Sabotaging Drugs and Alcohol Testing Just Cause for Termination: Alberta Arbitrator Finds

A worker who carelessly moved a heavy toolbox with a forklift causing it to fall and break was correct to immediately report the incident; however, he refused to submit to a drug and alcohol testing. According to the company’s Drug and Alcohol Policy, a worker may be asked, based on reasonable grounds, to submit to drug and alcohol testing following an incident.

The worker underwent drug and alcohol testing the following day. His test results were diluted and inconclusive. Two days of testing followed. At the lab, the worker’s behaviour was abusive, obnoxious, aggressive and offensive.

The worker acknowledged that he set out to sabotage the test results. The arbitrator had no difficulty in finding that no company should have to tolerate the type of conduct displayed by the worker. The worker destroyed the trust and respect which is essential in an employment relationship. Not only was some discipline warranted for the worker’s carelessness in moving the toolbox, but his insolent and insubordinate behaviour following the incident by refusing immediate testing in addition to his behaviour at the lab justified the termination of his employment. 

Finning (Canada) v International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local Lodge 99, 2012 CanLII 12066 (AB GAA),

Lindsay Mullen

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