Workplace Wire

Connecting employers to developments in labour, employment & pension law

No Evidence, No Dice: Drug Addiction Self-Assessment Not Enough

Terminating a unionized employee for substance abuse in the workplace is tricky, considering the duty to accommodate and the traditional mitigating factors arbitrators will consider when determining whether termination is an appropriate response (length of employment, discipline record, remorse, etc). A recent arbitration decision might bring some comfort to employers. In Vale (Manitoba Operations) v….

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Employee Privacy Wins Out Over Safety: The Supreme Court of Canada Weighs in on Random Alcohol Testing in the Workplace 
 


In a much-anticipated decision about random alcohol testing in hazardous unionized workplaces, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada decided that Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd.’s unilateral implementation of random alcohol testing for employees in safety-sensitive positions was an invalid exercise of management rights.  For a link to the decision click here. Facts Irving Pulp…

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Arbitrator Upholds Cause Termination of 37-Year Employee due to Safety Violations

In the context of labour arbitrations, long service has often been a factor invoked by arbitrators to mitigate against serious disciplinary consequences – particularly against terminations of employment for just cause. The employer in the case of Tonolli Canada Limited v. United Steelworkers, and its Local 9042 is in the business of recycling lead acid batteries.  Given that lead…

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