An Alberta Court has recently granted an interim injunction temporarily barring an employer from implementing a random drug and alcohol testing policy.
The employer announced an intention to implement random drug and alcohol testing to workers employed in safety-sensitive and other specified positions. The Union brought a grievance challenging the lawfulness of the policy and sought an interim injunction to prevent the policy from being implemented until a final determination can be made by a grievance arbitrator.
Although the Court accepted that the work being performed by the employees was inherently dangerous and that the policy was designed to address the risks in the workplace when drugs and alcohol are consumed, the Court balanced these considerations against the personal privacy, dignity and bodily integrity interests of the employees.
The Court concluded that the policy could cause employees to suffer irreparable harm and granted the interim injunction barring the employer from implementing the policy until the grievance arbitrator makes a determination on the grievance.
The employer has appealed this ruling to the Alberta Court of Appeal. The Appeal is scheduled to be heard by the end of November.
If you have any questions about the implications of this decision, how to properly implement random drug and alcohol testing, or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.
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