Showing Posts In "Cannabis Issues" Category

Managing Medical Marijuana in Safety-Sensitive Workplaces

Employers may be legally obligated to accommodate employees who use medically prescribed marijuana to treat a disability. They are not, however, required to automatically permit the use of marijuana in safety-sensitive positions. Labour arbitrators have argued that zero tolerance policies are unreasonable, but policies requiring disclosures are reasonable to evaluate safety risks.


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Cannabis is Still a Hazy Workplace Issue in Canada, Years After Legalization

Employers have a responsibility to accommodate an employee’s disability, but when medical cannabis leads to impairment on the job, accommodation becomes more limited. Cannabis – even when medically prescribed – cannot be consumed in a manner that is unsafe or compromises the safety of others. But impairment is difficult to determine, so it is important […]

Helicopter Operator’s Random Drug Testing Plan Shot Down

An order issued under the Canada Labour Code has struck down a St. John’s helicopter operator’s policy to randomly test pilots and other staff for cannabis. Newfoundland and Labrador arbitrator Susan Ashley determined that drug testing was invasive and said that “protection of these privacy rights in all of the circumstances outweighs the employer’s legitimate […]

Where There’s Smoke: How Employers Can Navigate Employees’ Cannabis Use

The Canadian Cannabis Survey (CCS) has revealed that 5 percent of people surveyed who used cannabis in 2018/2019 reported consuming it at least once a week during work or in the morning before, while 12 percent said they did so at least once a month. With this information in mind, employers are able to navigate […]

The 5 Hottest Human Resources Questions About Cannabis

The holidays bring
lots of holiday joy – and some holiday headaches for human
resources professionals and employers
. And this year’s legalization of recreational
cannabis use is fuelling lots of HR questions. The hottest one of the season:
do employers that offer alcohol at holiday work parties also have to offer
cannabis? Here’s the answer to that […]

Legalization of Cannabis: A Guide For Employers

With the legalization
of recreational cannabis as of October 17, 2018, Canadian employers must be
prepared to understand their rights and responsibilities vis-à-vis their

Employers are
encouraged to adopt or amend their substance and drug use policies to conform
to cannabis legalization.

First, employers’ drug
policies should clearly stipulate that they apply to cannabis use,
notwithstanding its legalization.

Second, regardless of
the particular rules employers […]

Canada: Zero Tolerance Policies and Medicinal Marijuana

Employers are searching for answers regarding the upcoming legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Although employers have a legal duty to accommodate workers who are addicted to marijuana in the same manner as those addicted to alcohol and other substances, a zero tolerance policy still is permissible for those in safety sensitive positions. The plaintiff […]

If Employees Are Impaired by Cannabis at Work, Can We Terminate Them?

Although employers may have just cause to terminate an employee based on an instance of impairment, employers must consider whether they are discriminating against an individual who has been prescribed medical marijuana for a disability. Considerations include whether the impairment is somehow connected to a disability or if the person is addicted to cannabis, which […]

Does an Employee Have a Duty to Disclose Medical Cannabis Use to an Employer?

Although there is no overarching legal requirement or principle that workers must disclose the use of medical cannabis to their employer, it remains unclear whether workers have a duty to disclose such information under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA). Requirements likely will be determined by the type of medical marijuana being consumed as […]

Can We Implement Random Cannabis Drug Testing?

Although the courts may permit random testing in dangerous workplaces, doing so is only permitted when such testing is a proportionate response that considers legitimate safety concerns and privacy issues. The courts have not yet ruled that employers can randomly test for marijuana use or other drug and alcohol use. In Irving Pulp & Paper […]


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