A B.C. bartender has lost his human rights complaint after he
was dismissed for smoking marijuana on shift.
The bartender also served as assistant manager of the
restaurant. The employer had a policy that prohibited
consumption of drugs or alcohol while on shift. The policy
was meant to ensure that employees – including bartenders,
who monitored customers' consumption of alcohol – did not
themselves become intoxicated.
The bartender's job was described, in the decision, as
"serving alcohol to customers, monitoring their consumption of
alcohol, their demeanor and their conduct to ensure that the
employer abides by its legal obligations under the Liquor
Control and Distribution Act, the Occupational Health and
Safety Regulations, the Occupiers' Liability
Act, and its common law duty of care to ensure that its
employees and customers do not create harm to themselves or
After being caught smoking marijuana, the employee claimed that
he used it for a a"chronic pain condition". He
filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal against his
employer, the executive chef and general manager, and the
restaurant owners, claiming that his dismissal was discriminatory
because of his "disability".
The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal concluded that there was no
evidence that the employer was aware that the bartender's
marijuana use was related to physical disability. Therefore,
the employee had not proven that there was a connection between his
disability and his termination. As such, his human rights
complaint was dismissed.
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