Unionized drug testing dealt blow (Legal view)

But Ontario Court of Appeal decision leaves door open for non-unionized employers
By Ailsa Wiggins
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/13/2009

Attempts by Ontario employers with unionized workplaces to deter alcohol and drug impairment in the workplace with random testing programs may have been foiled by the Ontario Court of Appeal. In a unanimous decision, the court has upheld an arbitrator’s ruling that employers cannot implement random drug and alcohol testing in a unionized workplace without the union’s consent.

Imperial Oil testing program challenged in Entrop

Imperial Oil has promoted alcohol and drug policies as an important component of workplace health and safety programs for many years. In 1992, the petroleum company introduced an alcohol and drug policy that featured testing in circumstances such as: after an incident; where there was reasonable cause to suspect impairment; as part of a rehabilitation program; certification for safety-sensitive positions; and random alcohol and drug testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions.