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Scaffolder awarded $3000 for 'hurt feelings' over marijuana claims

11:30 AEST Thu Apr 29 2010
Scaffolder awarded $3000 for 'hurt feelings' over marijuana claims
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By MSN NZ Money staff

An Auckland scaffolder, who refused to take a drug test and was consequently dismissed from work, has been granted $3000 for "injury to his feelings".

Dan Riley's employer accused him of smoking marijuana on the job after it took him and a colleague 45 minutes to complete a trip that should have taken about 10 minutes, in July of last year, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The following day an argument broke out between branch manager David Lambourne and Riley when he was asked why the trip had taken so long.

A contracts supervisor doing routine vehicle checks said he could smell marijuana in Riley's car.

When Lambourne asked Riley and his colleague to take a drug test, Riley refused twice.

He was suspended on pay pending an investigation.

The Employment Relations Authority decided Riley did not use delay tactics in refusing the drug test. They said he was entitled to seek advice about undertaking the test from his union after his boss voiced his concerns about smoking marijuana at work.

The New Zealand Herald reported the company did not intend to appeal the decision.