Vet­eran’s anger over dis­missal for smok­ing e-cig­a­rette on duty

Sunday Sun - - News - HAN­NAH GRA­HAM Re­porter han­nah.gra­ham@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.

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