June 09, 2017
As it is predicted that the Cannabis Act (to come into force July 1, 2018) will inevitably increase both recreational and medicinal marijuana use, employers across Canada are wondering how it will affect the workplace and how they can ensure the continued safety and performance of their employees. Darryl Hiscocks discusses the nuances of legalization and the concern of employers with the Financial Post.
Though it is clear that the reviewing and possible changing of workplace policies will be necessary, a major concern of employers is how to effectively determine improper marijuana use in the workplace without the help of immediate testing technology, and how to enforce reformed policies while avoiding discrimination claims.
While speaking on a panel at a seminar exploring legalization in the workplace, Torys counsel Darryl Hiscocks said that concerned employers are “worried that they are receiving little guidance from the federal government on how to enforce workplace safety under the new regime.”
In order to effectively change policies, employers will have to consider provincial human rights codes and collective agreements. It is the duty of the employer to ensure that employees who utilize marijuana for medicinal purposes be reasonably accommodated and employers should be wary of the “murkiness over marijuana use in the workplace” becoming a “legal battleground.”
To learn more about how legalization of marijuana will affect the workplace, click here.