FWC SLAMS SYDNEY TRAINS: REINSTATES WORKER

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has reinstated a Sydney Trains worker who got fired for using cocaine while on leave. The employer didn't clearly communicate its drug testing policies and didn't consider earlier criticism of its policies. The worker, a group leader with a clean record of 26 years, tested positive for a cocaine byproduct, but experts confirmed it wouldn't have impaired him at work.

The FWC criticized Sydney Trains for blindly trusting the test results without considering impairment and for not learning from past criticism of flaws in how the drug policy was implemented and the lack of clarity in informing employees about it. The Commission ordered the worker's reinstatement but reduced his lost pay by 20% due to the failed drug test.

Reece Goodsell v Sydney Trains [2023] FWC 3209 (4 December 2023)

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