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Appeals Court Will Not Review Arbitrators' Decision on Drug Test Firing
Description Court of appeals upheld arbitrators' decision that railroad properly fired employee who did not comply with the terms of a drug test program allowed by its collective bargaining agreement. Only in rare instances, such as fraud, will a court review arbitrators' decisions.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Drug Testing, Arbitration
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Lyons was an engineer for Norfolk and a member of the United Transportation Union (UTU), which represented Lyons on all matters with Norfolk. When Lyons was randomly tested for drugs, he was unable to produce a urine sample within two hours, as required. Absent a medical reason for the inability to produce urine, Lyons was fired, as the collective bargaining agreement allowed. The arbitrator upheld the dismissal. Lyons and the UTU appealed.
Decision Affirmed. Absent fraud or some other extraordinary condition, courts of appeal may not review orders of arbitrators. The interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement, and whether or not Norfolk's actions were in keeping with the agreement, were clearly within the scope of the arbitrators duties.
Citation Lyons v. Norfolk & Western Railway Co., 163 F.3d 466 (7th Cir., 1999)

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