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Suspended from work awaiting a formal meeting - ** REINSTATED WITH FIRST WRITTEN WARNING. **


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So today, I was pulled aside in work for an informal meeting regarding alleged misconduct, some notes were taken in regards to the incident and I was told that I would be updated as soon as possible - Two hours later, I was pulled aside again and informed that I would be suspended with pay, HR would be in contact via mail with full details, and I would be invited to attend a formal meeting.

 

Alleged misconduct;

 

It has been alleged that I was in possession of illegal drugs in the workplace, nothing was said about the use of said substance (herbal cannabis). After work, I had changed into my own clothes, left company premises after end of trading then proceeded to smoke my cannabis in the car park as I was leaving. Someone (management) caught onto this when they could smell cannabis and clearly see me smoking in the car park. As stated, at the time, I was off premises after my shift and not in company uniform or wearing a badge, etc. I've been told a customer has made a complaint about it, but have been shown absolutely no evidence of this complaint. I didn't even see a customer leave the premises from the point I walked out the door to the moment I headed out of the car park.

 

The reason I have been suspended is because I was in possession of this throughout the working day (I prepared it at home, left in in an airtight plastic tube and stored it in my rucksack for the entire day), therefore, I am responsible for a breech in company policy for being in possession of illegal substances in my workplace. I told the full truth during my informal meeting.

 

My arguement is that what I have done was completely out of character, my disciplinary record during my 2 years at the company is fine - no issues at all, and I'm reliable, and that while I don't justify what I had done in the slightest, I had not caused harm to any other persons or the organization I work for.

 

I'm not looking for criticism or anything, I have a lot of remorse for what I have done, and know it was stupid. Some advice on what to expect, exactly how serious this situation/allegation is and how to act when I attend my meeting.

 

Thank you.

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out of character doesn't match pre-prepared and in a plastic tube. Best rethink how you present that.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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out of character doesn't match pre-prepared and in a plastic tube. Best rethink how you present that.

 

Hi Emmzzi,

 

Could I ask you to elaborate a little please? The way I am looking at my actions is that it is not something typical of me, I am usually very responsible and reliable and done something stupid without thinking. Hence why I think out of character.

 

Or would this look bad because I have taken steps towards concealing said article?

 

Thank you

Edited by carlos-a
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I think what Emmzzi is saying is that the claim that your actions were out of character and that you did something stupid without thinking may well be true, however the action of 'prepared it at home, left in in an airtight plastic tube and stored it in my rucksack for the entire day' suggest by your own words that a large degree of thought went into the preparation of the Cannabis, the wilful act of taking it to work and carefully storing it in a rucksack.

 

This would differ markedly from (and I am not suggesting that you should copy and paste this supposition) 'I discovered when changing after work that a small amount of Cannabis had been left in my rucksack from a long time beforehand and I stupidly decided to smoke it - an act which was completely out of character as although I have used Cannabis previously I would never dream of bringing it to work let alone smoking it whilst on company premises'

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Certainly no judgement from me in terms of the act itself, but I have to say that the employer is perfectly entitled to take this matter very seriously and you will have to be very remorseful, and extremely lucky to survive this with your job. I do not say that with any pleasure, but because you need to be prepared for the worst possible outcome from this.

 

The points that you will need to overcome are that:-

 

1. The act itself was an illegal one with potential consequences for the employer's reputation

2. From what you have said (trading and customer) it sounds as though this may be a retail establishment? If this was genuinely an observation from a customer - and the evidence of any complaint is irrelevant since you have admitted the offence - there is a potential for knowledge of this to spread to a wider audience through word of mouth, so once again there is a potential for their reputation to be affected

 

At your hearing you should certainly express EXTREME remorse and be prepared to plead for leniency. Forget about trying to justify any use of drugs and concentrate on trying to convince your employer that you are determined to stop. There is a general concensus that in many cases a good employer should work with an employee who abuses drink or drugs and efforts should be made to support rather than punish where possible. It may well be appropriate to try and stress that this event has made you realise the stupidity of your actions and you are determined to stay off the Cannabis - both at work and in your own time (remember that your employer may well not feel able to trust that even if you are not consuming drugs at work, your performance and safety if still under the influence might well be affected).

 

Beg, grovel and ask for any help that may be available. Hopefully you have a previously good record and a reasonable length of service? If the worst happens, then besides an appeal (and you will have very few grounds to do so) there are not really any further avenues to explore. Employers have drug and alcohol policies for a reason and tend to treat breaches fairly ruthlessly.

