A Sniff Too Far? Arbitrator Rules Employer Cannot Conduct Random Drug Searches Using Drug Sniffing Dogs

An arbitrator was required to determine whether Agrium Vanscoy Potash Operations could require employees to submit to a search from a drug sniffing dog before they could enter the potash mine. The Union grieved against this policy, alleging that requiring all employees to submit to the random search process was “an unjustifiable violation of employees’ fundamental right of ‘privacy’.” The arbitrator concluded that a drug sniffing dog is a search that could interfere with an employee’s informational privacy and that Agrium did not have reasonable grounds. Employers will need specific evidence of a substance abuse problem before they can require employees to submit to drug searches or testing, even minimally invasive searches by drug sniffing dogs.

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Posted Under: EBI

Post By Barry Nixon (262 Posts)

W. Barry Nixon is the COO, PreemploymentDirectory.com the leading background screening information portal and online worldwide directory of professional background screening firms and Suppliers to the background screening industry. He co-authored the landmark book, Background Screening & Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from the HR and Security Perspective. He also is the publisher of award winning newsletters, The Background Buzz and The Global Background Screener, and the author of the Background Checks column in PI Magazine.

In addition, Barry is a past recipient of the elite ‘Top 25 Influential People in Security’ by Security Magazine and past Co-Chair, International Committee for the National Association for Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). He currently serves as a Global Ambassador for NAPBS.

You can contact Barry at 1-949-770-5264 or online at wbnixon@preemploymentdirectory.com