Tag: drug addiction

Opioid Crisis: What Is Needed Most from HR?

When it comes to dealing with opioid addiction in the workplace, it’s not always immediately clear what’s needed most from HR: Is it compassion? A dose of tough love? A strategic focus on the hard facts?

Opioid Crisis: 5 Tips to Address Addiction in the Workplace

Like abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs, the nation’s growing opioid epidemic is presenting workplace challenges. The current opioid epidemic has been called the worst drug crisis in American history, reaching every corner of society, including workplaces both large and small. This epidemic involves the use of prescription opioid (pain) medications and illicit drugs, including […]

In ‘denial’: Alberta Court of Appeal revisits addiction in the workplace

by Hannah Roskey The Alberta Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corporation, a must-read for Canadian employers dealing with employee addiction issues. In lengthy reasons, a majority of the court agreed that there was no discrimination when an employee under the influence of cocaine was fired following a […]

Not all relapses are created equal

by Stephanie Gutierrez An addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is considered a disability in Canada. As such, employers in Canada often enter into last chance agreements with employees suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. But does a last chance agreement always mean it’s the employee’s “last chance”? Not necessarily.

‘But it was due to my addiction’—when is last-minute confession too late?

By Kyla Stott-Jess It is not uncommon for an employee to disclose an addiction only when being terminated for misconduct that may be related to the employee’s substance abuse. The employee then tries to trigger human rights protections due to his or her “disability.” A recent Alberta court decision, Bish v. Elk Valley Coal Corporation, […]

Better an addict than a thief: disciplining drug- and alcohol-dependent employees

By Jennifer M. Shepherd and Hannah Roskey It’s well established that discrimination against an employee on the basis of a physical or mental disability is prohibited in Canada. Drug or alcohol addictions constitute a “disability” under most human rights legislation such that employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of their addictions. […]

Ruling Helps Alberta Employers Defend Preemployment Testing Challenges

by Michael Ford McCarthy Tetrault A long-awaited ruling of the Alberta Court of Appeal clears up some questions related to preemployment drug and alcohol testing related to safety-sensitive positions. The case – Chiasson v. Kellogg Brown & Root issued December 28, 2007 – involved an admitted casual user of marijuana being terminated from his employment […]