Two Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) employees are facing disciplinary action after failing drug and alcohol tests on the first day the transit authority began implementing its random testing policy.
TTC spokesman Brad Ross told Global News a worker blew over 0.04 the legal limit on Monday and is waiting for the results of the test, which can take two to three days to complete.
“While I cannot confirm the position, it was not an operator,” Ross said. “Nevertheless, every position of the 10,000 designated as safety sensitive is critical to the safe operation of the TTC.”
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The TTC said the employee has been suspended with pay until the results of the test come back.
A second employee also tested positive for drugs on the same day, but Ross said the results only came back late Wednesday afternoon. He would not comment on what specific position the employee had, other than to say they are not an operator.
The positive tests come a month after an Ontario court dismissed an injunction request by the union representing TTC employees to stop the transit agency from implementing a random alcohol and drug testing policy.
TTC CEO Andy Byford praised the testing in a statement Wednesday evening.
“The fact that two failed tests were registered in the first three days of testing indicates that the TTC is justified in implementing this program,” he said in part.
READ MORE: Court rejects TTC union’s bid to stop random alcohol, drug testing
“While these initial test failures are concerning, the overwhelming majority of TTC employees, including those in safety sensitive positions, are professionals that attend work fit for duty and with the safety of their customers and colleagues as their absolute priority.”
Random testing was added to the TTC’s Fitness for Duty policy in 2011 but funding for the program wasn’t approved until last year.
Drug testing has been in place at the transit agency since 2010 but is only conducted if there is reasonable grounds an employee is impaired on the job.
The move on random testing came after a transit bus rear-ended a truck in 2011 resulting in the death of a 43-year-old mother.
READ MORE: TTC forging ahead with random drug testing of employees
The transit driver, who had refused a drug test, was later charged after marijuana was discovered in his duffel bag.
The TTC said there have been 291 incidents of impairment or refusal by an employee to take a test since 2010.
Under the new random testing policy, employees would be subject to oral swabbing and breathalyzer tests.
With files from Adam Miller, Cindy Pom and Nick Westoll