Positive drug test not cause for dismissal (Legal view)

Rail worker given job back despite testing positive for marijuana following incident
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/29/2008

A railway worker in British Columbia has been given his job back after an arbitrator ruled he shouldn’t have been fired for failing a post-incident drug test.

Michael Johnson worked as a track maintainer for Canadian National Railway Company (CNR) in Weslang, B.C. On Nov. 5, 2007, he was overseeing the safety of track work when he saw a boom crane interfering with the track. While talking to the crane operator, the foreman of the contracted construction company came over and got involved in an argument with Johnson. During the dispute, the foreman claimed, Johnson approached him with his telephone and pushed it into his face.

The foreman filed a complaint and the next day Johnson’s supervisor discussed the incident with him. The matter was treated as an incident and, under company policy, Johnson was required to undergo a post-incident drug test through urinalysis.