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August 21 2018

Zero Tolerance for Employee Fired For Smoking Medical Pot On Swing Stage

The recent decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal in Aitchison v. L & L Painting and Decorating Ltd. demonstrates that employees do not have unfettered rights when it comes to using medical marijuana in the workplace.

The employer relied on a Zero Tolerance policy that prohibited using drugs or alcohol at work. The applicant brought a human rights complaint alleging that he had been fired because of his disability, was not properly accommodated, and his supervisor was aware of his need to use medical marijuana at work.

While the Tribunal agreed the Applicant had a disability, it concluded that the disability was not a factor in his dismissal. Employers will not be able to rely on zero-tolerance policies when faced with requests to use medical marijuana to treat recognized disabilities.