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Drivers dismissed for testing positive for marijuana

It's been reported that Innovative Staffing Solutions has dismissed 300 drivers after they tested positive for marijuana use. This follows the recent legalisation of marijuana consumption in South Africa for private use.
Source: pixabay.com
Arnoux Maré, MD of Innovative Staffing Solutions, says the legalisation of marijuana consumption does not mean drivers who test positive are not in violation of their work code and conduct.

“A trucker driving under the influence of cannabis can be likened to a non-coherent person barrelling a 60-tonne missile down the road at 80 to 100km per hour. If he or she loses control of the vehicle, innocent people are likely to lose their lives and infrastructure could be seriously damaged,” he notes.

Maré says the company cannot take the risk of incurring damage to people or personal and public property. “Our drivers are expected to act responsibly. After all, they are responsible for ensuring valuable vehicles and their cargo gets from one destination to the next safely.”
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What is the potential impact of the Constitutional Court's cannabis-use ruling on companies, and what should employers do next...?

By Rudy D Maritz 19 Sep 2018

All drivers at Innovative Staffing Solutions sign a contract that specifies the terms of their employment. “The contract states that the employee undertakes and understands that he/she is not allowed to work or be on either the employer’s, a client’s or any premises where working duties are performed, while under the influence of alcohol and/ or intoxicating drugs,” says Maré.

“Marijuana may be legal, but employers still have grounds for dismissing those who test positive for the use thereof. This is similar to the legislation around alcohol. It may be legal, but being drunk at work is a dismissible cause,” adds Maré.
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George Vorster
Testing positive for cannabis does not automatically mean that the person is intoxicated or under the influence at the time they were tested. Case history for alcohol related matters has shown that it is not the consumption that is the problem, but the resulting intoxication that impairs the employee's ability to perform their work at the required standard.Unless these workers employment contracts specifically state that a positive reading would lead to dismissal, then they will all be reinstated by the courts.I believe that whilst their intentions are noble the employer has rushed into this and made an expensive mistake. Let's see what the courts say!
Posted on 6 Nov 2018 12:56