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Drugs & Alcohol

Ontario court confirms that employee with "anger management issues" not disabled under Code

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Public Safety

In Gulick v. Ottawa Police Service, 2012 ONSC 5536, the Ontario Superior court confirmed that an employee with "anger management issues" was not disabled for the purposes of the Ontario Human Rights Code and thus not entitled to accommodation.

Specifically, the court stated the following in this case, which involved the dismissal of a police officer:

[15] While the incident giving rise to the disciplinary hearing did involve
some consumption of alcohol and medications, the Hearing Officer found as a
fact that the incident was triggered by anger management issues with which the
applicant had been struggling for several years.  The Hearing Officer found
that alcohol was, at most, an exacerbating factor.  We are not aware of any
jurisprudence which has established that anger management issues will support a
finding of disability.  read more »

Supreme Court of Canada to hear union's appeal of case concerning random alcohol testing in workplace

In a decision issued on March 20, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada announced that it would hear the appeal of a case involving an employer's right to conduct random alcohol testing in the workplace

Some key facts concerning the case:  read more »

Appeal Court: Syncrude not "employer" under human rights legislation of contractor who failed drug test

Jurisdiction: - Alberta
Sector: - Oil & Gas

In Lockerbie & Hole Industrial Inc. v. Alberta (Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, Director), 2011 ABCA 3, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that Syncrude was not the "employer", within the meaning of the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act, of a contractor who failed a drug test.

The contractor was employed by another company, Lockerbie & Hole Industrial, that was providing services to Syncrude.

Notably, the Alberta Court of Appeal set out the following tests for determining this issue:

In summary, a contextual approach is required to decide whether a particular relationship qualifies as "employment" under the Act. A number of factors must be taken into consideration including:  read more »

New Brunswick court quashes arbitrators' ruling that random alcohol testing policy at mill was unreasonable

Jurisdiction: - New Brunswick
Sector: - Forestry

On judicial review. the New Brunswick Queens Bench court has quashed an arbitration board's ruling concerning the reasonableness of a worklace random alcohol testing policy.

In a decision issued November 16, 2009, the majority of the arbitration board had ruled that the policy was not reasonable and thus not enforceable.

The court's decision - which was issued on September 20, 2010 - has not yet been posted to publically accessible database. 

However, Toronto lawyer Dan Michaluk has been able to get his hands on the decision and has posted it on his "All About Information" blog:

Irving Pulp  & Paper, Limited v. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30, 2010 NBQB 294

Top 10 Canadian Cases on Workplace Privacy in Unionized Employment

Lancaster House presented an audio-conference last Thursday (May 13, 2010) on the "Top 10 Cases on Workplace Privacy in the Unionized Workplace". The cases covered  - there were more than 10 - were:

 read more »