No one-size-fits-all cannabis testing in the workplace, study finds

No one-size-fits-all cannabis testing in the workplace, study finds

  • September 2019
  • Posted By Kathryn Mccormick

The recently released Fit for Duty: Alcohol and Drug Testing in Canadian Workplaces report examined alcohol and drug testing in the workplace.

Below is a brief recap of the results.

Among other findings, it became clear that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.

41% of organisations have some sort of employee drug and alcohol testing protocols in place.

Of these, 91% claim that fitness for duty is the main reason behind testing employees.

Monica Haberl, senior research associate at The Conference Board of Canada, says that testing for cannabis in the workplace is a complex endeavour.

The connection between the level of impairment and the consumption is not clear enough.

The key findings of the report were:

  • Cannabis is tricky to test for. Even if someone tests positive for it, assuming that they are impaired is not correct.
  • A one-size-fits-all policy does not exist. 91% of employee testing aims to determine whether the employee is fit for work. But it should be kept in mind that not every workplace is the same, so consequences of impairment have a different effect in each case.
  • The perfect test is a myth. Employers should choose one based on the policy they have in place. 40% of organisations have a zero-tolerance policy, while 70% have a fitness-for-duty policy.
  • Drug and alcohol testing should be part of a bigger programme.


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