Taking the 'high' road

Alberta Court of Appeal clarifies enforcement of workplace drug and alcohol policies

Workplace drug and alcohol policies often tread tricky ground. Employers obviously want to eliminate drugs and alcohol from the workplace and the risks potentially intoxicated employees could cause — but it’s not always as simple as getting rid of employees caught with or intoxicated from those substances. In many cases, an employee may be in possession of or intoxicated by drugs or alcohol because of an addiction that qualifies as a disability that must be accommodated. However, a well-written and thoughtful policy can help an employer effectively deal with the problem of drugs or alcohol in the workplace — and accommodation isn’t always required, even if an employee claims a dependency.

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