 

I genuinely wish you well, and hope that the employer is supportive and your remorse is genuine

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I entirely agree with what Sidewinder says, but would add the fact that you lit up immediately after coming off duty, in the car park, further complicates matters from your point of view - it does kind of indicate an intention to drive under the influence?

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Certainly no judgement from me in terms of the act itself, but I have to say that the employer is perfectly entitled to take this matter very seriously and you will have to be very remorseful, and extremely lucky to survive this with your job. I do not say that with any pleasure, but because you need to be prepared for the worst possible outcome from this.

 

 

 

The points that you will need to overcome are that:-

 

 

 

1. The act itself was an illegal one with potential consequences for the employer's reputation

 

2. From what you have said (trading and customer) it sounds as though this may be a retail establishment? If this was genuinely an observation from a customer - and the evidence of any complaint is irrelevant since you have admitted the offence - there is a potential for knowledge of this to spread to a wider audience through word of mouth, so once again there is a potential for their reputation to be affected

 

 

 

At your hearing you should certainly express EXTREME remorse and be prepared to plead for leniency. Forget about trying to justify any use of drugs and concentrate on trying to convince your employer that you are determined to stop. There is a general concensus that in many cases a good employer should work with an employee who abuses drink or drugs and efforts should be made to support rather than punish where possible. It may well be appropriate to try and stress that this event has made you realise the stupidity of your actions and you are determined to stay off the Cannabis - both at work and in your own time (remember that your employer may well not feel able to trust that even if you are not consuming drugs at work, your performance and safety if still under the influence might well be affected).

 

 

 

Beg, grovel and ask for any help that may be available. Hopefully you have a previously good record and a reasonable length of service? If the worst happens, then besides an appeal (and you will have very few grounds to do so) there are not really any further avenues to explore. Employers have drug and alcohol policies for a reason and tend to treat breaches fairly ruthlessly.

 

 

 

I genuinely wish you well, and hope that the employer is supportive and your remorse is genuine

I completely agree with this post.

Unfortunately you have admitted the use of cannabis, otherwise you could have easily got out of this situation by simply saying that you were smoking bidi which is a rolled up leaf, used in Asia and widely available in corner shops.

This cigarette like item looks and smells a lot like cannabis but is perfectly legal and does not contain any drugs.

I know some people will say that it's wrong to lie, but sometimes is better to do so than getting sacked.

Follow sidewinder advice and good luck

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Unfortunately for you, recent case law is not on your side. An employee was heard to say she had smoked cannabis at a private party. Someone reported her, she was sacked, went to tribunal, won her case for unfair dismissal BUT had compensation reduced by 100% as contributing to her own downfall.

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Certainly no judgement from me in terms of the act itself, but I have to say that the employer is perfectly entitled to take this matter very seriously and you will have to be very remorseful, and extremely lucky to survive this with your job. I do not say that with any pleasure, but because you need to be prepared for the worst possible outcome from this.

 

The points that you will need to overcome are that:-

 

1. The act itself was an illegal one with potential consequences for the employer's reputation

2. From what you have said (trading and customer) it sounds as though this may be a retail establishment? If this was genuinely an observation from a customer - and the evidence of any complaint is irrelevant since you have admitted the offence - there is a potential for knowledge of this to spread to a wider audience through word of mouth, so once again there is a potential for their reputation to be affected

 

At your hearing you should certainly express EXTREME remorse and be prepared to plead for leniency. Forget about trying to justify any use of drugs and concentrate on trying to convince your employer that you are determined to stop. There is a general concensus that in many cases a good employer should work with an employee who abuses drink or drugs and efforts should be made to support rather than punish where possible. It may well be appropriate to try and stress that this event has made you realise the stupidity of your actions and you are determined to stay off the Cannabis - both at work and in your own time (remember that your employer may well not feel able to trust that even if you are not consuming drugs at work, your performance and safety if still under the influence might well be affected).

 

Beg, grovel and ask for any help that may be available. Hopefully you have a previously good record and a reasonable length of service? If the worst happens, then besides an appeal (and you will have very few grounds to do so) there are not really any further avenues to explore. Employers have drug and alcohol policies for a reason and tend to treat breaches fairly ruthlessly.

 

I genuinely wish you well, and hope that the employer is supportive and your remorse is genuine

 

Thank you for your reply, I will go over this a few times and have a think about what I will put into my case, since the minute I seen my manager peer through the doors I have been kicking myself over the whole situation as I knew something could possibly come of it. Not something I would be doing ever again. I've been working for my employer for two years, no records of official disciplinary action previously, just a verbal telling off once quite a while back, I would guess that I am seen as rather reliable.

