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TTC Drug Testing: Update

So the TTC has announced its intention to introduce drug-testing for employees, but it backed off significantly from its earlier threat to use random drug testing, a process that raises human rights issues.  Under the new policy, according to press reports, “TTC workers in safety-sensitive jobs will be tested if there is reasonable suspicion they have been using banned substances on the job or following an incident in which drug or alcohol use is suspected as a factor.”   In other words, there needs to be reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use, and the person must be in a ‘safety-sensitive’ job.  

More mysterious is the claim in the news stories that ‘applicants’ will be subjected to the tests.  It’s not clear whether that means all applicants, or just applicants that appear drunk or to be on drugs.  Do you think that the TTC can require job applicants to ‘pee into a jar’, to borrow the words of the Union President without running afoul of the Human Rights Code prohibition on discrimination on the basis of disability (which includes drug and alcohol addiction)?

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2 Responses to TTC Drug Testing: Update

  1. Ryan Reply

    September 19, 2008 at 11:52 am

    If it’s a safety-sensitive position, then I think the TTC can legitimately argue BFOR for drug testing applicants. No human rights tribunal would hold that alcoholics or potheads – “disabilities” that impair perception and response time – deserve equal treatment under the code with respect to the chance to drive buses or operate subways. They are entitled, however, to equal opportunity for other positions, like toll collecting and such. Drug testing those applicants serves no rational basis.

  2. Peter Cholakis Reply

    September 24, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Random drug testing of employees is clearly allowable, and should be done without any reservation. Not doing so is clear mismanagement and in direct violation of safety laws.

    Testing applicants is allow allowable… the issue is really what do you do with a “Positive” result.

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