Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/5746406/

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: cessna2
Posted 2013-04-24 09:32:37 and read 15023 times.

Interesting article...

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Horizon-Air-balks-at--204336931.html

thoughts?

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: airtran737
Posted 2013-04-24 09:45:17 and read 14945 times.

Fire him. Having an impaired pilot is not an option.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-24 10:16:19 and read 14733 times.

First of all, the title is very misleading. It's not AS but Horizon.

I have no problem with him returning to work. The company lost at arbitration.

Clearly they are trying to "cherry pick". It would appear as if they have violated the CBA with not complying with their own rules.


" The airline's employment rules allow employees to keep working if a substance abuse counselor agrees and a review of company records shows the worker's retention is in Horizon's best interest.

Freed noted Milam's drug counselor found him fit for work. But, Horizon did not review its own records before firing Milam, the arbitrator said."

Do I agree with the pilot??? No. However, if the company violated their own rules then the choice is obvious, from my perspective.

Let the fun begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: davescj
Posted 2013-04-24 10:41:07 and read 14551 times.

Surprising ruling by the arbitrator. I wonder if Horizon did not follow an established procedure? However, it is simple: Pot is an illegal drug under federal law. Federal law does not allow pilots to use it. We should be done.

Dave

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-24 10:52:32 and read 14455 times.

From day one pilots know that it is wrong to do drugs. He should be fired and he should look for another career. This is a huge reason unions have lost respectability in this country. Instead of loopholes his own union should tell him he was wrong for smoking pot, allow the termination of him and advancement of another pilot that is not a drug user.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: airtran737
Posted 2013-04-24 11:27:48 and read 14304 times.

I want to know why he still has a medical if he is using drugs. You are required to list all prescription drugs that you are currently taking. If he didn't list marijuana on his medical, then he technically lied on it, and therefore it can be revoked. He isn't going to get a waiver or a SODA for pot so then the case is solved.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: dabpit
Posted 2013-04-24 11:39:26 and read 14242 times.

Quoting davescj (Reply 3):
Pot is an illegal drug under federal law. Federal law does not allow pilots to use it. We should be done.

agreed

Quoting mcdu (Reply 4):
From day one pilots know that it is wrong to do drugs.

Anywhere else and the same thing would have happened. You will learn this at any flight school.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: F9animal
Posted 2013-04-24 11:44:12 and read 14182 times.

I am absolutely against a pilot using. He should lose his job. But.... The company did not follow proper procedures, and the company should be held to it. I think this is a wakeup call to all airlines to follow the procedures, as we live in a politically correct world. I personally feel it should be a one sentence rule: Any pilot testing positive for alcohol or drugs will be terminated immediately.

What happened to zero tollerance?

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-24 12:27:32 and read 13991 times.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 7):
Any pilot testing positive for alcohol or drugs will be terminated immediately.

Sorry, but as a Captain with many, many years of experience, I disagree. Chemical dependency is a very thorny issue. ALPA and the airlines in general have developed set procedures to help people who have issues. Termination will only encourage people to hide their problems rather than seeking help. The HIMS program has been going for a number of years with excellent results. Going back to the Dark Ages does nothing but drive the problem underground.

Airlines have spend vast sums of money training people. To just kick them to the curb does nothing but waste money and treat valuable resources as if they were not worth anything.

I DO NOT condone drug/alcohol abuse, but I do condone treatment in a very defined program. I don't condone companies violating their own established procedures which occurred in this case.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: traindoc
Posted 2013-04-24 12:27:55 and read 13980 times.

So what about the right of the public to not be flown by an impaired pilot? Pot stays in the brain for up to 30 days and definitely affects motor coordination and judgement. If people want to smoke pot, that is their choice. But I do not want them flying my airplane, operating on me, or driving on the same street as me or my loved ones.

Unfortunately, the cat is out of the bag with pot as witnessed in places like Colorado. The rights of the pot smoker are going to trump those of the average citizen when it comes to freedom from harm. Look at the problem we now have with prescription narcotics. The MD's who started the pain management movement 20 years ago are now saying that they were wrong about the risks of addiction and abuse. We will find that the pot advocates will also be wrong as to the "benign" nature of the drug.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-24 12:38:07 and read 13907 times.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 9):
So what about the right of the public to not be flown by an impaired pilot?

