Canadian HR Reporter

February 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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www.hrreporter.com 9 then you have to go through all sorts of hoops to try to get back in." Seizures of marijuana at the U.S. border went up considerably in the year after Canada legalized recreational cannabis, according to the CBC in January, citing figures provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). American officers seized 2,214 kg of marijuana at the border from travellers entering the U.S. between Nov. 1, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2019 — compared to 1,259 kg over the same period a year earlier — an increase in volume of about 75 per cent. Workplace education on cannabis As with a lot of cannabis-related topics, education can be a key tool for the employer, according to Daniel Safayeni, director of policy at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Ontario Cannabis Policy Council Toronto. "[The survey results] underscore the need for improved cannabis literacies not even for work purposes, you potentially could be deemed inadmissible.' "If that employee goes ahead and does it anyway and now can't actually travel to the U.S., even though travel to the U.S. was part of their job in the first place, that could potentially lead to much bigger HR/employment ramifications, because they've now frustrated their own employment contract, which previously required them to be able to travel abroad." Travelling with cannabis to the U.S. is not only illegal, says Choy, but "the simple answer is, from a crossing-into-the-United-States perspective, anything that Canadians want to do with regards to cannabis should stop before the border: Don't carry it across, don't go across to consume, don't go across to purchase, don't go across to participate in the industry —period — because any of those could trigger inadmissibility, [which] basically means that you're not allowed to go to the United States. And and policies around it in the workplace. It's worth noting that, prior to legalization, folks were smoking cannabis and edibles were available through illicit channels. In many ways, legalization has simply brought these challenges to the forefront," he says. "What's incumbent on industry and employers now is to ensure both their employees and employers are well enough educated around the rules around consumption in the workplace and that appropriate policies have been developed and clearly communicated to employees related to impairment and the potentially disciplinary measures that might come with that, and training managers on how to recognize signs of impairment or substance abuse and making sure that these issues are now coming to the forefront more comfortably rather than not being addressed at all." Employees who are considering travelling with cannabis should be forewarned, says Torscher, because "employers do have some power to issue discipline for conduct that happens outside of the workplace where it affects the reputation of the company." CHRR "From a crossing- into-the-U.S. perspective, anything that Canadians want to do with regards to cannabis should stop before the border." Veronica Choy, partner at Miller Thomson

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