Policy Details

4000-5-7 Fit for Duty

Responsible Executive Senior vice-President, Strategy & Corporate Services
Director, Finance
Issue Date February 19, 2013
Supersedes Date February 19, 2013
Replaces Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy
Last Review August 26, 2020
Last Revision August 26, 2020

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

It is in the interests of both the College and the individual employee that appropriate action be taken as early as possible when it appears that an individual's performance and/or safety is being adversely affected by the misuse of alcohol, cannabis or other substances.

It is recognized that excessive or inappropriate use of any substance can result in physical and/or mental illness and that such illness can, in many cases, be successfully treated. The College will provide assistance, up to the point of undue hardship, in the treatment and rehabilitation of employees whose unsatisfactory performance or improper conduct can be attributed to disability, including addiction. Identifying, addressing and treating the substance abuse of an employee is not intended as a disciplinary process. The objective is to eliminate the negative impacts of substance abuse on the employee and on the employee's relationship with the College.


Employee Obligations

  1. All employees must report to work fit for duty and remain fit for duty while on duty, including scheduled and unscheduled work (overtime, call back, etc.). For those employees in safety-sensitive positions, fitness for duty is of critical importance.
  2. The employee is responsible for disclosing to the College at the beginning of the employment relationship and at any time thereafter if the employee has or develops substance abuse or dependency that could create a safety hazard to the individual or other workers, to the work environment or that could negatively affect the employee's performance.
  3. Employees shall immediately inform their supervisor if they are not fit for duty, including in those situations where an employee has consumed a substance that impairs their ability to perform job duties or perform their duties in a safe manner.
    1. The employee must report to their supervisor if they are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications or any other substance that may prevent the safe operation of machinery or vehicles or present a hazard to themselves, others or the environment. Impairment at work is never justified regardless of the legality of the substance.
  4. The employee must cooperate with any accommodation plans and supports provided by the employer in support of the treatment of the substance abuse.
  5. Employees shall immediately inform their supervisor if they become aware of or witness behaviour giving rise to concerns about whether another employee or contractor is fit for duty.

Supervisor Obligations

  1. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring employees or contractors under their supervision are fit for duty while on duty.
  2. Supervisors must prohibit, without exception, the performance of duties by employees where there is reason to believe the employee is not fit for duty.
  3. The employee's supervisor, on becoming aware that the deterioration in an employee's performance or behaviour may be the result of substance abuse, must:
    1. address the matter with the employee in an effort to confirm if substance abuse is at issue with the employee;
    2. explain the College policy;
    3. advise the employee of the services available through the College Employee Family Assistance Plan (EFAP); and,
    4. if necessary, initiate a referral for treatment in a substance abuse program through the Human Resources department of .
  4. If performance or behavioural issues continue or the employee is unwilling to discuss the work performance or behavioural issues with the supervisor, the supervisor shall meet with the Human Resources department to determine a course of action.


  1. The Human Resources department and the supervisor, in consultation with the appropriate medical or health professionals, will determine what accommodations, if any, will be taken in response to a disclosure of substance abuse.
  2. If accommodations are to be implemented, and conditional upon the approval of the employee, the Human Resources department will work in joint consultation with the employee's manager, a representative of the employee's union if requested, and the appropriate medical professional(s) to determine the accommodation plan.
  3. If the employee does not voluntarily enter a treatment program and the College determines that the employee requires treatment to address performance, behavioural or other workplace problems, then the College may inform the employee that continued employment with the College will be conditional upon attendance and participation in an appropriate diagnosis and treatment program as determined in consultation with the Human Resources department.
  4. The employee must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the College, that he/she is fit for duty prior to resuming duties. The College may seek medical confirmation of fitness for duty.
  5. The College will take all reasonable steps to assist the employee to achieve satisfactory performance following the disclosure of substance abuse issues. Dismissal will be implemented as a last resort and only after the College has accommodated the employee to the point of undue hardship.
  6. As in any case of illness or personal affairs, this matter will be considered strictly confidential by all parties involved.


Fit for Duty
An employee is in a state - physically and psychologically - to safely and productively perform one's assigned duties without impairment due to the use or after-effects of alcohol, drugs, including cannabis and/or prescription and over-the-counter medications.
On Duty
An employee is considered on duty anytime the employee is conducting College business and undertaking duties and responsibilities associated with their employment.
Safety-Sensitive Position
A position that, if not performed in a safe manner, can cause direct and significant damage to property or the immediate environment and/or injury to the employee, others around the employee or the public. A safety sensitive position 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.
Any substance that, if consumed, has the effect of intoxicating the user or impairing the user's ability to productively or safely perform job duties. The substance may include, but is not limited to, alcohol, cannabinoids, (e.g. cannabis) opiates, hallucinogens, or medication - either prescription or over-the-counter, including medical cannabis.
Any site at which the employee works including any property or buildings owned, leased or managed by the College and any other place an employee is located while performing work for the College or representing the College. The workplace includes when the employee is operating College equipment, or a personal vehicle while the employee is on duty.

For questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact the Policy Sponsor by phoning our main line 519-542-7751.