Connect with us

Business

Cannabis in the workplace: Sorting through the weeds

Published

on

With the recent legalization of cannabis on October 17, 2018, employers have been scrambling to understand their liability in light of potential cannabis use by their employees in the workplace. Given the increased likelihood of recreational cannabis use as a result of the legalization, it is important that employers, both large and small, take steps to establish comprehensive company policies to better manage the related risks and impacts. At Watson Goepel LLP we help employers understand the implications of cannabis legalization to protect the safety of both the employees and the business itself.

Managing Safety and Risk

For many employers, workplace safety is a top priority. While the federal Cannabis Act permits the recreational use of cannabis, provincial legislation sets out various restrictions on cannabis. In British Columbia, the following restrictions are included:

(a) use is prohibited in certain places (schools, parks, pools, etc.);
(b) growing plants is subject to various restrictions (e.g., not visible from adjoining properties); and,
(c) smoking/vaping is prohibited in certain contexts (6m from a window or door).

The general rule in British Columbia is that persons with control over an environment, such as a restaurant owner or an employer, are legally responsible for any contravention of provincial cannabis laws and regulations, as provided in Section 68 of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, SBC 2018, c 29 (the “Act”) [emphasis added]:

(2) If a person smokes or vapes cannabis in contravention of section 64 (1) (a) or (c) [enclosed public places] or within a prescribed distance from a doorway, window or air intake of a place to which section 64 (1) (a) or (c) applies in contravention of section 64 (3) [doorways and windows], the owner, manager and lessee of the place are each deemed to have contravened section 64 (1) (a) or (c) or (3), as the case may be, and are each liable for the contravention.

 (3) If a person smokes or vapes cannabis in contravention of section 64 (1) (b) [enclosed workspaces] or within a prescribed distance from a doorway, window or air intake of a place to which section 64 (1) (b) applies in contravention of section 64 (3) [doorways and windows], the employer is deemed to have contravened section 64 (1) (b) or (3), as the case may be, and is liable for the contravention.

Employer Liability

The Act clearly imposes vicarious liability on employers to ensure compliance with smoking and vaping of cannabis.  Vicarious liability is a legal term referring to a situation where someone is held responsible for the actions or omissions of another person.  For example, in the general workplace context, an employer can be liable for the acts or omissions of its employees, provided it can be shown that they took place in the course of their employment.

In the context of cannabis use, a general defence to vicarious liability imposed by the Act is available to employers who take reasonable steps to prevent the contravention, as set out in Section 68(5) of the Act.  What those reasonable steps are will vary from context to context, but having a workplace policy in place regarding cannabis use can likely assist in supporting such a defence.

It should be noted that unlike other forms of liability imposed on corporations, the Act is effectively permitted to “pierce the corporate veil” by assigning liability to directors, officers and agents of an employer in certain contexts.  Excerpts from sections 94 and 111 of the Act provide as follows:

94           (1) If the director determines, based on information obtained through an inspection or from any other source, that a person has contravened section 15 [sale of cannabis] or 18 [production of cannabis], the director may impose a monetary penalty on the person.

. . .

                (9) If a corporation is liable to a monetary penalty imposed under this section, an officer, director or agent of the corporation who authorizes, allows or acquiesces in the contravention is also liable to the penalty.

111 If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, an officer, director or agent of the corporation who authorizes, allows or acquiesces in the commission of the offence also commits an offence, whether or not the corporation is prosecuted for the offence.

The risk of legal liability on the directors, officers or agents of the employer is a strong incentive to ensure your workplace has protective policies in place for cannabis use.

How do I know if I am compliant with the Act?

Employers can help ensure their compliance with the Act by:

  • drafting a comprehensive workplace policy on cannabis use and alerting your employees to it; and,
  • posting a notice near doorways regarding smoking/vaping cannabis and cigarettes within the legal boundaries.

At Watson Goepel LLP, our experienced team of business and employment lawyers have been actively advising clients both prior to, and after cannabis legalization, to address their concerns for potential vicarious liability under the Act.  We focus on the key areas of concern to mitigate the risks to your business.

