Unions, employers face off on random drug testing

Employers push testing for safety-sensitive positions, unions say it is too intrusive
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 01/07/2013

Unions and employers are anxiously awaiting rulings in two high-profile court cases that could determine the future of random alcohol and drug programs in Canadian workplaces.

Both cases demonstrate the friction between workers and managers as they try to reconcile privacy and dignity with safety on the job.

In Alberta, the province’s Court of Appeal recently upheld an injunction halting the introduction of Suncor Energy’s new random drug and alcohol testing program until an arbitration board has ruled on a grievance objecting to the program.