Artificial cigarette irritation

Artificial cigarette devices designed to assist people stop smoking are clearly not illegal in the workplace but they certainly can be disruptive. The support and encouragement of colleagues towards a co-worker who is trying to give up smoking, quickly tuned to irritation when he started “smoking” various artificial cigarettes in his quest to kick the habit. Colleagues reported being irritated by his “exaggerated and affected” mannerisms when “pretending to smoke”, causing them to loose concentration and be distracted from their work. After an altercation between two employees when one openly mocked the smoker in front of colleagues, the employer in question was left dealing with one disciplinary matter and a formal grievance. Both were dealt with and resolved and in an attempt to address the issue going forward the practice in question was banned from the workplace. Now a further grievance has been brought by the smoker’s colleagues that he is “deliberately taking lengthy smoking breaks” to make a point and “get back at them”. And who says the workplace is not a playground!