Monday, May 11, 2009

Medication a defence for punching the boss

From the National Post:
A labour arbitrator has reversed the firing of a veteran elementary-school janitor who sucker punched his boss, ruling that an experimental arthritis drug the man was taking as part of a clinical trial helped trigger the angry outburst.

It may be the first time in a Canadian legal hearing that pharmaceutical adverse effects have been successfully invoked to justify violent behaviour.

The custodian, Alf Clayfield, had put in 22 years of generally exemplary service with an Ontario school board before the October incident with his manager.

He acted out of character partly because of the medicine's neurological side effects, the arbitrator said in replacing the dismissal with a three-month suspension.

Mr. Clayfield said the problems he attributes to the drug began with insomnia, headaches and dizziness. "I found that things that never bothered me before would irritate me very quickly," the Kitchener-Waterloo public school board employee said in an interview. ...more

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