POLICIES OF THE VARIOUS CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONS
*Please note that web sites for cases referenced are in the legal overview
BARBARA BUTLER & ASSOCIATES INC.
1. Federal Human Rights Commission Policy – Revised October 2009
Subsequent to the Tribunal ruling, and in consideration of subsequent decisions, the Commission's policy on workplace programs and testing was revised, and is now posted on their web site. The Commission confirms this is not the law, but for federally regulated employers, the policy does provide the Commission's interpretation of the human rights limits on testing. It also confirms the obligation of employers to accommodate any applicant or current employee who tests positive and has an alcohol or drug dependency.
Briefly, the Policy states that testing would be acceptable in the following situations provided it is part of a broader program of medical assessment, monitoring and support:
In addition, pre-employment and random alcohol and drug testing is acceptable for commercial bus operators and truck drivers provided employees who are drug dependent are accommodated. Employers may be able to justify random and pre-employment testing for other safety-sensitive positions provided they establish testing is a bona fide occupational requirement.
The full policy can be found at: http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/eng/content/policy-alcohol-and-drug-testing
2. Provincial Human Rights Commission Policies
A number of the provincial commissions have revised and reissued their policies on workplace programs and testing.
Alberta: Alcohol and Drug Dependencies in Alberta Workplaces March 2012 http://www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/publications/bulletins_sheets_booklets/sheets/protected_grounds/drug_and_alcohol_dependencies.asp
Ontario: (minor technical revisions 2009) http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/Policies/PolicyDrugAlch
New Brunswick: their policy is not currently posted.
Newfoundland and Labrador: http://www.justice.gov.nl.ca/hrc/publications/index.html
Northwest Territories: their policy is not currently posted
Prince Edward Island: (updated 2010) http://www.gov.pe.ca/humanrights/index.php3?number=1037797&lang=E
Saskatchewan: (updated 2011) http://www.shrc.gov.sk.ca/publications.html
Although the other Commissions do not have specific statements on testing, they do provide guidance on discrimination because of a disability and employer obligations regarding accommodation.
British Columbia: http://www.cba.org/bc/public_media/rights/236.aspx
Nunavut: Human Rights Tribunal http://www.nhrt.ca/english/home