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Event Details

Date: Tue. Jan 23, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

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Baker McKenzie
BCE Place 
181 Bay Street 
Suite 2100
Toronto, Ontario

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Marijuana at Work – The Times They Are A Changin’


Is your workplace adequately prepared to address the human rights, health and safety, and disciplinary issues associated with medical and recreational marijuana use at work? 

Bottom Line: Medical marijuana use is on the rise and it is expected that recreational marijuana will be legalized across Canada as soon as July 1, 2018. An employer has a right and obligation to ensure that its workplace is safe. An employer is also entitled to expect its employees to be productive. At the same time, an employer must respect and comply with existing laws, including human rights legislation. 

The Challenge: Balancing employer safety and productivity concerns with employee privacy and human rights, all in light of impending recreational cannabis legalization across Canada. 

The Key Questions:

  • An employee is choosing to treat his/her illness with medical marijuana. What information is the employer entitled to about that choice? Does it have the right to ask the employee to take other medication? What about safety or productivity concerns?
  • I have concerns about what clients will think if they see or smell employees smoking marijuana at work. What can I do about this concern? Do I have to allow employees to smoke medical marijuana at work?
  • Once marijuana becomes legalized, what can I do to address company concerns about use, possession and/or impairment at work?
  • What do I do if I think an employee is impaired?
  • Are employees required to disclose to the employer if they are using marijuana and/or other drugs? What if they have a substance abuse problem?
  • Is drug testing allowed? If so, under what circumstances? 

Getting the Answers: Staying current with the many moving parts of this emerging issue and avoiding stereotypes are essential to limiting the legal, productivity and other risks associated with managing marijuana at work.  The key elements to understand are:

  • The legislative landscape, including the existing medical cannabis framework, the developing recreational framework, and the scope of health and safety and human rights obligations;
  • Effective performance management in the workplace;
  • Proper policy development and application;
  • Appropriate investigations and discipline. 

Our Hour Together: The objective of this session is to help position you for success in managing marijuana-related issues in the workplace. The goal will be to cover the key issues of concern to employers in relation to this topic, and leave you with a plan to effectively and proactively deal with these issues in your workplace.



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