Veteran’s anger over dismissal for smoking e-cigarette on duty
A VETERAN claims he was suddenly sacked from his janitor job – after using an e-cigarette just once.
Stephen Williams, 54, from Walker, Newcastle, got a job working for Optim Group, which organises some of the janitorial work at Eldon Gardens.
He had spent 22 years in the army, including a spell as a UN peacekeeper in Bosnia.
From December 2015 he worked on a zero-hour contract for around a year and a half when he was asked to leave for what he says was a minor mistake.
An altercation with a colleague left Ste- phen, who suffers from PTSD and osteoarthritis, and had recently had heart surgery, feeling shaken.
So, he says, he went to the rest rooms to calm down.
Not thinking, he took out his e-cigarette and took a few puffs, which he said helps him to relax.
A few days later he claims he was shocked to receive a letter saying he would be sacked on the spot for violating company policy by using the vaping device.
Stephen acknowledges he had been told that smoking or vaping indoors was against the rules.
But he said he felt wronged when he was sacked instantly for his first violation.
He said: “I feel I’ve been unfairly treated.