Tribunal watch: £84,000 for bus driver who failed drug test after “touching contaminated banknotes”

Bank notes are sometimes contaminated with illegal drugs
Bank notes are sometimes contaminated with illegal drugs

An employment tribunal has awarded a bus driver £84,000 for unfair dismissal after a drug test revealed traces of cocaine that he argued must have come from contamination on his hands from passengers’ banknotes. Stephen Simpson rounds up employment tribunal decisions reported in the past week.

Drug testing: £84,000 for bus driver dismissed after drug test picked up cocaine traces
Mr Bailes, a bus driver, was dismissed after a saliva drug test picked up traces of cocaine.

He insisted that he had never taken cocaine, and that the traces of cocaine picked up by the drug test must have come from his handling of passengers’ banknotes on the day of the test.

To demonstrate his innocence, Mr Bailes paid for an independent hair-follicle drug test that showed that he had not taken cocaine in the previous 90 days.

The employment tribunal was particularly critical of his former employer’s failure to investigate his explanation for his failed drug test. The tribunal said that the employer had been “wholly uninterested in exploring that sensitive but important issue”.

Other tribunal decisions in the headlines

Ex-workers win £3,000 payout for unfair dismissal from collapsed manufacturer
More than 100 former staff at collapsed copper manufacturer Thomas Bolton could receive more than £3,000 each after winning their case, says the Stoke Sentinel.

Southall man sacked by Heathrow over “racist” Facebook comments wins tribunal
A Heathrow Airport security guard who was sacked over comments on his Facebook page has won his claim for unfair dismissal, Get West London reports.

Female officers won sex discrimination case as guns too big
The Express highlights claims that two officers who won a sex discrimination case because their guns were too big for them were humiliated when they returned to work.

Surrey Police faces age discrimination claims from forcibly retired officers
A quarter of former senior police officers in Surrey who were forced to retire since 2010 are seeking compensation on grounds of age discrimination, according to the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser.

Former police officer wins £137,712 for discrimination
A former officer of the Metropolitan Police, who was represented by Old Square Chambers has been awarded discrimination compensation of £137,712, which included damages for personal injury, injury to feelings and aggravated damages.

Judge rules on woman sacked after pupils got drunk on trip to an Indian restaurant
A former houseparent at an East Lancashire private school has shown she was unfairly dismissed after it was alleged that she allowed youngsters to get drunk during a supervised trip out, reports the Burnley Citizen.

Demoted BA engineer wins claim for unfair dismissal
An aircraft engineer who quit after he was demoted to a mechanic has won his claim for unfair dismissal against British Airways, reports the Scottish Herald.

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