Drug screening law in Canada has changed a lot recently, which can make it difficult for your business to keep up with new standards. As such, understanding legislation is key in making sure your business doesn't violate any human rights. So, before you start screening, remember...
You Can't Screen Employees With Intent To Deny Them A Job
Canada differs from the US in that it is illegal to screen job applicants before they are offered a job to turn them down for employment. As such, you can only screen potential employees after offering them a job before they start work. Furthermore, if an employee tests positive and is found to have a drug or alcohol addiction, your business is required by law to accommodate them. This is because the CHRA considers addiction as a form of disability, so turning down any applicants that have an addiction problem is considered discriminatory. However, applicants that test positive and are only recreational users are not protected under law, which will allow you to legally take action against them.
You Can Only Screen Employees If You Have Reasonable Cause
What your employees do in their spare time is legally not your concern. This means that random testing is often considered inappropriate in the business place for the most part. However, in the event of an accident, displays of dangerous behavior, or near miss incidents, you are allowed to screen an employee if drugs are suspected to be the cause of the incident. For maximum validity, you must screen employees as soon as possible after the event, and only after it has been determined that circumstances beyond their control were not the cause of the problem. Just keep in mind that once you decide to screen an employee, you'll have to have a good enough case to establish that drug testing was justified.
It Is Your Duty To Help Those With Addiction
Should an employee test positive and be confirmed for having a substance abuse problem, it is your business's duty to help them. This most commonly is done by setting them up with a substance abuse professional to make sure their claim of addiction is genuine. Once their addiction has been proven, generally it will be your company's responsibility to help get them into rehabilitation or other treatments. Should your company have a safety-sensitive environment as well, you also will be permitted to remove the employee from being able to work until they have completed a rehabilitation program. Afterward, they are required to return to the workplace and addiction can never be the basis for firing an employee unless said employee continues to relapse over and over.
So, by keeping these things in mind, hopefully your company will be better able to use a drug screening program effectively to keep order in the workplace. Click here for more information.