All employers want their employees to report to work fit to perform their duties. Fitness for work is particularly important for safety-sensitive employers, as the consequences of an impaired employee making a mistake can be significant for the employee, other employees, and even the public.
However, the standards around what constitutes being fit for work can change, so employers have to be aware of evolving practices and legal obligations around what they can and can’t do in determining if employees are not impaired on the job and able to safety do the work.
Recently, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police changed its rules for front-line officers and others in safety-sensitive positions from a complete prohibition on using recreational cannabis use for one month before duty to just being fit to perform their duties when they report for work. It’s a change that reflects an increasing social and legal acceptance of cannabis as well as the reality that past use of cannabis doesn’t necessarily mean impairment.