In April 2018, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench released their decision in Canadian Energy Workers’ Association v ATCO Electric Ltd, a case concerning the legality of drug and alcohol testing. This constitutes yet another case requiring the Court to balance the privacy rights of employees and the importance of maintaining safe workplaces.
The emergence of companies requiring in-depth Oilfield Service Agreements or Master Service Agreements (“MSA’s) has been a large shift in how business is done in the oilfield sector. MSAs help avoid contractual disputes and reduce the risk of litigation by establishing the basic terms of the relationship between an oil and gas company and an oilfield services company for all future goods and/or services sold between the parties. Once completed, MSA’s permit quick negotiations of job specific terms (or “commercial terms”) such as price in a work order/purchase order or in a quote/RFP without needing to re-negotiate the liabilities (or “legal terms”) each time. Working without an MSA can leave both parties open to risks they hadn’t thought through, having to resort to the expensive court system or far worse, learning that their company agreed to the other party’s hidden “terms and conditions” unknowingly.