Employment Court Finds Random Drug Tests by ‘Stealth’

The cases of Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Limited v Hooper and Patchett v Contour Roofing (awarding $4,000 and $15,000 compensation to employees, respectively) are timely reminders to employers of the importance of having a well-drafted alcohol and drug policy, and of adhering to procedural standards when carrying out testing. Recent figures from the New Zealand Drug Detection Agency show that drug screening in the workplace has almost doubled in the last 12 months in New Zealand. Employees may not be tested without “reasonable cause” and while random testing is permitted, it may only be carried out where it is expressly provided for in a company’s policy. Employers should ensure that their alcohol and drug policies: clearly set out the employer’s position on alcohol and drug use in the workplace, when testing may be carried out, and possible consequences of breaching policy; clearly indentify “safety sensitive areas”; and are properly promulgated in the workplace in consultation with employees (and unions if appropriate).

Read more

Posted Under: New Zealand

Post By (955 Posts)