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October 11 2016

Drug Testing in the Workplace - An Update

In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Irving Pulp, a case which arose when the union representing Irving 's workers brought a grievance challenging the company 's mandatory random alcohol testing policy. The Supreme Court held that the little evidence produced by Irving Pulp of substance abuse problems with its workforce was not sufficient to override the privacy rights and interests of its employees. Employers continue to face an uphill battle and it has proved to be a difficult task (some would say impossible) to develop an enforceable drug and alcohol testing policy. Despite other cases on this topic, the test established by the Supreme Court in Irving Pulp remains the test to meet. Employers must continue to strike a balance between the health and safety concerns of the workplace and the privacy interests of the employees.