When Paul Scott was fired for smoking an e-cigarette at work after his employer believed he was smoking a real tobacco cigarette, he didn’t expect his unfair dismissal case to be supported by one of the UK’s largest e-cig manufacturers.
Now supported by a major e-cigarette manufacturer as well as worker’s trade union Unite, Mr Scott had been working for his ex-employer for seven years before he was wrongly dismissed in October earlier this year, with the company having no evident policy concerning e-cigarettes and therefore having no basis to support their decision.
The e-cigarette company’s offer of legal support is based on the argument that the Mr Scott’s former employer should have had their workers trained to distinguish the difference between electronic cigarettes, which use E Juice to heat up nicotine and which deliver no toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, and tobacco cigarettes, which were banned from public spaces in 2007.
With this support, if Mr Scott does decide to take his previous employer to court then this will be the first time a case involving a dismissal for smoking an e-cigarette have been taken to a tribunal.
The major e-cigarette manufacturer have also pledged to pay for legal costs and provide the services of reputable solicitor Paul Diamond, who has won several cases on variety of social issues in the past. Unite’s regional officer for London Onay Kasab has also expressed his hopes that Mr Scott receives his job back and that “common sense prevails” regarding the provisions of e-cigarettes within the workplace.
The support provided by these national organisations goes to show the overwhelming acceptance of e-cigarettes and acts as one step in establishing the rights of e-cig smokers when at work. Along a recent poll of a thousand people for the BBC confirming that most people supported their use in public, it’s not long before the UK reaches some definitive legislation which approves of their usage to benefit the millions of British users across the country.
If you’re concerned about your rights at work as an e-cigarette smoker, the first thing you should always do is contact your employer to establishing whether they have any pre-existing company rules which prohibit the usage of e-cigs.
This is because policies on e-cigs vary from company to company in response to the lack of national legislation the country currently has regarding their consumption, so for the benefit of your career as well as your colleagues, it’s best to speak to your boss beforehand and make sure that by having an e-cigarette you are not breaking any company rules.Even if your boss is forthright and will not accept e-cigarettes within the premises, they will appreciate the fact that you have consulted them first before using them at work, helping to secure your position and making sure you don’t get into a legal situation similar to Mr Scott’s case.by