Employer’s ban on medical cannabis was discriminatory, says arbitrator

In December of 2021, an Ontario arbitrator ruled that an employer’s total prohibition of medical cannabis for a safety-sensitive position was discriminatory. Specifically, an Ontario labour board arbitrator had ruled that the employer, Ornge, must attempt to accommodate an aircraft maintenance engineer in Timmins who had been prescribed medicinal cannabis. The employer, Ornge Air in … Continued

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Winnipeg getting positive feedback about decriminalization

In a notice of motion introduced by two Winnipeg city councillors, Sherri Rollins and Markus Chambers, the city’s chief administrative officer (CAO) has been requested to work with the federal government on receiving an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. In recent months, the cities of Toronto and Vancouver have already made such … Continued

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Union calls out Marine Atlantic for unfair random testing

In recent months, Unifor members working on Marine Atlantic ferries have spoken out against being unfairly targeted for random alcohol testing. Unifor, a general trade union in Canada and the largest private sector union in Canada has approximately 310,000 workers and associate members in numerous industries. In June of this year, a letter to the … Continued

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Proof of vaccination may be required for new hires

With recent rollouts of COVID-19 vaccines ramping up and employers gearing up for their staff to return to the office in the fall, many employers are questioning whether they are allowed to require new hires to show proof of vaccination. According to a blog article published by the Atlantic law firm McInnes Cooper, since the … Continued

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Alberta court upholds random drug and alcohol testing

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has recently issued a decision on Phillips v. Westcan Bulk Transport Ltd, upholding a non-unionized employer’s use of random drug and alcohol testing in Alberta for safety sensitive positions. This decision provides further clarity and guidance regarding express employee agreement on random drug and alcohol testing. Specifically, the court … Continued

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Arbitrators decide what makes post-incident testing legal

In a series of recent arbitration decisions regarding legal testing for post-incident alcohol and drug testing, Arbitrators Andrew Sims and David McPhillips have reviewed and provided clarification for the legal test for post-incident alcohol and drug testing. The series of these arbitration decisions include Vancouver Shipyards Co. v. Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers, Local 506 … Continued

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Canadian government takes a step to decriminalize drug possession

Earlier in August, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) released new guidelines, the PPSC Deskbook, for prosecuting the illegal possession of controlled substances under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. As part of the new guidelines, federal prosecutors pursuing charges for illegal drug use are now urged to only criminally prosecute individuals with the … Continued

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Court of appeal critical of undue hardship assessment

The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador has recently overturned a decision of the lower court, which had upheld an arbitration award on judicial review. Consequently, three separate reasons were issued by the Court of Appeal addressing undue hardship limits of accommodation which should be considered by employers regarding impairment from medication in safety-sensitive … Continued

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