Stewart McKelvey

Vol 3 Issue 3 Fall 2013

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REASONABLE CAUSE: A necessary prerequisite for random alcohol testing policies By Mark Tector, Steve Carpenter, Melissa Everett Withers and Ruth Trask T he Supreme Court of Canada ("the Court") recently released CEP Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd., 2013 SCC 34 saying that an arbitration board's decision to strike down a random alcohol testing component of an employer's drug and alcohol policy was reasonable. Background: The employer operates a pulp mill. Like other operators of dangerous facilities it implemented a drug and alcohol policy that included random alcohol testing for employees in designated safety sensitive positions. The employer relied in part on eight documented incidents of alcohol use at the workplace over a 15-year period to justify its policy. At arbitration, and before each subsequent court, the issue was whether an employer must establish "reasonable cause" before implementing a random alcohol testing policy. 2 FALL 2013 Doing Business in Atlantic Canada

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