Metrolinx banning some employees from using cannabis off-duty

Jan 28 2019, 5:05 pm

Metrolinx has recently updated an employee policy that would prohibit some workers from being able to use cannabis while off duty, which is a move the union representing the workers calls disappointing.

The union also says it’s currently looking at exploring possible legal challenges to the policy.

“We are extremely disappointed. We will be looking at every legal option and every legal challenge possible to protect our members’ constitutional rights, said Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1587 in a statement.

Last week, Metrolinx updated its ‘Fit for Duty’ policy to ban cannabis use by employees in “safety sensitive positions.”

The prohibition applies to those workers whether they are on or off-duty, Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster said in a statement.

“Our priority is the safety of our customers and our services. Safety cannot ever be jeopardized. Because of the effects of cannabis on people who use it, we have to ensure that those employees in specific safety roles are not using cannabis before coming on duty,” continued Verster. 

Starting on February 1, workers in safety-sensitive positions with Metrolinx are prohibited from consuming cannabis whether they are on or off duty.

Local 1587 President, Chris Broeze says, “Banning responsible marijuana use off-duty does nothing to improve safety. What will be next, a ban on off-duty alcohol use?”

Recreational cannabis use has been legal since October 2018, and the union points out that there have been “zero incidents” involving cannabis and safety among its members.

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