Toll wins unfair dismissal drugs case
Toll Transport was right to dismiss a worker who breached the company’s drug policies after testing positive for methamphetamine, despite claims of inconsistencies in the testing process, according to the Fair Work Commission.
The worker, who had worked for Toll for about nine years in the Express Parcels unit of the company’s Port Melbourne site, tested positive for opiates in a random drug and alcohol test in October 2017, and again in a second test of the same sample.
The worker told Toll he had concerns about the integrity of the sample, saying the seal numbers on samples taken had not been recorded – making it unclear whether the samples were his. The FWC heard from the person who collected the samples on the day, who told the FWC she had forgotten to fill out the testing form correctly by not recording the ID number of the collection tubes before giving a copy of the testing form to the worker.
Fair Work Commissioner Michelle Bissett said that while the fact that this had occurred was “unfortunate”, she nonetheless believed that the testing laboratory had received the correct samples from the worker.
She noted that under Australian standards for specimen collection, a second sample for any test should have a secure label placed on the container and be sealed with tamper-evident seals initialled by the person giving the sample.
Bissett found that the initials on the collection tubes were those of the worker, and heard the collection tubes were received at the laboratory with seals intact.
“I have reached this conclusion because the barcode on the Testing Form in (the worker’s) possession is the same as the “Specimen No:” on the Results Form and the control I.D number on the collection tubes aligns with the “Kit number” on the Results Form,” she said. “I am therefore satisfied that the A-sample tested… is the sample provided by (the worker) and that the chain of custody for the sample was properly maintained.”
She was thus convinced the worker had correctly tested positive and the dismissal was in line with company procedures.