Dismissal: Substance Abuse

The issue of dismissal for employment related substance abuse is a continuing and evolving workplace theme. In a recent B.C. arbitration, International Forest Products Ltd. (Hammond Cedar Division) v. United Steelworkers of America Local 1-3567 (Sall Grievance), [2005] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 184, the employer’s decision to dismiss the worker for alcohol abuse and breach of return to work conditions was upheld. The case provides a useful summary of the state of B.C. arbitral law on substance abuse by workers in safety sensitive positions and the extent of an employer’s duty to accommodate the worker. A more detailed discussion on the case will follow.

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