 

Confirmation letter from HR received today. Will be working on my case over the next few days.

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I entirely agree with what Sidewinder says, but would add the fact that you lit up immediately after coming off duty, in the car park, further complicates matters from your point of view - it does kind of indicate an intention to drive under the influence?

 

I don't drive so no concerns regarding the operation of a motor vehicle (even if I did drive, I'm not irresponsible enough to do such a thing) under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I cycled around half a mile to the nearest train station.

Edited by carlos-a
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Ok, so here is full notes I have quickly typed up, of course I will probably change things and add/remove things as I think about it more.

 

While at home on Wednesday morning, 08/10/2014, I prepared a joint (a cigarette type article containing a small amount of ground herbal cannabis and tobacco). I did not intend to smoke it at this point in time as I knew I had work a few hours later and did not want to turn up unfit through drugs, and subsequently left it inside my rucksack to be used when convenient and forgotten about it. Later on the same day, I arrived for and worked my shift as usual. After end of trading (20:00pm), I got changed into my own clothes, retrieved my bicycle and left the store (20:15pm). After saying goodbye and leaving company premises, I realised the joint was in my bag and made the decision to light it in the car park before departing to the train station. Just as I had lit the joint, the manager working the late shift, ******** *******, who from now on I will refer to as ******, unlocked the doors in order for a member of staff leave, and after briefly looking outside, head back indoors. I then left the car park and begun my journey home.

 

On Friday, 10/10/2014, I had arrived for my shift which was due to start at 08:45am, after our start of day briefing and getting to work on my tasks for the day, I was called to go and see ****** in her office. I was sat down opposite ******, and another member of staff, ****** ******, who is a team leader, sat behind me in order take notes on paper. ****** asked what I was smoking after I had left on Wednesday, a rollie, I told her, ****** asked what was in the rollie as it did not smell like an ordinary rollie, to which I replied “cannabis and tobacco”, “where did you get the cannabis from, did you bring it into work and prepare it on premises?”, “no, I rolled it while I was at home and left it in my rucksack with the intention to smoke it another time”, I was asked what made me think it was OK to bring drugs into work, to which I replied “Sorry. I don’t think it’s ok, it was very stupid and irresponsible of me”. I was told that this situation is serious and that it would be referred to Human Resources, and I would be given an update as to what would be happening as soon as possible. A couple of hours later ****** asked to speak to me again, took a few more notes, and informed me that I would be suspended with pay and that I would receive an information pack from HR containing full details along with a date for a formal meeting. I was then escorted off company premises.

 

I am an honest and reliable employee and accept full responsibility for my actions on Wednesday 08/10/2014 and deeply regret making the mistake of bringing an illegal substance onto company premises. During the term of my suspension I have been able to reflect on my actions and realise the severity of the whole situation, and the negative impact my actions could possible have on myself and the reputation of the organisation. I have been working at *************** for two years now, taking on many different tasks in different areas of the store and feel that I am a very committed and trusted member of the team, and always try my hardest to make sure everything I do for my employer is done to a good standard. I am very much ashamed of my actions and what my employer may think of me as a result, this has been an isolated occurrence and I am determined that nothing of this nature will ever happen again, it has made me aware of the troubles such substances can cause, and would appreciate any help and support the company is able to offer me.

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this statement says to me, "I regularly, and on a pre meditated basis, choose to break the law, and am so dependent on dope I can't even wait until I am off the premises to skin up and start. I'm so gagging for a joint after work, I pre roll."

 

rewrite. need to be more accidental!

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this statement says to me, "I regularly, and on a pre meditated basis, choose to break the law, and am so dependent on dope I can't even wait until I am off the premises to skin up and start. I'm so gagging for a joint after work, I pre roll."

 

rewrite. need to be more accidental!

 

Ok. The trouble is that my employer already knows from the preliminary interview that I had rolled it on the morning before work, and I'm not sure/can't remember if I said that I had the intention to smoke it when I left, but if this is the case, surely this would mean I can't exactly change things around to make it more accidental because evidence suggesting otherwise is there to some degree?

 

As far as I can recall reading at some point in the past, I have right of access to the preliminary interview statement and statements made my other persons before attending my disciplinary, right?

 

Stored it in my bag as I did not intend to smoke it then, and did not want to leave something of this nature lying around the house.

