Network - Winter 2010 - (Page 35)
Drug and Alcohol Testing: A Divided Nation? Western Canadian courts more sympathetic to testing by employers with safety concerns with employees who deal with dangerous equipment, often think the right to a safe workplace should be the primary consideration when determining the appropriateness of drug and alcohol testing. The types of testing available for use on employees or job applicants include: • Pre-employment testing • Random testing • “For cause” testing, where specific employees who are reasonably suspected of drug or alcohol impairment are tested • Post-incident testing, where an employer has a reasonable suspicion drug or alcohol use contributed to the incident. The law, however, imposes human rights and privacy obligations on employers, which often are in direct conflict with health and safety concerns. A drug or alcohol addiction is likely to constitute a disability for the purposes of federal and provincial human rights legislation. As such, an employee or applicant who is an addict is entitled to protection from discrimination and an employer must accommodate such an individual, up to the point of undue hardship. People with perceived disabilities may also be protected from discrimination. A review of some important decisions in this area demonstrates the difficulties employers may face if deciding to implement drug and alcohol testing. And where an employer is located can affect what might be allowed. Employers, especially those A drug or alcohol addiction is likely to constitute a disability for the purposes of federal and provincial human rights legislation. As such, an employee or applicant who is an addict is entitled to protection from discrimination and an employer must accommodate such an individual, up to the point of undue hardship. Ontario decisions Entrop v. Imperial Oil Ltd.: Imperial Oil’s policy required employees to disclose past drug or alcohol problems. The policy also provided for random substance-abuse testing, by way of urine and breathalyzer analysis. The employee disclosed an alcohol problem he had several years previously. He was immediately reassigned to another less desirable position, and, therefore, brought a claim that eventually went to the Ontario Court of Appeal. NETWORK Winter 2009
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Winter 2010
Network - Winter 2010
HRIA President’s Message
HRIA’s 2010 Board of Directors
Celebrating Excellence Awards
Recognizing Excellence in HR
Misconduct in the Blogosphere
Social Networking: What is Private and What is Professional?
Monitoring Online Behaviour of Employees
Privacy Legislation Impacts Talent-Management Programs, Too!
Breaching Privacy More Than a Legal Concern
Drug and Alcohol Testing: A Divided Nation?
Personal Information Protection Act
Index of Advertisers
Network - Winter 2010