Despite marijuana, 2 workers reinstated

Arbitrator cites extenuating circumstances
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 06/26/2016

Two employees at a manufacturer in Ontario were reinstated recently, despite having brought marijuana plants to their place of employment.

John Rodwell and Carmine Blancato worked at THK Rhythm Automotive Canada. On Friday, April 15, 2016, they both worked the afternoon shift at the St. Catharines production facility and a few minutes before 9 p.m., were seen leaving the plant and proceeding to the company parking lot. Blancato removed a shopping bag containing two marijuana plants from his car and gave it to Rodwell. They then re-entered the plant and Rodwell went to an area of the plant not in use, concealing the bag, before returning to his work station.

A supervisor observed his actions and discovered the marijuana plants in the bag. Rodwell was immediately suspended from work pending investigation. On the Monday, THK reviewed the security tapes and interviewed both men. As a result, they were discharged from employment two days later.