Stored it in my bag for safekeeping as I intended to visit a friend that day and smoke it with them, completely forgetting I would end up taking it into work with me.

 

Thanks

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As far as I can recall reading at some point in the past, I have right of access to the preliminary interview statement and statements made my other persons before attending my disciplinary, right?

 

 

Correct. I suggest that you contact HR and ask for a copy of the investigation notes - you are entitled to that. These should have been agreed before the preliminary meeting was adjourned and ideally signed by both parties.

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would you promise never to smoke again and throw yourself on the mercy of a company sponsored substance abuse programme?

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would you promise never to smoke again and throw yourself on the mercy of a company sponsored substance abuse programme?

 

If required to do so, I would have no problem with this. I was in the wrong and have admitted my guilt, so I am willing to do whatever is required to resolve the issue at hand.

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If required to do so, I would have no problem with this. I was in the wrong and have admitted my guilt, so I am willing to do whatever is required to resolve the issue at hand.

 

It is more like "this is the only way I think you will keep your job." But I get the sense you like smoking too much for this to work.

 

Maybe you should just get a new job?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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It is more like "this is the only way I think you will keep your job." But I get the sense you like smoking too much for this to work.

 

Maybe you should just get a new job?

 

As I'd already said, if it was something I had to do, then so be it, I don't care that much about smoking, it's something I do on an occasional basis and can stop and start as I wish (I have done so), just like some people occasionally enjoy going out on a Friday/Saturday night, getting hammered then showing up to work the next morning absolutely paralytic.

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As I'd already said, if it was something I had to do, then so be it, I don't care that much about smoking, it's something I do on an occasional basis and can stop and start as I wish (I have done so), just like some people occasionally enjoy going out on a Friday/Saturday night, getting hammered then showing up to work the next morning absolutely paralytic.

 

It isn't just like it, because however stupid the law is, one substance is illegal, and one isn't. Although turning up for work under the influence of anything should merit an investigation.

 

Until you can understand that and convey remorse to your employer I think you will struggle. You may well believe cannabis is totally harmless, and you maybe largely correct. But compaisons with alcohol wont help.

 

I'm not sure if we can help any further. Did you have any more questions?

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It isn't just like it, because however stupid the law is, one substance is illegal, and one isn't. Although turning up for work under the influence of anything should merit an investigation.

 

Until you can understand that and convey remorse to your employer I think you will struggle. You may well believe cannabis is totally harmless, and you maybe largely correct. But compaisons with alcohol wont help.

 

I'm not sure if we can help any further. Did you have any more questions?

 

 

My only other question is would I be allowed to take a written/typed pre prepared statement to my hearing? I have re thought my case and this is it... There isn't much else I can do really.

 

On the morning of Wednesday the 8th of October I had woke up at around 7am as usual and got changed, I had breakfast and went on to roll a joint (a cigarette type article containing a small amount of cannabis), I didn’t want to smoke it then so I had left it in my rucksack as I did not want to leave it lying around the house, completely overlooking the fact that I would end up taking my rucksack to work, and with such, the joint. I arrived for my shift at 12pm and finished at 8pm, while I was getting my out-of-work clothes out of the rucksack to get changed into for the journey home, I realised that the joint was still in there. I left the store at at around 8:15, after most of the other members of staff had left and stupidly decided to begin smoking the joint in the car park. Just as I was about to leave my manager let a member of staff out of the doors and must have subsequently been able to smell the cannabis. I then left. I feel that it was very irresponsible of me not to think ahead that I would end up taking the cannabis to work in my rucksack, I should have been much more cautious as to what I was taking to work, furthermore, I feel that the decision to light the cannabis in the car park was also a very bad decision and one I regret making as not only will it negatively affect what people think of me, it may also have a negative effect on the reputation of the store. This incident has helped me to realise the problems that drugs can cause and believe that it is probably a good idea for me to discontinue the use of cannabis due due to troubles it can cause.

 

In the meantime I guess the best I can do is apply for new means of employment

 

thanks

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"probably" a good idea? Com on now. "Have given up", "am seeking support from my GP" and "am happy to submit to random drug testing"

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"probably" a good idea? Com on now. "Have given up", "am seeking support from my GP" and "am happy to submit to random drug testing"

 

Will add something along these lines however seems I will need to shift my case around, hearing on 20th October. R

 

eviewed all preliminary interview statements today and can confirm I admitted to bringing it in as "I just intended to have a smoke on the way home from work".

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