In Ball v First Essex Buses Limited, Mr Ball had worked as bus driver for over 20 years. He was subject to a routine drug test and provided a saliva sample. To his shock, the results came back positive for cocaine. He was suspended and informed that he would need to attend a fact-finding meeting. At the meeting, Mr Ball explained that he had not taken any drugs apart from prescription medication and informed his employer that he had arranged for a hair follicle test. The hair follicle test did not detect any cocaine.
At the disciplinary hearing, he was told that his employer would only take into account the saliva test results, not the hair follicle results since they were not taken by one of their approved testers. It was found that he failed a random drug test and his employment should be terminated with immediate effect. Mr Ball appealed, but ultimately the dismissal stood.