Canadian Employment Law Today

September 16, 2015

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM40065782 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian September 16, 2015 Worker's fi ring after cocaine- fuelled accident upheld Safety sensitive employer's drug and alcohol policy didn't discriminate because worker had chance to seek help without penalty before accident BY JEFFREY R. SMITH AN ALBERTA worker's dismissal after he admitted to using cocaine following a workplace incident was not discriminatory because the worker had an opportunity to seek help for his addiction beforehand, the Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled. Ian Stewart was a heavy equipment opera- tor for Elk Valley Coal Corporation at a coal mine near the Cardinal River in Alberta. Stewart's duties included operating a 170- ton truck, a 260-ton truck, a wheel loader, and a plant loader. Elk Valley's mining operation had many hazards in the workplace, so it endeavoured to keep its workplace as safety sensitive as possible. is included an "alcohol, drugs and medications policy" that it implement- ed on May 2, 2005, updating an earlier policy Suspension set aside after confusion over safety rule pg. 3 Worker drove himself to receive treatment after injury with Meghan McCreary CREDIT: ALEX MALIKOV/SHUTTERSTOCK 7 common mistakes in employment agreements pg. 4 Avoiding these errors or ommissions can save employers a lot of grief and ensure their employment agreements are rock-solid ADVERSE on page 6 » ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Sharing employee ID numbers Care worker fi red for leaving work before relief arrives AN ONTARIO residential care facility had just cause to discipline an employee for leav- ing a high-needs resident before a replace- ment arrived, but not to dismiss the employ- ee, an arbitrator has ruled. Tasha Kupi was a residential counsellor for Community Living Huntsville in Hunts- ville, Ont. Kupi worked at a residential home that contained two diff erent facilities and was the primary caregiver for a resident who was severely autistic and had high needs. She also co-ordinated casework and supervised other residents in their daily living. Kupi was hired as a casual relief worker in March 2007 and became a full-time em- ployee of Community Living Huntsville in April 2008. Her employment agreement in- cluded a statement that she must be available to cover emergencies, illness and vacation if necessary, and that "additional hours are an accepted part of the job." is was particu- larly important because the resident Kupi looked after was high-needs and couldn't be left alone. Kupi received positive perfor- mance reviews, sometimes exceeding work expectations. On Feb. 1, 2014, Kupi was working an 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift looking after the resident. e resident was particularly anxious and Kupi had to administer medication to him twice. Near the end of the shift, the care worker who was supposed to take over caring for the resident at the end of Kupi's shift called in sick. e on-call supervisor asked another care worker to go through the call-in list and then Kupi took over calling people. How- ever, they were unable to fi nd someone to come in. One worker was willing but was un- able to fi nd someone to care for his children. e on-call supervisor didn't advise Kupi that no replacement had been found but as- sumed Kupi would stay with the high-needs resident until someone was able to come, RESIDENT on page 7 »

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