Random Drug Testing

Posted by Johannes Schenk on January 20th, 2006 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Labour Law

Entrop dealt with the issue of random drug testing in the work place. The main and lasting idea that came from this case was “drug testing for cause”.

Imperial Oil Ltd. and C.E.P., Loc. 900, 138 L.A.C. (4th) 122, is a follow up case that deals with the same issues and raises some interesting points that seem to have been lost in the wake of the Entrop decision. For instance, Imperial Oil continued to randomnly test for alcohol by breathalyzer. The company did, however, drop urinalysis drug testing. The difference being that the breathalyzer could detect impairment whereas the urinalysis testing could not. The case also makes the important distinction that Entrop dealt with drug testing under the Human Rights legislation and not the collective agreement. The most interesting part of the decision relates to Imperial Oil’s intention to use a mouth swab test to monitor marijuana use. Apparently the mouth swab test does detect impairment. Imperial Oil takes the position that the test therefore falls within the parameters allowed by Entrop.

The decision is just a preliminary award but nevertheless addresses some very important points. It will most interesting to see if the main case continues on and what result will come from it.

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