While the facts of the case in this article might be funny to some, it is an important reminder for employers in Ontario who provide services to the public. Provincially regulated businesses are subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Employers should investigate further before immediately dismissing employees for violating workplace drug and alcohol policies. An employee’s diagnosis of substance dependence would be considered a disability, which is a protected ground under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) for federally regulated employers.
As an employment law practitioner, it is refreshing to see any court and/or administrative tribunal release a decision that makes “common sense” (as well as legal sense). Recently, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal had to determine if the common flu and strep throat constituted disabilities under the Human Rights Code .