If there’s one thing I have a zero tolerance policy for, it’s zero tolerance policies. We see too many incredibly stupid implementations of rigid and mandatory policies (including mandatory sentencing), no matter how reasonable they sound when first advocated, to believe there should ever be policies that provide absolutely no flexibility. The world is a messy place and not everything fits into pre-envisioned boxes.
The latest miscarriage of common sense and humane behavior comes to us from those good people at WalMart, who fired a long time, loyal and effective employee because he failed a drug screening test for marijuana:
WalMart says it can, so it did. “I was terminated because I failed a drug screening,” says former WalMart employee Joseph Casias.
In 2008, Casias was the Associate Of The Year at the WalMart store in Battle Creek, despite suffering from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.
At his doctor’s recommendation, Casias says he legally uses medical marijuana to ease his pain.
“It helps tremendously,” he says. “I only use it to stop the pain. To make me feel more comfortable and active as a person.”
During his five years at WalMart, Casias says he went to work every day, determined to be the best.
“I gave them everything,” he says. “110 percent every day. Anything they asked me to do I did. More than they asked me to do. 12 to 14 hours a day.” (Phil Dawson and Christa Graban, WZZM13 News)
Apparently WalMart acted legally. But stupidly. The cruelty and inhumanity doesn’t end with the firing. Casias has been on unemployment since November but now WalMart is contesting his eligibility for benefits. Meanwhile he has a serious medical condition and a family he can no longer provide for and all the rest of us will wind up paying for WalMart’s decision to lose a good employee, harvest a shithouse full of bad publicity, and stick the rest of us with the bill for their stupidity.
WalMart. The kind of company I have zero tolerance for.