Canadian HR Reporter

May 2018 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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PM40065782 RO9496 THE NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT May 2018 Marijuana testing proves complicated Comparing cannabis to alcohol wrong approach, say experts BY MARCEL VANDER WIER UNDER Canadian law, it is rea- sonable for employers to expect employees to conduct their work while sober. Yet, with the legalization of recreational cannabis expected later this year and impairment diffi cult to detect, employers are concerned about workplace safety. "When it comes right down to it, I feel like we don't really under- stand what the safety implications are," said Nancy Carnide, post- doctoral fellow at the Institute of Work and Health in Toronto. "Using it before work, using it at work, certainly that's problem- atic," she said during the keynote address at a human rights confer- ence in Toronto in April. "But using it on a Friday night… some people should be fi ne on a Monday morning and others may not be. at's dependent on the person." Cannabis is a complex plant in terms of its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) components, said Mark Ware, director of clinical research at the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, and vice-chair of the task force that provided guidance to the Cana- dian government in its eff ort to legalize and regulate marijuana. "When you talk about cannabis, you're talking about a complex bo- tanical substrate and THC is the predominant psychoactive drug," he said at the conference. "It's not a simple, easy subject to tackle... and coupled with that ACCIDENT LEADS TO MANSLAUGHTER CONVICTION Burden of proof less than that for criminal negligence: Expert BY SARAH DOBSON I n a fi rst for Canada, an employer has been con- victed of manslaughter in relation to an occupa- tional health and safety incident. And the con- viction could mean other cases already before the courts face the same fate, according to one expert. e case involved Sylvain Fournier, owner of an ex- cavation company who was on-site in Montreal with several employees in 2012 replacing a sewer line. is involved excavating a trench, but when the trench's walls suddenly collapsed, one of the workers, Gilles Lévesque, was buried beneath the earth and died. Fournier was charged with criminal negligence causing death for not taking the required measures to prevent bodily harm in directing the work done by his employee. He was also charged with causing the death of Lévesque. In a March 1 decision, a judge found Fournier's be- haviour constituted an "unlawful act" that was "objec- tively dangerous" and was responsible for the worker's death. e contractor's behaviour also showed a sig- nifi cant lack of judgment compared to that of a rea- sonable person in the same circumstances. " e conduct of the accused constitutes an un- lawful act, a clear contravention of the obligations set out in section 3.15.3 of the Safety Code for the construction industry, in that the accused… did not ensure that the walls of the trench in question were securely stanched with the materials required," said Judge Pierre Dupras (translated). e Quebec court also ruled that Fournier failed to fulfi l his legal duty to protect the health and safety of his employee and showed wanton or reckless disre- gard for the employee's safety. " e behaviour in question is distinctly character- ized by indiff erence, detachment and disinterested- ness, and reveals a complete lack of consideration of its foreseeable consequences," said Dupras. "None of the measures imposed by regulation or by law have been put in place to ensure the safety of Mr. Lévesque. Moreover… the accused paid no attention Credit: Aisyaqilumaranas (Shutterstock) A worker's 2012 death at a construction site in Montreal has led to a manslaughter conviction for the company's owner. IT'LL > pg. 10 CONSERVATIVE > pg. 15 Credit: The Adaptive (Shutterstock) Confronting domestic violence Family murder in Ontario highlights challenges for employers page 2 Rocking appreciation Five strategies to build a high-performance culture page 16 page 23 Boosting bene ts for mental health The Co-operators, RBC and Sun Life offer greater support for employees while hoping to see reduced costs elsewhere HOW WILL YOU APPROACH YOUR NEXT AGREEMENT ? Dismissal after Fort McMurray wild res Suncor claims worker changed his story, but arbitrator nds otherwise page 5

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