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Can a carrier require me to undergo a medical examination, including a drug and alcohol test, prior to hiring me?
Allan.F@XXX.net

The quick answer is YES. But like everything else in life, it's not quite that simple.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, it's a legal obligation of the employer to provide a safe working environment for all of his/her employees, as well as to protect the safety of the general public from endangerment by his/her workers. It follows, therefore, that the primary rational for requiring a medical examination is to promote safety in the workplace, and the requirement is particularly applicable to positions which are classified as "safety sensitive positions."

The Federal Government has never introduces a statute that specifically addresses the issue of a mandatory medical examination for prospective employees. Canadian transportation companies wishing to conduct business in the U.S. are compelled by U.S. law to under to undergo pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing.

The employer has taken the position that a potential employee has a "duty to accommodate," especially when meeting certain minimum requirements is a reasonable and bona fide occupational requirement.

The positive part to all of this, is that the Human Rights Commission has formulated a policy on employment-related medical examinations. The policy states that medical examinations are permitted only AFTER a "conditional offer of employment" has been made by the employer to the prospective employee.

Look on the positive side if you pass the medical, you've got the job.



Jim Park