Substance Abuse in a Safety Sensitive Workplace

Posted by Johannes Schenk on January 31st, 2006 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Labour Law

Employees with substance abuse issues are a nightmare for employers charged with a workforce operating in a safety sensitve workplace. Employers must accommodate such employees to the point of undue hardship. Having said that what is undue hardship in a safety sensitive environment?

Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Local 707 v. Suncor Energy Inc., [2005] A.J. No. 871, is a recent case dealing with accommodation issues in a safety sensitive environment where a worker was terminated for substance abuse related work performance issues.

The case provides a good framework for dealing with this issue.

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