Employee takes on HR over human right to smoke pot

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A bona fide medical marijuana user is taking his right to smoke pot at work all the way to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, after he says he was fired for the practice by TD Bank.

A sufferer of migraines and chronic back pain, David-George Oldham has been a licenced medical marijuana user since the end of 2013, when he began to smoke pot at work.

After being fired after in relation to a scenario involving his marijuana use, Oldham has lodged a complaint with the commission, though he is still awaiting a response.

Metro News reports that, when he one day came back from smoking smelling like pot, his HR managers asked him to produce proof of his medical marijuana license.

However Oldham rebuffed the HR team, as he had already shown his direct line managers, smoked off company property, and didn’t feel like he was doing anything wrong.

Metro News reported that Oldham felt the approach from HR was an invasion of privacy and a breach of trust.

The company’s HR department tried to schedule meetings with Oldham, but because he knew the subject was to be his pot use, he declined all approaches from the HR department.

He was later put on a paid leave of absence and then terminated by the company.

A statement from TD Corporate and Public Affairs department implied there was more to TD Bank’s side of the story, and that the company was in fact committed to a ‘healthy, inclusive and barrier-free workplace for all employees’ and that included medical conditions.
 

  • Mary on 2014-08-12 1:08:27 PM

    Fascinating - assuming he is alleging his conduct in relation to legitimate questions by HR is appropriate because he is a legitimate marijuana user. It appears that TD may be asserting that one has nothing to do with the other...which is true.

  • Marilyn Johnson on 2014-08-12 11:01:29 PM

    Employers beware and be ready. Understanding this new law is complex and leads to accommodation which under the Human Rights Act leads to yet more challenges. We are in overdrive with accommodation requirements in this country and most Canadian employers are not prepared. Legal marihuana along with the rash of other legislation hitting Canadian employers is not just for one province and will continue to form part of every agenda at the level of every government body across the country. Time is due for HR professionals to partner and be prepared, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Marilyn Johnson on 2014-08-12 11:01:42 PM

    Employers beware and be ready. Understanding this new law is complex and leads to accommodation which under the Human Rights Act leads to yet more challenges. We are in overdrive with accommodation requirements in this country and most Canadian employers are not prepared. Legal marihuana along with the rash of other legislation hitting Canadian employers is not just for one province and will continue to form part of every agenda at the level of every government body across the country. Time is due for HR professionals to partner and be prepared, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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