Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador Court Holds Employers Must Conduct Individualized Assessments of Whether Medical Cannabis Users Can Safely Perform Their Jobs Without Undue Hardship

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Summary

Lower Churchill Transmission Construction Employers’ Association Inc., 2020 NLCA 20 (“International Brotherhood”), the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador overturned the decision of the province’s Supreme Court, which addressed an employer’s obligation to accommodate medical cannabis use for workers in safety-sensitive positions. The case involves an employee denied employment on a safety-sensitive construction project due to his use of medically prescribed cannabis. The decision of the Court of Appeal may be subject to appeal. The Court of Appeal’s analysis is consistent with the procedural and substantive elements of the duty to accommodate. The court said: …the analysis requires an assessment regarding what alternatives were investigated by the employer that may have allowed for individual testing of the grievor.

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By Rhonda B. Levy and Monty Verlint on ….July 14, 2020

Rhonda B. Levy

Knowledge Management Counsel Toronto, ON rlevy@littler.com (647) 256-4545

Monty Verlint

Partner Toronto, ON mverlint@littler.com (647) 256-4506

On June 4, 2020, in International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1620 v. Lower Churchill Transmission Construction Employers’ Association Inc., 2020 NLCA 20 (“International...

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