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June 25 2013

Five Things to Know About Drug Testing in Canada

In June2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against an employer’s random alcohol testing program, concluding that it was unreasonable. In the 6-3 decision, the Court side with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, which brought a grievance against Irving Pulp and Paper.

The Court based much of its decision on the earlier finds of an arbitration board and the fact that there were zero positive test results over a 22 month period at the company’s St. John, New Brunswick mill. ON behalf of the majority, Justice Rosalie Abella wrote as reported by CTV News: “In the end, the expected safety gains to the employer in this case were found by the board to range “from uncertain . . . to minimal at best” while the impact on employee privacy was found to be much more severe. “Consequently, the board concluded that the employer had not demonstrated the requisite problems with dangerousness or increased safety concerns as workplace alcohol use that would justify universal random testing.