An employee working in a hazardous industry (no not a worm farmer) was dismissed after he was unable to complete a random drug test. After leaving the worksite urgently he agreed to have the testing agency visit him at home to obtain the required sample. The testing technician found that the sample was diluted and unsuitable for testing. The technician believed that the sample was likely to have proven positive. The employee was unable to provide another sample that day.

The Employment Relations Authority rejected the employee’s claim for unjustified dismissal and unjustified disadvantage. The ERA held that the employee was not disadvantaged by the employer deciding to test its employees at the end of their shift. The employer’s policies did not state when testing had to occur, and the testing was conducted on all employees and was not aimed at a particular individual and their ability to perform their work.

The ERA held that the employer’s decision to dismiss the employee was not influenced by the fact that the employee was likely to have failed the test. The employee was dismissed for engaging in conduct which was designed to undermine the testing process. Under the employer’s policies, an employee could be dismissed for failing to report for testing when required or for failing to provide an adequate sample. The employer’s decision to dismiss the employee was therefore justified.