Re­stric­tive poli­cies chal­lenged

New recre­ational mar­i­juana law sparks re­newed em­ployer-labour strife

StarMetro Vancouver - - DAILY LIFE - Dan Heal­ing

28

CAL­GARY—THE le­gal­iza­tion of recre­ational mar­i­juana next week is re­open­ing old wounds and spark­ing new bat­tles be­tween em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees in high-risk jobs that could wind up in the court sys­tem.

A re­cent de­ci­sion by Air Canada to pro­hibit all em­ploy­ees in flight op­er­a­tions and air­craft main­te­nance from us­ing cannabis at all times, both on-duty and off­duty, has raised eye­brows on both sides of the de­bate.

Niki Lundquist, a lawyer with Uni­for, a union that rep­re­sents 315,000 Cana­dian work­ers, said the trend is all too com­mon.

“In the past two weeks we’ve been in­un­dated with amended drug and al­co­hol poli­cies — and those poli­cies A re­cent de­ci­sion by Air Canada to pro­hibit all em­ploy­ees in flight op­er­a­tions and air­craft main­te­nance from us­ing cannabis at all times, both on-duty and off-duty, has raised eye­brows on both sides of the de­bate.

ac­tu­ally pur­port to reg­u­late off-duty con­duct, so use of any kind,” she said.

The union is writ­ing opin­ions on why such poli­cies won’t stand scru­tiny, as well

as fil­ing griev­ances. It’s pre­par­ing to take em­ploy­ers to court, if nec­es­sary, to prove Cana­dian law doesn’t al­low such “in­tru­sions on em­ploy­ees’ dig­nity and pri­vacy,” she

said.

Sev­eral stud­ies pub­lished over the past year have shown that many em­ploy­ers in Canada aren’t ready for le­gal­iza­tion. More at thes­tar.com/busi­ness

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

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