In the Matter of the Arbitration between United States Steel Workers of America Local 12-477 and Suncor Energy (Case No. 14-068), decided August 2016. The arbitrator denied the grievance based upon a Psychemedics methamphetamine-positive hair test. The arbitrator found that the chain of custody had been maintained throughout the testing process and that the employee had violated the company’s substance abuse policy by ingesting methamphetamine.
In the Matter of the Arbitration between United States Steel Corporation and United Steelworkers No. 2660 (Case No. USS-48,109), decided February 23, 2016. The arbitrator denied the grievance, finding that the employee had violated his last chance agreement by ingesting codeine without a valid prescription that would have covered the time frame in question.
In the Matter of the Arbitration between Marathon Petroleum Refinery, Catlettsburg Refining, LLC and United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union Local No. 8-00719, decided January 27, 2014. The arbitrator denied the grievance by an employee who, after a suspension and rehabilitation following a cocaine-positive urine test, took return-towork urine and hair tests. The urine test was negative, but the hair test was positive for cocaine. The arbitrator focused on the Psychemedics wash, and found that the grievant’s “testimonial denials” were “insufficient to overcome the laboratory evidence of cocaine use.”
In the Matter of Valero Refining Company Arbitration (September 2010). The arbitrator ruled in favor of the company based upon a Psychemedics cocaine-positive hair test.
In the Matter of Valero Refining Company Arbitration Case No. 183000116006, (September 16, 2007). The arbitrator ruled that the company was reasonable in terminating the employee based on his Psychemedics cocaine-positive hair test. He had worked in a safety-sensitive position in a safety-sensitive environment, and undertook a drug test in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement.
In the Matter of the Valero Energy Corporation Arbitration Re 691600223006, Baton Rouge, LA (November 28, 2006). The arbitrator ruled for the company, stating that “the authenticity and chain of custody of the lab [Psychemedics] testing done on the samples … were compelling and persuasive.” Under Louisiana law, the claimant could be terminated at any time as long as that discharge was not based on any discriminatory or illegal motive. The arbitrator found that “evidence is quite compelling that the drug test results and analysis . . . indicate [the claimant] had violated the terms of [employment],” and, therefore, the termination was not illegal or discriminatory.
Whirlpool Corporation and IUE, Local 808, (2006). The arbitrator accepted the grievant’s drug test results, stating, “Psychemedics subjected [his] hair sample to the most rigorous scientific testing processes available including mass spectrometry analysis.” The arbitrator also noted that “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is a neutral governmental body with expertise on the necessary protocols and methodologies laboratories must follow to produce valid test outcomes. Since FDA has certified Psychemedics’ hair testing procedures as accurate and reliable, the Arbitrator finds that its test results merit acceptance…”
Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5 and City of Philadelphia, Case No. 14-390-002180- 03 (2005). The arbitrator found just cause to dismiss the police officer based on the Psychemedics cocaine-positive drug test. The arbitrator ruled that the City need not prove the means by which the illegal drug entered into the grievant’s body, and instead stated, “…where there is a positive, confirmatory test on record, the City’s burden under the just cause standard has been fulfilled.”
International Truck & Engine Co. and International Union United Automobile Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, Local 6, Grievance Nos. 150, 211, and 212, (2001). The arbitrator ruled that a positive Psychemedics hair test was a proper basis to terminate an AAAIW-covered employee on a Last Chance Agreement (“LCA”). The arbitrator stated, “…there is no basis on which to reject the finding of substantial cocaine usage . . . The inescapable conclusion is that Grievant violated a condition of the Last Chance Agreement as he was unable to pass the drug screen.”
City of Boston and Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, Case No. 16-1352 (2001). The arbitrator held that the reduction of cut-off levels for the confirmation of safety-net samples is scientifically reasonable and ensures the accuracy and integrity of the test.
United States Steel Corporation and United Steelworkers, (Case No. 46,456) (2010). The arbitrator found that the chain of custody of the grievant’s hair sample was unbroken, that his hair was tested using Psychemedics’ FDA-cleared screen testing procedures, and that the presumptive positive result was then confirmed as positive for cocaine.
United States Steel Corporation and United Steelworkers, (Case No. 46,423) (2010). The arbitrator found that the grievant’s hair test result was based on scientifically accepted methods of evaluating drug use. Credible testimony and exhibits confirmed that the chain of custody was unbroken, that his hair tested presumptively positive for carboxy-THC during screening, and that the screen result was confirmed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (“GC/MS/MS”).
United States Steel Corporation and United Steelworkers, (Case No. USS-45, 186; USS-45,187) (2007). The arbitrator ruled that there was ample evidence of cocaine use based on the Psychemedics hair test results, and that the employer therefore had proper cause to discharge the grievant for drug use in violation of a last chance agreement.
United States Steel, LLC and United Steelworkers of America, (Case Nos. USS-42, 125; 42, 126; 42, 127; 42, 128; and USS-42, 273) (2001). The arbitrator ruled that a single positive Psychemedics hair test result was sufficient to support the determination that an employee used illegal drugs. In each grievance, he found that a negative hair test result reported by the testing lab APL/AML through Labcorp did not raise doubt about the validity of the previous Psychemedics test result.
United States Steel, A Division of USX Corporation and United Steelworkers of America, Local 1557, Case No. USS-38, 287 (1999). The arbitrator ruled that the employee was properly discharged for material violation of an LCA, stating:
Anheuser-Busch, Inc. union arbitration, October 1999. The arbitrator upheld the use of body hair for analysis.
Anheuser-Busch, Inc. union arbitration, July 1999. The arbitrator found no merit in the union claims of improper specimen collection and age, race and gender bias relating to slow hair growth.
Anheuser-Busch, Inc. union arbitration, August 2000. The arbitrator found that random hair testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions did not violate their state constitutional rights to privacy. The Psychemedics hair test was deemed “a reliable method for detecting employee drug use, [which] therefore served to further the Employer’s legitimate safety interest.”
US Steelworkers Local 4134 & Lone Star Steel Co., Case No. D22-96 (1997); Battle Mountain Gold Co. & Operating Engineers Local 3 (1998); Cooper Tools and United Automobile, Aerospace, Agricultural Implement Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Local 1774, Grievance No. 005 (2000); United States Steel, a Division of USX Corp. and United States Steelworkers of America, Local 1014, Case Nos. USS-41, 820 (2001) and USS-43, 080 (2003); In the Matter of Employee and Kraft Foods, Fullerton, CA; and In the Matter of Employee and Kraft Foods, Tulare, CA (2007).