This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approving Authority: Board of Governors
Original Approval Date: October 11, 2018
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: June 6, 2019
Office of Accountability: VP Finance and Administration
Administrative Responsibility: Human Resources and Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM)
1.01 To state the University’s expectation that all employees report to the workplace Fit for Work and remain Fit for Work and able to perform the essential duties of their job in a safe and effective manner.
1.02 To state the University’s commitment to support and accommodate employees, who may not be Fit for Work due to disability, as required under the Ontario Human Right Code; and to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees and others in accordance with the University’s obligation as an employer under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1990.
2.01 Employee: A person who performs work for wages in any capacity for the University.
2.02 Contractor: Any person(s) providing services or goods to the University under a contract or other agreement not paid as an employee through the University’s payroll system.
2.03 Fitness for Work: An employee is in a state (physically and psychologically) to perform the essential duties of their job competently and in a manner which does not compromise the safety and health of themselves or others.
2.04 On Duty: An employee is considered on duty any time they are conducting university business and undertaking duties and responsibilities associated with their contract of employment.
2.05 Safety Sensitive Position: A position that, if not performed in a safe manner, can cause direct and significant damage to property, and/or injury to the employee, others around them, the public and/or the immediate environment. This may include jobs requiring the operation of vehicles, machinery or equipment; working with hazardous materials; or jobs with responsibility for the health and safety of others.
2.06 Substance: Any substance that if consumed, has the effect of intoxicating the user and/or impairing their ability to perform their job duties. This includes but is not limited to alcohol, opiates, hallucinogens, cannabinoids (e.g. cannabis) or medication (either prescription or over the counter, including medical cannabis).
2.07 Workplace: Any site at which the employee works including any property or buildings owned, leased or managed by the University and any other place an employee is located while performing work for the University or while representing the University. This includes operating University equipment or a personal vehicle when the employee is On Duty.
3.01 This policy applies to all employees while On Duty. All University contractors are expected to adopt or follow University Policy 7.13 Contract Labour, and its program as it relates to their employees and their subcontractors’ employees (if any) when engaged in work on behalf of the University or while at any University workplace.
4.01.01 Employees shall report Fit for Work, and remain Fit for Work while On Duty, including all scheduled and unscheduled work (overtime, callback, etc.). Fitness for Work is of particular importance for employees in Safety Sensitive Positions.
4.01.02 Employees shall immediately inform their supervisor/manager if they are not Fit for Work. This includes situations where the employee has consumed a substance that impairs their ability to perform their job duties.
4.01.03 Employees shall immediately inform their supervisor/manager if they become aware of or witness behaviour giving rise to concerns about whether another employee or contractor is Fit for Work such that the health and safety of themselves or others may be compromised.
4.01.04 Where an employee requires accommodation for a medical condition that is affecting their Fitness to Work, including substance abuse or addiction, the accommodation will be coordinated through the Human Resources and/or SHERM department as per 8.7 Employment Accommodation Policy. Employees who work in Safety Sensitive Positions are required to disclose their use of prescription medication or other substances where such usage may adversely affect their Fitness to Work. Requests for accommodation may require reasonable medical documentation from the employee’s treating physician or other medical practitioner acceptable to the University in accordance with University policies and procedures.
4.01.05 The employee must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the University, that they are Fit for Work prior to resuming their duties. The University, through Human Resources or SHERM, may seek medical confirmation of Fitness to Work in accordance with the relevant Collective Agreement if applicable.
4.02.01 Managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees under their supervision are Fit for Work.
4.02.02 Managers and supervisors must prohibit, without exception, the performance of duties for employees in Safety Sensitive Positions where there is reason to believe the employee is not Fit for Work.
4.02.03 Managers and supervisors shall consult with Human Resources if they observe possible signs of Fitness to Work concerns with their employees (e.g. changes in attendance, performance, behaviour).
4.02.04 If an employee advises they are not Fit for Work, or is demonstrating behaviours that indicate they are not Fit for Work, the manager/supervisor will instruct the employee to temporarily cease their duties to allow for an appropriate assessment. This may include leaving the workplace in a safe manner to attend to their healthcare needs and to seek medical attention as required.
4.02.05 Managers and supervisors shall immediately report the incident to the Human Resources department or SHERM so that appropriate next steps can be identified.
4.03.01 The University will support and accommodate employees who disclose a disability (e.g. substance dependence or other medical issues affecting their Fitness to Work) to the point of undue hardship in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
4.03.02 Medical accommodations, including accommodation for addiction are coordinated and administered through the Human Resources department in accordance with the University’s Employment Accommodation Policy 8.7.
4.03.03 The University has a duty to inquire if an employee is demonstrating behaviours that may indicate a possible medical condition that is impacting their Fitness for Work (e.g. addiction, mental health condition).
4.03.04 Accommodation for employees in Safety Sensitive Positions must consider the potential health and safety risks involved for the employee and others, and may amount to undue hardship as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
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