Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace

In Ontario drug testing is considered discriminatory except for a few exceptions and a considerable onus is placed on the employer
By Chris Foulon
|Canadian Employment Law Today

We are often approached by employers in Ontario, who are subsidiaries of American corporations, regarding the ability to conduct drug and alcohol testing of employees in Ontario. Typically the American parent company has unilaterally decided that the drug and alcohol policies it has in place in the United States should be implemented in the branch plant or office in Ontario.

It is typically the human resources person in the Ontario subsidiary that raises an eyebrow and decides they better get a legal opinion regarding the availability of such a policy in Ontario.

It is the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s view that drug and alcohol testing in employment is discriminatory and can only be used in limited circumstances. It is the commission’s view that the primary reason for conducting such testing should be to measure impairment.