dec 31, 2021 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

“There had been no incidence of poor performance and no concerns raised about him or his work. No account was taken of the genuine reason for taking the cannabis.”

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A 32-year-old man in the U.K. has been awarded £33,000 ($56,500) and been given his job back after he was fired for using cannabis to treat his back pain.

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The man started consuming cannabis to help him sleep but when his company, Renewi UK Services, asked him to complete a drug test, they fired him for the “perilous” result, reports the Daily Mail .

  1. According to the lawsuit, Campbell maintains he did not use cannabis on the job or come to work high. /

    Medical cannabis patient fired from his job for consuming pot off the clock

  2. Hilary Black is the chief advocacy officer at Canopy Growth. Photo: provided

    From workplace discrimination to high costs, there’s plenty of fight left for cannabis advocates

  3. It is alleged that Amazon policy allows employees who have been terminated for various reasons to be reconsidered as returning employees after a three-month period

    Amazon employee who says he was fired for his medical cannabis use fights back in court

According to the Daily Mail report, the company attempted to convince Employment Judge Paul Housego that the man, who had been working at the company for 14 years, shouldn’t be reinstated.

The company said doing so would undermine its drug policy and that it was ‘luck’ that the man had not injured any colleagues or the public.

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The judge, however, saw it differently.

“There is, in my judgement at this point, no reason why it is not practical to reinstate him,” Housego said. “He is a person without qualifications, who happened into a job he liked and was good at. It is hard to see him getting another such job easily, particularly given the reason for dismissal and his history of back problems, when his work is of a physical nature.”

The court also heard the man, who was a team leader with the company in East London, was never behind the wheel at work but rode as a passenger.

He had tried other remedies for his back pain, including prescription medications and morphine patches. Housego also noted he was scheduled to have an epidural injection.

In Dec. 2019, a friend suggested the man try medical cannabis, which helped him sleep and allowed him to work with less pain, the court heard.

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After he was fired by the company, the man stopped consuming cannabis and offered to pay for his own drug tests to prove it to his former employer.

The judge ruled that man was unfairly dismissed, and though cannabis is illegal in the U.K., the judge said the reasons for his use need to be considered.

“[He] had given an entirely credible reason why he took the cannabis – he was not a recreational user,” the judge said. “There had been no incidence of poor performance and no concerns raised about him or his work. No account was taken of the genuine reason for taking the cannabis. Likewise for of his long unblemished service. It was taken to be gross misconduct because it was a failed test, without any assessment of the circumstances.”

In a column for The GrowthOp last year, Hilary Black, chief advocacy officer at Canopy Growth, detailed the uphill battle many Canadians who use medical cannabis still face with employers, including the lack of coverage.

“Medical cannabis allows many of these folks to do things a lot of us take for granted, like go for a walk, pick up our kids or even fold the laundry,” Black wrote. “Why should they — some of the most vulnerable among us — have to pay out-of-pocket to access the only treatment that works for them?”

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