Drug Testing Policy
Project file No. 004-2010
Rainy River First Nation has recognized the impact of drug use in conjunction with work can be significant in terms of employee health, workplace, community safety, and operational productivity. RRFN implemented an Employee Drug Testing Policy in 2009 as intent to encourage a drug free lifestyle and offer assistance to employees that may be struggling with drug addiction.
Rainy River First Nation has met extensively with community members since 2008 and heeded the overwhelming direction to review and create comprehensive drug policies and to upgrade existing policies. RRFN Chief and Council recognize the importance of setting up a mechanism to provide counseling, assessment, assistance and ongoing support for recovery for employees who may have a problem. Chief and Council intend to address the issue of the drug use through a balanced workplace policy compromised of prevention initiatives and deterrence provisions. The purpose of the policy is also to ensure that there is a safe workplace due the concern of potential liability. Chief and Council are committed to balancing health and safety with an individualís privacy.
Since Drug Testing policy was passed, the Rainy River First Nation hired an independent drug testing coordinator who is from outside of the community. The coordinator works in conjunction with a nurse and conducts drug tests on new employees and employees that work in safety sensitive positions (those working with heavy equipment and with children) at random. In addition to the employees mentioned, the drug testing policy also applies to independent contractors. To ensure that the tests are random the employee receives notification 24 HRS before the test is conducted.
Tests are conducted in privacy and the coordinator takes ample time to explain the procedure as well as the Drug Testing Policy. The coordinator explains the purpose of the policy in a respectful and informative manner, notifying employees that a positive test does not automatically mean that an employee will be terminated. Instead, the coordinator reminds the employee that the intent of the policy is to assist those that have issues with drug and alcohol abuse seek help and lead a healthy progressive life.