Work­place safety key in cannabis case

The Prince George Citizen - - Worklife - James KONDOPLOS, Bobby SANGHA

Few head­lines have gar­nered more at­ten­tion in the Cana­dian me­dia this year than the le­gal­iza­tion of cannabis.

While the an­nounce­ment has been well re­ceived by some, many em­ploy­ers re­main con­cerned about work­place safety.

Adding to the con­cern for em­ploy­ers is the hu­man rights duty to ac­com­mo­date an em­ployee who has been pre­scribed med­i­cal mar­i­juana to deal with a phys­i­cal or men­tal health con­di­tion. A re­cent labour arbitration de­ci­sion out of At­lantic Canada may, how­ever, help to clar­ify the law around ac­com­mo­dat­ing em­ploy­ees who use med­i­cal mar­i­juana.

In Lower Churchill Trans­mis­sion Con­struc­tion Em­ploy­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion Inc. and IBEW Lo­cal 1620 (Tiz­zard griev­ance), ar­bi­tra­tor John Roil con­sid­ered whether an em­ployer’s in­abil­ity to ac­cu­rately mea­sure the im­pair­ing ef­fects of cannabis in the con­text of a safety-sen­si­tive po­si­tion amounted to un­due hard­ship un­der hu­man rights law.

Back­ground

Harold Tiz­zard ap­plied for a labourer po­si­tion with Valard Con­struc­tion LP. The com­pany was seek­ing per­son­nel for its con­tract­ing

CI­TI­ZEN NEWS SER­VICE PHOTO

A man holds a hand­ful of dried mar­i­juana flow­ers on the day recre­ational cannabis be­came le­gal, in Van­cou­ver, on Oct. 17.

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