Toll wins un­fair dis­missal drugs case

Australian Transport News - - News | Inside The Industry -

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.

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