Canadian Employment Law Today

July 20, 2016

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 July 20, 2016 Random drug and alcohol testing at Suncor still possible Appeal court disagrees with arbitration board's methods of determining the existence of a problem in the workplace that justifi es random testing BY TIM MITCHELL A RANDOM drug and alcohol testing policy of Suncor workers has been reinstated by the Al- berta Court of Queen's Bench after the policy was struck down by an arbitration board. In 2012, oil company Suncor introduced a random drug and alcohol testing policy for all employees in safety-sensitive positions at its oil sands operations in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buff alo, Alta. e policy was part of an ar- ray of measures to ensure the safety of its work- force in an admittedly dangerous workplace. For many years, Suncor had been concerned about safety hazards posed by alcohol and drug use by individuals within the workplace. ere are many hazards at the sites of the oil sands operations, including heavy equipment, high voltage power lines, chemicals, radiation sources and explo- sives. Further, many large and complex mining and industrial equipment are used at these sites. Angry worker storms his way out of a job AN ONTARIO healthcare employer had just cause to dismiss a worker who demon- strated insubordinate and threatening be- haviour, an arbitrator has ruled. e worker was a part-time dietary aide for Specialty Care Trillium Centre, a facil- ity providing long-term care and retirement residences in Kingston, Ont. Hired in March 2006, the worker was a frequent presence in the centre's progressive discipline system. He accumulated a disciplinary record that included a verbal warning, a written warn- ing, and four separate suspensions of in- creasing length — one day, two days, three days, and fi ve days. In early 2014, the worker applied for a posted position in maintenance at the facil- ity. He took a test for the position on March 11. During the test, the worker became an- gry and upset, calling the test stupid and not right. Despite being told to calm down by the HR manager — who was administering the test — the worker became more agitated. Following the test, the worker went to the offi ce of the buildings operations manager — who had only been with the centre for one year at the time. e worker approached the manager aggressively, said the test was "bullshit" and the manager didn't know what he was doing. According to the manager, the worker was swearing and it was diffi cult to make out everything he was saying. e worker then backed off and apolo- gized for his tirade, but he soon became angry again and continued his aggressive behaviour. e manager asked him to leave and, concerned about such behaviour in a workplace with mostly female employees, he reported the incident to the HR manager and executive director. e HR manager added that the worker had followed him to his car after fi nishing the test. e Trillium Centre also learned that an- other dietary aide had seen the worker in his car in the parking lot a few days earlier with a gun. She said the worker took the gun out of a box and "pumped it." e worker called out to her and told her it was only a fake gun. e co-worker later told other employees about it and said that she had been scared at fi rst but believed him when he said it was fake. On March 14, management met with the Indicating availability not a request for work: Arbitrator pg. 3 Employee who said she was available for weekend work entitled to shift premium CREDIT: JEFF WHYTE/SHUTTERSTOCK Employer too quick to accuse worker of theft pg. 4 Company had reasons for suspicion but investigation was botched ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Transitioning from employee to independent contractor WORKER on page 7 » ASSESSMENT on page 6 » with Brian Johnston

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