A worker could take his employers to an Employment Tribunal claiming unfair dismissal for smoking an e-cigarette while operating a truck.
Paul Scott, of Carshalton, south London was fired from Viridor, the waste disposal company, in October.
Mr Scott says he was smoking an E-Lites e-cigarette, something he thought he was allowed to do, but Viridor say Mr Scott was smoking a tobacco cigarette.
The 55-year-old, who had worked at the company since 2007, has filed a claim for unfair dismissal.
E-Lites has now vowed to support Mr Scott if the case goes to an employment tribunal.
If the case goes to an Employment Tribunal, it is understood to be the first case involving dismissal for smoking an e-cigarette.
Adrian Everett, CEO of E-Lites, said: “We are delighted to fight for the rights of our customers. It’s not surprising what has happened to Paul Scott.
“Companies like Viridor have failed to create policies around e-cigarettes and so haven’t trained their managers to tell the difference between an electronic cigarette with a glowing green tip and a combustible cigarette which creates a fire risk.”
The trade union UNITE have also been critical of Viridor’s decision to sack Mr Scott.
Simon Catford, sustainability and regulatory director at Viridor, said Mr Scott was already on a final written warning and was seen to be smoking a tobacco cigarette in a vehicle next to highly flammable material.
He said: “Viridor has liaised closely with colleagues on site to explain the facts of this case which centre not on e-cigarettes, but on a previously disciplined employee smoking tobacco adjacent to highly combustible material.”