Casino Worker compensated for Marijuana flushing Incident

September 7, 2012 | by admin | posted in news

Nearly one year ago, Dunedin Casino security guard Etimoa Fifita found a bag of marijuana on the casino floor. His immediate reaction was to contact the casino’s surveillance officer for help with the matter. The surveillance officer then told Fifita that the marijuana belonged to a co-worker and they should simply flush it down the toilet – rather than incriminate their associate.

However, the problem didn’t go away after flushing the drugs because Dunedin Casino administrators later found out about it. Following an investigation, the casino then decided to fire Fifita for how he dealt with the bag of weed. Furthermore, the surveillance worker and the marijuana’s rightful owner both quit before they could be let go.

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Fifita tried to defend himself by saying that he didn’t know what exactly was in the bag. But the casino wasn’t buying his story since they upheld the firing and sent him this letter:

Anything you previously found which you believed to be rubbish was disposed of in a rubbish bin. You clearly knew what you were disposing of was not ‘rubbish’ but cannabis. We have lost faith that you are able to carry out your duties as a security officer with the honesty and integrity we believe is essential to this role.

Despite the clear explanation on why he was let go, Etimoa Fifita has still been fighting his previous dismissal. And this pursuance recently worked out for him after the New Zealand Employment Relations Authority determined that Fifita was wrongfully fired. Now the former security guard will be entitled to six weeks in lost wagers and $2,500 for defamation of character. Sure this isn’t the biggest termination settlement ever, but it should provide some relief for Fifita.

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