Case reconsidered after worker fired for hiding medical marijuana use

IBEW appeals ruling to Supreme Court
By Jeffrey Smith
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 06/12/2017

A Newfoundland and Labrador worker who was fired for failing to disclose his use of medical marijuana is having his case sent back to arbitration for reconsideration on whether there was sufficient cause for dismissal.

Brandon Uprichard, 37, was hired by Valard Construction — a utility contractor based in Edmonton — in April 2015 to be a structural assembler for the transmission line of the Lower Churchill Project, also known as the Muskrat Falls Project, in Labrador. Uprichard had worked previously on transmission line projects for Valard in Alberta and British Columbia.

Uprichard suffered from chronic pain in his back, knees and hands. When prescribed pain medication caused stomach problems and made him concerned he would become addicted, he decided to start using marijuana. The drug provided Uprichard with relief from his pain symptoms without any side effects, so after using it illegally for six months, he went to see a doctor who prescribed it for him in December 2014.