Anand Athiviraham is a lawyer in the Business Group at Watson Goepel LLP and has extensive experience advising all kinds of employers, from owner-operator to multinational businesses in various industries.  He works from both the firm’s downtown Vancouver office and its new Surrey location.

Liam Oster is a lawyer in the Business Group at Watson Goepel LLP with expertise in Cannabis law.  He advises clients both large and small on the impacts of legalization, and helps navigate the complexities of evolving cannabis regulations across multiple jurisdictions.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

Business

Uber expands ridesharing service to Abbotsford, Aldergrove and Langley Township

Published

on

Uber is expanding its ridesharing service to Abbotsford, Aldergrove and all of Langley Township. Residents across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley now have expanded access to a safe, reliable and affordable transportation alternative at the touch of a button, and drivers will have additional flexible earning opportunities.

Uber has implemented new safety features and policies to keep riders and drivers safe as we navigate this new normal together including:

  • Go Online Checklist: Riders and drivers will confirm safety precautions to help stop the spread of COVID-19 including a selfie confirmation to ensure drivers are wearing a face mask or cover
  • Driver Screening: Everyone who drives with Uber is screened before their first trip. In addition, Uber reruns these driver screenings every year and uses technology to look for issues in between.
  • 24/7 Safety Support: If you need safety support or assistance, Uber’s dedicated and trained support team is available at all times to provide help
  • Phone Anonymization: Privacy is a top priority at Uber. The Uber app conceals driver and rider phone numbers so they are able to securely call/text each other through the app without revealing their information
  • Emergency Button Access: Both riders and drivers can contact 911 directly from the Uber app and provide a GPS location and trip details with authorities in emergency situations

In addition to these new features and policies, Uber is distributing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help keep delivery people and drivers safe as they serve their communities. We are sending in-app notifications to active drivers and delivery people in each city – providing guidance on how to request health and safety supplies (screencap below).

Drivers and delivery people can request those supplies and have them shipped directly to their home. So far, more than 55,000 PPE supplies have been distributed in the Lower Mainland.

To see the updated service area map, please visit here.

Continue Reading

Business

How BC Resorts and Hotels are Reopening for Phase Three COVID-19 Restrictions

Published

on

BC premier, John Horgan announced the plan for the province to move to phase three of reopening. This phase includes the reopening of hotels, motels, cabins, RV resorts, etc. According to the BC government website, “The accommodation industry was not ordered to close by the Provincial Health Officer.

Many operators closed voluntarily and are now preparing to welcome guests in Phase 3.” Opus Vancouver plans to welcome back customers in August and released the safety changes that have been made to welcome guests back.

Opus Vancouver mentions that guests are required to stand six feet apart from guests who aren’t travelling with them in all areas of the hotel, they have also installed plexi glass screen at the front desks, and the hotel plans to “introduce a contactless check-in and keyless entry program over the coming months.”

As BC’s Centre for Disease Control advises handwashing and hand sanitizing when water is unavailable, OPUS Vancouver plans to provide guests, employees and visitors with hand sanitizer; as well as providing dispensers around the hotel. OPUS Vancouver has also released a detailed explanation in regards to the cleaning of the hotel amenities.

They mentioned limiting the number of guests in the fitness room to one and cleaning up after each guest is finished. The buffet eating will also be halted for the time being “and replaced [with] alternative service styles such as individually plated and served meals, to customized individual grab and go boxes.”

Other hotels in Surrey are assisting customers with their bookings and reservations. Like Sandman Suites Surrey-Guildford mentions their offering of full credits for future bookings until 2021 for all prepaid non-refundable reservations past July 1.

The Civic Hotel, Autograph Collection is also aiding new customer bookings by allowing “reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before … scheduled arrival date.” This is for reservations “for any future arrival date” and … “reservations with prepaid rates.” According to their website, this is available till July 5.

BC’s phase three reopening also includes travelling within the province so for residents who are planning to visit one of BC’s many beautiful towns and cities, the government has some rules in place. Residents of British Columbia are asked “to be respectful of the communities [they] plan to visit and be safe as [they] enjoy the many beautiful locations across [the] province.”

