People, Words & Change (PWC) is committed to maintaining, and promoting a safe, healthy, respectful and productive work environment for all employees, volunteers, learners and contractors. We provide a smoke-free/vape-free environment (workplace) for all employees, volunteers, learners and contractors. We do not allow drugs or alcohol in their workplace (except prescription or over-the-counter medication taken for legitimate medical reasons, or any specific workplace-based social event). PWC applies the principles of its Code of Conduct to its employees, volunteers, learners and contractors in the same way as to members of the public.
PWC’s employees, volunteers, learners and contractors are our most valuable resource, and for that reason, their health and safety is of paramount concern. Marijuana will be treated the same as all other recreational substances, including alcohol. PWC has adopted this policy to communicate its expectations and guidelines surrounding marijuana and alcohol use, misuse, and abuse, and to describe PWC’s commitment to maintaining a smoke-free workplace.
This policy applies to PWC employees, volunteers, learners and contractors while engaged in work and/or providing services with/for PWC.
The following expectations apply to employees, management, volunteers, learners, and contractors alike while conducting work or study on behalf of PWC, whether on or off PWC property.
- All are expected to arrive to PWC fit for work/study and able to perform their duties safely and to standard; all must remain fit for work/study for the duration of their shift;
- Use, possession, distribution, or sale of drugs or alcohol during work/study hours, including during paid/unpaid work/study breaks, is strictly prohibited;
- All are prohibited from reporting to work/study while under the influence of recreational marijuana, alcohol, and any other non-prescribed substances;
- Anyone with medically approved medication must communicate to management any potential risk, limitation, or restriction requiring modification of duties or temporary reassignment/rescheduling; and,
- All are expected to abide by all governing legislation pertaining to the possession and use of marijuana.
Roles and Responsibilities
PWC will clearly communicate all expectations surrounding marijuana and alcohol use, misuse, and abuse. To help enforce this policy, management, employees, volunteers, learners, and contractors are expected to adhere to the following:
- Identify any situations that may cause concern regarding an individual’s ability to safely perform their job functions;
- Ensure that anyone who asks for help due to a drug or alcohol dependency is provided with the appropriate support (including accommodation) and is not disciplined for doing so; and,
- Maintain confidentiality and privacy.
- Arrive to work/study fit for work, and remain fit for work/study throughout their shift;
- Perform work/study safely in according with PWC safe work practices;
- Avoid the consumption, possession, sale, or distribution of marijuana, other drugs, or alcohol on PWC property, and during working/studying hours even if off PWC property;
- When off duty/not studying, refuse a request/appointment to come into work/study if unfit for work/study;
- Report limitations and required modifications as a result of medically approved marijuana use;
- Report unfit individuals to management;
- Seek advice or appropriate treatment, where required;
- Communicate dependency or emerging dependency;
- Follow an after-care program, where established; and,
- Abide by all governing legislation pertaining to the possession of marijuana and alcohol.
Where an employee, volunteer, learner or contractor uses medical marijuana, it is expected they provide a copy of their medical license to use marijuana to PWC and abide by PWC’s accommodation practices.
Smoking and Vaping
Smoking, carrying or possessing a lit cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc., that is burning tobacco or cannabis, or use of an electronic smoking product or similar/related device is prohibited inside the workplace at all times including inside PWC facilities, or on City property (except in designated areas).
Consequences of Non-Compliance
- Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
- Volunteers who violate this policy may be subject to consequences up to and including termination of their voluntary assignment.
- Learners who violate this policy may be subject to consequence up to and including termination of their tutoring agreement.
- Contractors who violate this policy may be subject to consequences up to and including termination of their contract.
- The appropriate parties will investigate all policy violations to determine the most suitable course of action. The Executive Director is required to take action to address issues of non-compliance with the policy.
- An individual is not in violation of this policy if:
- The individual is using a prescription or non-prescription drugs for its intended purpose and in the manner directed by the individual’s physician, pharmacist or healthcare professional;
- The use of the prescription or non-prescription drug does not adversely affect the individual’s ability to safely perform his/her duties; or,
- The individual drinks alcohol during approved member group or organization-wide social functions. The individual is encouraged to drink in a responsible manner, and assumes full liability for any actions/conduct arising from the consumption of alcohol. In the case of a sanctioned social event, taxi chits may be requested from the PWC Executive Director or the individual will be reimbursed with the appropriate receipt.
Conducting work – includes reporting for and performing work, including:
- Scheduled work;
- Unscheduled work;
- Unscheduled call-in-work;
- Work performed at PWC facilities; or,
- Work performed for PWC away from PWC facilities, including but not limited to driving or traveling to and from work.
Cannabis – is a psychoactive hemp plant with various strains (e.g. indica and sativa). The term cannabis includes products other than the dried plant, including man made products. Active chemicals in cannabis include THC and CBD, which have varying degrees of psychoactive and /or physiological effects on the user (for example mood/mind altering, reduced reaction time, loss of fine motor control, etc.) depending on strength, preparation and administration.
The use of cannabis as a therapeutic treatment has been legal in Canada as of 2001. The sale, possession, and use of recreational cannabis has been legal in Canada as of October 17, 2018.
Electronic smoking product – an electronic device that can be used to deliver a vapour, emission or aerosol to the person inhaling from the device, including but not limited to an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo or pipe.
Fit for work – a state of physical and mental that allows an individual to perform his or her duties safely and effectively without impairment due to the use of or after-effects of alcohol or marijuana.
Smoke or smoking
- Inhaling or exhaling the smoke produced by burning tobacco or cannabis; or
- Holding or otherwise having control of any device or thing containing lit tobacco or cannabis.
Tobacco – a product composed in whole or in part of tobacco, including tobacco leaves and any extract of tobacco leaves, but does not include any product for use in nicotine replacement therapy.
Vape or Vaping
- Inhaling or exhaling the vapour, emissions or aerosol produced by an electronic smoking device or similar device containing tobacco, cannabis or any other substance; or
- Holding or otherwise having control of an electronic smoking device that is producing vapour, emissions or aerosol from tobacco, cannabis or any other substance.
Workplace – all or any part of a building, structure or other enclosed area in which employees perform the duties of their employment.
- The Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017 and the City of Ottawa Smoking and Vaping By-law (No. 2019-241) regarding smoking in public places and the workplace;
- The federal Cannabis Act and its Regulations, which came into force on October 17, 2018;
- The provincial Cannabis Act 2017, which comes into force on October 17, 2018;
- The Liquor License Act, 1990 regarding responsible use and compliance; and,
- The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).