Please point out where I wrote that? I did not!!!

The simple fact is addiction is much better understood these days. If you knew anything about the HIMS program, you wouldn't shoot from the hip and try to quote me on things I did not write. You get people into treatment, with follow up and testing you can ensure they do not work/fly/whatever under the influence of drugs/alcohol.

You seem to be focused on pot, what about alcohol? Are you for treatment there? If so, then what is the difference between pot and alcohol?

Seems a little hypocritical.

[Edited 2013-04-24 12:39:29]

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: DocLightning
Posted 2013-04-24 12:56:18 and read 13800 times.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 9):
So what about the right of the public to not be flown by an impaired pilot? Pot stays in the brain for up to 30 days and definitely affects motor coordination and judgement.

The statement is incorrect. The longest cannabis metabolites have been detected in the urine after last use was 31 days (IIRC... I might be off by a day or two). In most cases, it will be undetectable after 7-14 days. As for impairment of coordination and judgement, yes, during acute intoxication it can do that, but not to the degree that alcohol does. It's more of an impairment in awareness and focus. Of course, that is incompatible with being a commercial pilot all the same.

But if we're going to talk about pot, let's at least work with some facts, rather than popular myths.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: traindoc
Posted 2013-04-24 12:57:37 and read 13799 times.

To mmo,

I am not critiquing you, just making a general point. Yes, alcohol is also a problem. However, alcohol wears off much more quickly than pot. Even when someone who has smoked a joint says they are normal, they can still have impairment of motor skills and judgement.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-24 13:07:41 and read 13738 times.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 12):
I am not critiquing you, just making a general point

I appreciate that, but one has to look objectively at the problem. Clearly, alcohol is a much bigger problem than pot or other types of self medication. However, the bottom line is they all result in impaired employees.

So, the simple thing is to treat them all the same. If someone has an alcohol problem or a pot problem, it makes no difference, they have a problem. If they are willing to get treatment, sometimes with a little persuasion, then that is what matters.

Having the company circumvent the established procedures makes anyone on the fence with a problem be much more reluctant to step forward.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2013-04-24 13:10:10 and read 13713 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 2):
I have no problem with him returning to work. The company lost at arbitration.

Clearly they are trying to "cherry pick". It would appear as if they have violated the CBA with not complying with their own rules.

This is probably the most correct assessment. It's more than a little inappropriate for an Airline to disregard a ruling it agreed to adhere to when they signed the CBA. Hopefully owing this guy a ton of back pay will better educate them on what contracts actually mean.

Quoting airtran737 (Reply 1):

Fire him. Having an impaired pilot is not an option.

You do not know that he was actually impaired. It is possible to test positive for THC for up to thirty days after last usage. I'm certainly not a doctor, but I have never heard of anyone being Impaired for that long, and the article is not that specific.

Quoting davescj (Reply 3):
I wonder if Horizon did not follow an established procedure?

They failed to review his record per CBA guidelines. This is where they messed up. Had they done that correctly, there would not be an issue now.

Quoting airtran737 (Reply 5):
I want to know why he still has a medical if he is using drugs. You are required to list all prescription drugs that you are currently taking. If he didn't list marijuana on his medical, then he technically lied on it, and therefore it can be revoked. He isn't going to get a waiver or a SODA for pot so then the case is solved.

This is a fair point. If there is any Federal action on this, no doubt it will effect his employability. But that would have to be handled at another juncture.

Quoting mmo (Reply 10):
You get people into treatment, with follow up and testing you can ensure they do not work/fly/whatever under the influence of drugs/alcohol.

I think I can agree with this too. Pot, Cocaine, et al, have no place in the Flight Deck. But using the current approach may not be good enough to solve the issue if there are better methods (as you mention with the HIMS program) available.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-24 13:48:29 and read 13585 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 13):
Having the company circumvent the established procedures makes anyone on the fence with a problem be much more reluctant to step forward.

You do realize this guy wasn't on the fence. He didn't come forward and say he had a problem. He was BUSTED on a random check. Wrapping alll the sinners in the HIMS blanket is fine if they come forward and join on their own. However if they show up at work on drugs or alcohol and only get religion once they are caught is too late in my opinion.

