No need for history of workplace accidents for random drug and alcohol testing: Court (Legal view)

Testing policy applies to positions where risk to employees or environment exists
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/14/2010

A New Brunswick company should be allowed to use random drug and alcohol testing for safety-sensitive positions, the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench has ruled.

In 2006, Irving Pulp and Paper, based in Saint John, N.B., implemented a policy allowing for unannounced random drug and alcohol tests for employees in safety-sensitive positions and those returning to or starting a safety-sensitive position had to first pass a test.

Perley Day, a millwright in the maintenance department at Irving’s Saint John mill, was considered to be in a safety-sensitive position under the policy. On March 13, 2006, he was selected for a random breathalyzer test during his shift. Day, who was religious and said he hadn’t had a drink in 27 years, felt humiliated and degraded by the notification and testing process.