Recreational cannabis is very much in the spotlight as the date for legalization approaches. Yet issues related to employee use of medical cannabis are still front and centre for many employers, as demonstrated by a pair of recent arbitration decisions: Re IBEW, Local 1620 and Lower Churchill Transmission Construction Employers Assn. Inc. (Uprichard) (2017), 281 LAC (4th) 246 (“Lower Churchill 1”) and Re Lower Churchill Transmission Construction Employers Assn. Inc. and IBEW, Local 1620 (Tizzard) 2018 Carswell Nfld 198 (“Lower Churchill 2”).
Both decisions apply long-standing principles of accommodation to emerging issues of cannabis in the workplace. Lower Churchill 1 confirms that it is an underlying disability, not the prescription for cannabis, that will trigger the employer’s duty to accommodate. Lower Churchill 2 is an encouraging result for employers with safety sensitive workplaces in that the arbitrator held that the employer’s inability to effectively measure and monitor residual impairment from medical cannabis used outside of work hours constituted undue hardship. Both decisions are outlined below. Continue Reading Inability to Monitor Residual Impairment From Medical Cannabis May Constitute Undue Hardship