Cannabis & Legal Regulations in the Canadian Workplace

Cannabis & Legal Regulations in the Canadian Workplace

Since 2018, using, buying, selling, and growing Cannabis has become legal in Canada for adults over the age of nineteen. Ontario allows for cannabis to be used wherever smoking is allowed. Because of this new change, there have been many questions about what kind of regulations are in place to control the use of Cannabis during work hours or recreationally off duty. For example, concerns with testing protocols, how much cannabis can be in the system, whether some workers have to avoid the recreational drug altogether etc., are just some of the questions that have arisen.

The Human Rights Code indicates that it protects anyone who is permitted to use the drug for medical reasons, like those who have a disability, from being discriminated in the workplace. In these cases, the employee who is required to use Cannabis needs to be accommodated accordingly by the employer. However, this code indicates that the employer is required to accommodate only if the employee with the disability can safely complete the work responsibilities that are expected of them. Employers will make arrangements with their employees in accordance with their circumstances.

But what about those who use Cannabis solely for recreational purposes? According to the Policy Statement on Cannabis and the Human Rights Code, there are regulations in place to make sure certain standards are being followed by most employees.

Regulations Specific to the Workplace

The Human Rights Code asserts that in Ontario, employees are not allowed to smoke or consume cannabis in the enclosed space of the workplace. Further, employers may assume that no employee is under the influence of cannabis at the workplace.

These regulations may seem contradictory. Yet, the purpose of these regulations appears to be in place to make sure the workplace is as safe as possible and that employees are working attentively.

As mentioned previously, there are exceptions for those who have health or disability reasons for using the drug. During the accommodation process, each party, both the employee and the employer, need to participate willingly and welcome the adaptation. The employer is expected to follow the accommodation regulations, unless the employee is not willing to fully contribute or disclose information throughout the process.

If you have any questions about cannabis regulations or accommodations that are not being met, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.