Canada: Medical Marijuana: Limits To Consumption In Unionized Workplaces


A latest labour arbitration determination from Saskatchewan has recommended what the boundaries round office consumption of medical marijuana is perhaps.

In Kindersley (City) v Canadian Union of Public Workers, Native 2740, 2018 CanLII 35597 (SK LA), an worker was dismissed for vaping medical marijuana whereas working the employer’s car. The worker had beforehand disclosed to his employer that he had had a prescription for medical marijuana and was allowed to vape marijuana within the office.

The worker was not allowed to function an employer car for roughly 30 minutes following vaporization of marijuana. He was additionally not permitted to function heavy equipment for 1 hour after vaping.

The worker was later found to have been vaping whereas driving and instantly earlier than driving, in line with his co-workers. Because of this, the employer summarily dismissed the worker.

The worker’s union filed a grievance difficult the summarily dismissal. The arbitration board held that, regardless of the dearth of proof of the worker’s impairment on a stability of chances, the vaping of marijuana instantly previous to and whereas working the car entitled the employer to summarily dismiss him. The board additionally emphasised the truth that the worker appeared to lack respect for the bounds of his employer’s medical lodging of him, and cared little for the security of his coworkers by vaping whereas different staff have been within the car with him.

The arbitration board discovered the choice to summarily dismiss was not extreme self-discipline. The board famous that whereas the worker shouldn’t be disadvantaged of utilizing marijuana for the medical function supposed, finally “there isn’t any motive he couldn’t have carried out this extra discreetly quite than within the presence of his co-workers and whereas driving.”

What does this case inform us?

Whereas it’s a Saskatchewan determination, the identical ideas apply in Ontario: having a prescription for medical marijuana is just not a free licence to devour it at any time when and wherever you want, significantly whereas working for an employer. Furthermore, even when your employer has expressly accommodated you by permitting you to devour marijuana within the office, not adhering to the phrases of that lodging might end in dismissal with out discover.

It’s also essential to notice this case applies to unionized staff, who’ve larger protections from dismissal than non-unionized staff. This implies that, in a non-unionized office, the edge for misconduct meriting dismissal primarily based on the consumption of medical marijuana could possibly be decrease.

All employers should accommodate staff with a incapacity to the purpose of undue hardship in line with human rights legal guidelines. This might embody permitting staff to make use of medical marijuana whereas at work. Nevertheless, staff should adjust to the bounds of an employer’s lodging, in order to keep away from undesirable disciplinary measures.

If you want extra details about these amendments, or would love authorized recommendation to make sure your place of job is compliant, please contact skilled employment lawyer Marty Rabinovitch of Devry Smith Frank LLP at 416-446-5826 or [email protected]

“This text is meant to tell. Its content material doesn’t represent authorized recommendation and shouldn’t be relied upon by readers as such. In the event you require authorized help, please see a lawyer. Every case is exclusive and a lawyer with good coaching and sound judgment can offer you recommendation tailor-made to your particular scenario and desires.”

The content material of this text is meant to offer a basic information to the subject material. Specialist recommendation must be sought about your particular circumstances.


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