Visitors from other provinces and territories are also asked to follow the same guidelines in place for British Columbians. The BC government website also includes a list of guidelines for people thinking about traveling this summer. The government asks that residents “consider the health and safety of people in [their] bubble, and whether [they] want to take any extra risks.”

Residents are also asked to follow the safety rules in place. That includes washing of hands, physical distancing, staying in small groups, and cleaning of space. Many RV parks are accepting guests and have put up rules in regards to covid-19. Livingstone RV Park in Langley announced the closing of its office to the public and appointments can be made by calling the number on their website.

They have also closed the showers and washroom to the guests and they ask that guests “have no outside visitors during [their] stay and that [they] maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet between [their] camping neighbors until the ban is lifted.”

Other RV parks like Pacific Border RV Park in Surrey, Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground in Burnaby are also open for guests.

Continue Reading

Business

Support Our Surrey (SOS): Team of Justin and Trace

Published

on

I’ve seen so many members of our community helping each other out during COVID-19, that it makes my heart swell. I’m so happy to be giving another Support Our Surrey shout-out to longstanding members of our Fraser Valley community – the real estate team of Justin and Trace, from Macdonald Realty.

Justin Glasser and Trace Sowerby have been active realtors in the Fraser Valley for over 15 years. Maybe you’ve seen their friendly faces in the mail? As downtown Surrey began to grow and burgeon approximately 15 years ago, Justin and Trace have not only been growing with the city, but they’ve been growing with many of the young residents and families that call Surrey their home.

During COVID, they’ve used their marketing platform and resources to support and highlight other local businesses in the community, by hosting an Instagram series called QUARANTINE 15 – a “weekly segment updating our community on local business in 15 minutes or less”. You can follow Justin and Trace on Instagram at justin_traceteam to find these segments, as well as here.

Businesses they've featured are:

If you ever get the pleasure of meeting Justin, Trace, or their colleague, Bethany, you’ll know immediately that the care and respect they have for their community and fellow residents, runs deep. It’s their personal care, whether as their clients or someone living in the same community as them, that really make the Justin and Trace Team, shine and standout. Get to know them a bit on Facebook: facebook.com/justinandtracehomes

You can also learn more about the Justin and Trace Team on their official site, here, and be sure to check out the businesses they’ve highlighted so that we can all continue to keep this spirit of community going!

Dear readers: As BC begins to re-open, it’s a great opportunity for business to welcome us back – please reach out to share local businesses that are now open so we can feature them and make sure our community knows how we an Support Our Surrey.

Continue Reading

Business

How Barbershops and Retailers are Welcoming Customers during BC’s Phase Two Re-opening

Published

on

Giant Retailers, Hudson Bay and Sephora have opened their doors to customers in Surrey. While both companies spoke about their excitement to welcome back customers, they have also released information on the new store hours and how they plan to enforce safety guidelines and social distancing rules. Sephora released a post which detailed the changes they planned to make to their stores while ensuring the safety of their customers. The company plans to maintain the two metre distancing rule and limit the amount of customers in the store.

The company is also making sure hand sanitizers are made available “at the front entrance and key areas throughout the store” They also plan to “sanitize baskets before giving them to [customers], disinfect products and tools, and clean surfaces every two hours or after every use.”

As the beauty company is known for having testers made available, this will no longer be the case and the company also plans to take the temperature of their staff at the beginning of their shift and in the middle of their shift.

Hudson Bay, another retailer that has opened its doors to residents of Surrey has introduced a way for customers to receive their items in a safe way. The company has introduced curbside pickup. The company mentioned the pickups being ready in “as little as 3 hours”

This is made available everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and when customers arrive, they are asked to remain in their car while an associate helps them load the item. The customer can also “advise” the associate on where to place the item if they do not want it loaded in their car, according to the company. Some other new changes from the store is, allocating Tuesdays for senior shoppers and Thursdays for frontline workers.

