Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace, particularly randomized testing, has always been a grey area for employers. When is such testing permissible? When is it deemed reasonable in light of safety concerns? The Supreme Court of Canada has answered some of these questions after their long-awaited decision regarding randomized drug and alcohol testing in the case of Irving Pulp and Paper.
It is obvious that being inebriated or otherwise impaired in the workplace is inappropriate behaviour. The issue is then how employers can protect their workplace from the imposition of drugs and alcohol, while still respecting the rights of their workers.
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