Was odour of pot a smoking gun?

Office found smelling of marijuana; employee was only one there
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 04/26/2012

This instalment of You Make the Call features an employee who was accused of smoking marijuana on the job.

Keith Dale was a deep sea labourer primarily for Neptune Bulk Terminals, a cargo handling port company in Vancouver, and other companies in the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association. His duties included monitoring ship loading and fuelling in the dock office and keeping in contact with crews docked in the port.

On June 17, 2011, Dale was working in a dock office at one of Neptune’s berths in the port when a foreman entered the office. The foreman detected the “distinct and strong smell of marijuana” and reported that Dale didn’t respond to his initial greeting. After he did what he came to do in the office, the foreman called the head foreman for his opinion. When the head foreman arrived, he also smelled marijuana. Dale was alone in the office, so the head foreman asked Dale if he had been smoking marijuana in the office or anywhere else. Dale denied he had smoked any marijuana.