GSL Group is committed to providing a safe, productive, and respectful work environment. This duty includes addressing any issues that may impair our team’s ability to perform their work functions safely and with professionalism. To that end, we have created guidelines and procedures concerning impairment in the workplace and during work-related events. This policy outlines the guidelines and expectations regarding Substance Use in the workplace and while representing GSL outside of the work environment.  


This policy applies to all employees, contractors, and volunteers whether in the workplace or engaged in, or representing any of GSL Group’s businesses for work-related activities or events. 


Impairment or being impaired means that an employee’s normal physical or mental abilities or faculties have been detrimentally affected by the use of substances. Substances refer to legal or illegal substances that may cause impairment, including illicit (illegal) drugs, cannabis, alcohol, and over-the-counter or prescription medications taken without a prescription or contrary to prescribed or recommended use. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, impairment includes the inability to perform work duties safely, competently, efficiently, or professionally.  Permitted substances refer to prescription medications that are prescribed by a medical professional or over-the-counter medications that are used as directed though may cause impairment.  

Impairment from substance use can cause physical and behavioral changes that affect people’s ability to work safely, and/or professionally, putting themselves or their co-workers at risk of both physical injury and emotional harm. Such changes can include the following:  

  • Impaired judgment, thinking, and decision-making.  
  • Decreased motor coordination, reaction time, and sensory perception. 
  • Psychological or stress-related effects, such as mood swings or personality changes. 

Workplace means any site at which an employee performs work related to their employment with the organization, including a customer work site or any place an employee is located while acting in their capacity as an employee or while representing the organization. 


Prohibited Activities:  

  • Use of Substances During Work Hours: The use of substances during regular work hours or while engaged in work-related activities is strictly prohibited. See 2. Exceptions: Permitted Substances section. 
  • Possession of prohibited substances: Subject to section 2, possession of substances at the workplace or at work-related events without prior authorization is strictly prohibited. Possession, transfer, or sale of cannabis or any illegal substance on our premises, in any parking lot, and on the worksite is strictly prohibited. 
  • Intoxication: Reporting to work or performing work duties under the influence of alcohol or drugs that impair judgment and performance is strictly prohibited. 


  • Permitted Substances: From time to time, employees may need to take permitted substances (prescription medication that is prescribed by a medical professional or over-the-counter medication) while working. In these cases, it is the employee’s responsibility to consult with a medical professional to understand the medication’s impact on the employee’s safe job performance and advise their manager if the permitted substance may cause impairment.  Their manager may request further reasonable details from the employee about the employee’s functional limitations and restrictions while taking the permitted substance, including a medical note from the employee’s medical professional. The Manager and employee will work together to establish reasonable accommodations for the employee during the period in which the employee must take the permitted substance.   
  • Special Events and Authorized Functions: In some instances, the organization may organize special events or authorized functions where alcohol may be served. In such cases, strict guidelines will be established, and responsible alcohol consumption is expected. 
  • Business Entertainment: Alcohol consumption may be permitted during business entertainment events with clients or partners, subject to prior authorization and compliance with applicable laws, policies, and regulations. 

Legal Obligations and Duty of Care:  

  • Compliance with BC Laws: The organization and all employees must comply with all relevant laws and regulations regarding the sale, serving, and consumption of alcohol in the workplace. 
  • Employees' Duty of Care: Employees have a duty to take reasonable care for their own safety and the safety and emotional well-being of others. It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that their performance or professionalism is not impaired by substance consumption. Employees must inform their supervisor/manager if their ability to perform assigned work safely is impaired for any reason. Additionally, employees must exercise due diligence and inform their supervisor of concerns about a co-worker’s fitness to safely perform assigned work functions or professionally represent the organization. 
  • Accommodation: If any employee requires accommodation due to a disability (such as substance abuse issues) or being prescribed medically required drugs (including cannabis or others that may lead to impairment), the worker must immediately report their condition to management in confidence.  
  • Employer Duty of Care:  The organization will assist and accommodate employees who voluntarily disclose a substance use issue. We will maintain confidentiality regarding these issues. The organization may request a medical note from the employee’s medical professional to provide further details about the employee’s substance use issues, functional limitations, restrictions, and recommended rehabilitation program. The organization and employee, with direction from the employee’s medical professional, will work together to establish a reasonable plan of accommodation for the employee. Employees with substance use issues will be required to actively participate in the accommodation process. Employees who refuse to participate in the accommodation process may be subject to the Disciplinary Policy up to and including dismissal.     



  • Reporting to Workplace Impaired:  Any employee, contractor, or volunteer who reports for work impaired will not be allowed to work, and any worker found to be impaired while working will not be allowed to continue working. If, in the opinion of management, the employee is considered impaired, the employee will be sent home by taxi or another safe means of transportation. An impaired employee will not be allowed to drive under any circumstances. 
  • Policy Violation: Subject to any overriding obligations at law (such as a duty to accommodate a disability), any employee who violates this policy by either reporting to work impaired, becoming impaired at work, or working while impaired is guilty of serious workplace misconduct and can be subject to disciplinary action (following the organization's disciplinary procedures) up to and including dismissal for cause. 
  • Obligation: The organization recognizes that an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or other illegal substances can qualify as a “disability” under the Human Rights legislation and will accommodate any disability up to the point of undue hardship. 
  • Review and Modification: This policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure compliance with BC laws and may be modified as deemed necessary. The organization will communicate any updates or changes to employees in a timely manner. 
  • Education and Awareness: The organization will periodically provide training, resources, and educational materials to promote awareness of the risks associated with substance use and support responsible behavior. 



Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to verbal warnings, written warnings, suspension, or termination, depending on the severity and recurrence of the violation.