A judge has upheld the TTC’s plan to randomly test its employees for drug and alcohol use, ruling that the need to protect public safety outweighs the risk of infringing on transit employees’ privacy.
In a 23-page ruling released Monday, Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court Frank Marrocco dismissed an application from the TTC workers’ union for an injunction against the policy, which was to have gone into effect Mar. 1.
The TTC said it now plans to begin random testing later this month.
In a statement the secretary-treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, which represents more than 10,000 TTC workers, said employees were “disappointed” with the court’s decision. Kevin Morton alleged the policy “violates basic human rights” and is “an abuse of employer power against the hardworking women and men who safely move this city.”
However, in his ruling Justice Marrocco agreed with TTC management “that there is a demonstrated workplace drug and alcohol problem at the TTC, which is currently hard to detect and verify.”
He found that random testing would increase the chance that an employee who is prone to abusing drugs or alcohol at work would either be detected or deterred, which, in turn, would increase public safety .