Hotel employee spotted with drugs sparks firing

Undercover investigator observed employee with drugs after shift
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/31/2012

This instalment of You Make the Call features a hotel employee who was caught with drugs at work.

Chris Papapashalis, 43, was a server at a restaurant in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. Papapashalis had 21 years of service with Fairmont and on Jan. 28, 2009, signed the hotel’s Drug Free Workplace Policy. The policy outlined the hotel’s commitment to maintain a drug-free work environment and indicated any violation of the policy would lead to discipline up to and including termination of employment. The policy also specifically prohibited using or selling alcohol or drugs on hotel property or vehicles while on company business, or being intoxicated on the job.

In early 2010, Fairmont initiated an undercover investigation to deal with drugs in the workplace. On Jan. 30, 2010, Papapashalis was observed by an investigator with a marijuana cigarette in the employee locker room about 10 minutes after the end of his shift. A week later, he was seen smoking marijuana with other employees at the hotel’s receiving gate 30 minutes after the end of his shift. Then, on March 9, he was spotted with hashish in the locker room while still wearing his uniform, about 20 minutes before his shift ended.