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SCORECARD: Drugs in the Workplace Court Cases from 2019

What’s At Stake

An employer’s right to test and discipline employees for workplace drug and alcohol use or impairment comes down to a balancing of competing interests:

The employer’s interest, nay imperative, in maintaining a safe workplace; and
The employees’ right to privacy and, where the employee has a dependency or addiction, accommodations for disabilities.

Responsibility for making this crucial balance falls not to legislators but courts, arbitrators, human rights and other tribunals who have to draw the lines in particular cases. And while it’s been going on for decades, the process of lawmaking via litigation assumed an added importance when Canada officially legalized marijuana in October 2018. Here’s a look at the key cases from 2019.

EMPLOYER WINS (7 cases)
Federal: OK to Fire Engineer for Using Cocaine While Operating Train
What Happened: An engineer had to take a for-cause drug test after driving his train off the rails. The test came back positive for cocaine and...

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