Ridout Barron


Employers unsure whether cannabis use can justify termination

In the 12 months since cannabis became legal across Canada in Oct. 2018, many employers are unsure about their rights when it comes to employees who are impaired by cannabis. This includes business owners in Alberta. While alcohol-impairment on the job might justify termination, does the same apply for cannabis impairment on the job?

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) surveyed business owners across the country. The results indicated that more than 50% of Canadian business owners are unsatisfied by the education their local governments provided about the cannabis legislation as it applies to employment. CFIB found that the number of businesses that reported cannabis-related incidents during the past year was higher for those with more than 100 employees than smaller concerns.

CFIB also reported that businesses in industries like hospitality where the safety of customers can be affected, and manufacturing in which co-worker safety could be threatened, were most concerned about the unanswered questions. CFBI came to the conclusion that all the local governments' information and education efforts lacked severely. The survey involved over 5,700 employers across Canada.

Employers in Alberta who encounter cannabis-related problems with their employees can get answers from an experienced lawyer. Legal counsel who is up to date with the latest employment laws can be an invaluable asset. A lawyer can inform employers of the relevant regulations and rules, their responsibilities, and explain their legal options. Instead of going ahead with the termination of an employee who was impaired by cannabis during work hours, seeking legal counsel instead can help to address the problem appropriately and lawfully.

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Ridout Barron

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