Along with other retailers and businesses, Hudson Bay has introduced sanitizers around the stores, increased cleaning, physical distancing, and touchless pay. BC’s second phase of reopening doesn’t include only retail stores. Barbershops and salons are now open to the public with guidelines in place.

Lookin’ Sharp Barbershop is based in Richmond BC, and it recently opened doors to customers. Co owner and founder of the shop, Bebo, spoke about the safety guidelines in place as he and his staff welcome back customers.

“Right now we are not allowing [anyone] without a mask and [we also] have … guidelines and protocols before the client [enters the shop],” says Bebo.

Some of the new guidelines Bebo spoke of was having clients make appointments before their haircuts, as before the pandemic, the shop took walk-ins only.
“We removed all the chairs [in] the waiting area, so there’s no waiting inside the shop,” says Bebo.

“When [a] client comes, they need to wait outside until their scheduled appointment, and [we also] put … a hand sanitizer station [for clients],” says Bebo.

Bebo also mentioned his shop giving out masks to customers who come without one. He spoke about the safety guidelines for his staff, saying they had to wear masks and gloves, and disinfect their whole workstation before and after each client. Bebo also mentioned his shop terminating 80 per cent of their services.

“… Hair [wax], threading, face masks, and facials … are no longer available,” says Bebo. “Basically right now we are only providing the haircuts and hair wash,” he added.

Continue Reading

Business

Uber Connect: Easier than ever to send packages to others

Published

on

As we learn to live in the new normal, Uber wants to help you navigate through this new life and make your life a little bit easier. Uber is launching a new product, Uber Connect, to make it easier than ever to send packages, items, and goods to others.

Uber Connect allows users to send packages to others. It’s an affordable same-day contactless delivery solution.

Whether it’s a care package for a loved one, a gift for a friend’s birthday, an item you sold online or an important business document, you can send it by requesting “Uber Connect” through the Uber app. Now you can have the kids create a work of art for Grandma and get it over to her house before dinner.

Matthew Price, General Manager of Uber Canada, said Uber Connect was designed to make it easier for people to deliver things to others and stay connected.

“During this challenging time for Canadians we wanted to create an affordable and quick way for people to send items to each other. This feature minimises the need to travel, while helping people stay connected. We know Canadians want to help each other out and have seen a tremendous sense of community rise up in the recent weeks. By focusing on helping to safely move people and the delivery of items, we want to participate in the collective effort to tame the new normal”.

How it works:

Uber Connect is now available in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

  • Package the items in a sealed box or bag, wiping down surfaces with disinfectant.
  • Tell your driver ‘Where to?’ in your Uber app.
  • Choose Uber Connect as the ride (you may have to swipe up for the option).
  • Follow the notifications: You’ll get notifications providing instructions on how to help ensure a smooth pickup and when your driver is arriving, just like a trip with UberX. As you see the car approach in the app, you should head outside and load your item into the car’s trunk.
  • Share the trip status with up to 5 people in your contact list. Unless it’s a surprise gift, one of these should be the recipient so they can easily monitor the delivery’s progress.

Uber Connect is one way for Canadians to move what matters most. As part of Uber’s commitment to Moving What Matters in Canada, Uber has pledged over $6m in free rides, meals, and food deliveries for Canada – providing those to healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need.

Starting with organizations like Breakfast Club of Canada, AdvantAGE, CBI Health, BC Women’s and Children’s Hospitals, and Montreal’s Children’s Hospital, it’s our small way of helping during this challenging time.

Continue Reading

– Advertisement –

Latest Events

august

01jun12:00 pm31aug(aug 31)12:00 pmHeart & Sole Virtual Hike for Hospice(june 1) 12:00 pm - (august 31) 12:00 pm Location: virtual Cost: $5

13aug(aug 13)6:00 pm23(aug 23)10:00 pmVancouver Queer Film Festival6:00 pm - 10:00 pm (23) Location: www.queerfilmfestival.ca

22aug6:00 pm8:00 pmTD Uptown Live Virtual Edition 20206:00 pm - 8:00 pm Location: Online

– Advertisment –

Trending

Copyright © 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Designed by Binary Souls.

X
X