I am not in favor of the liberal HIMS programs we have at my carrier. Fire these guys and stop treating this career like a T-ball team for 8 year olds. Not everybody gets a trophy.

This job is too difficult to attain to have those not committed to doing it professionally engaged in flying. If you can't do it sober get out.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: twincommander
Posted 2013-04-24 17:01:22 and read 12613 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 15):
This job is too difficult to attain to have those not committed to doing it professionally engaged in flying. If you can't do it sober get out.

Couldn't have said it any better.

Every aviation job I've had is the same way. No strike policy. The way it should be. Make space for a new person who WANTS to be responsible with the lives in his hands.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: bigfoot0503
Posted 2013-04-24 17:13:50 and read 12462 times.

Quoting davescj (Reply 3):
Surprising ruling by the arbitrator. I wonder if Horizon did not follow an established procedure? However, it is simple: Pot is an illegal drug under federal law. Federal law does not allow pilots to use it. We should be done.

Well said

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: BoeingGuy
Posted 2013-04-24 17:26:29 and read 12316 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 2):
First of all, the title is very misleading. It's not AS but Horizon.

No it's not misleading. Alaska Air Group owns Horizon. Horizon Airplanes all have the Alaska branding on them.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: AA94
Posted 2013-04-24 17:28:29 and read 12288 times.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
The statement is incorrect. The longest cannabis metabolites have been detected in the urine after last use was 31 days (IIRC... I might be off by a day or two). In most cases, it will be undetectable after 7-14 days. As for impairment of coordination and judgement, yes, during acute intoxication it can do that, but not to the degree that alcohol does. It's more of an impairment in awareness and focus. Of course, that is incompatible with being a commercial pilot all the same.

While I appreciate the dedication to accuracy (I really do!), I think the sentiment still remains that we (the flying public) don't really want anyone, at any degree of impairment, flying our aircraft. In my opinion, it's a difficult, involved job that requires a high level of focus and attention to detail, tasks that require utmost coherence.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: HiFlyerAS
Posted 2013-04-24 17:52:45 and read 12061 times.

This pilot is employed by Horizon Air, not Alaska Air Group nor Alaska Airlines....therefore the thread title is incorrect.

That said, if he tested positive during a random drug screening he's fired...no second chance. I don't want recreational pot or any type of drug users in safety-sensitive positions, be they a pilot, flight attendant, train engineer, bus driver, etc. I don't want the people building the airplanes I fly in using drugs either, nor people that are stoned driving a car down the freeway next to me. This permissiveness towards pot is getting out of control. Colorado and Washington State's new pot legalization laws are going to be an interesting experiment that could very well backfire if users don't act responsibly.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-04-24 17:54:36 and read 12036 times.

According to the article he was given a clean bill of health and should be allowed to continue to fly for AS or Horizon. He get treatment and is now deemed to be fit for work and I don't know why he should not be able to continue to make a living as a pilot with AS.

Beside the fact that he was given a clean bill of health, AS's policy is to allow him to continue to fly and beable to make a living doing what he has been trained for. How many pilots have a drinking problem that we don't know about or any other addiction for that matter?

[Edited 2013-04-24 17:55:05]

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: JBAirwaysFan
Posted 2013-04-24 18:03:43 and read 11951 times.

Few notes: Marijuana is legal in the state of Washington. If he is a Seattle-based pilot then his marijuana usage is perfectly legal so long as he does so within the borders of the State of Washington (or Colorado). No, he shouldn't be flying stoned and I feel that would be grounds for termination, but if the substance was just in his system then he shouldn't be fired based on the new laws as marijuana stays in your system for an extended period after usage.

I think AS and Horizon will probably have to update their policies to accommodate the new laws. Anyone with a Seattle crew base probably should (or Denver for that matter). If they are smoking the stuff off duty and with enough time to sober up before flying then I don't see any foul.

Another thing to consider is that marijuana is viewed on the same level as cocaine/crack, heroine and other chemically addictive drugs. It shouldn't be. Marijuana is psychologically addictive, not chemically. Cigarettes are chemically addictive, but pilots can use tobacco products.

[Edited 2013-04-24 18:09:23]

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: blueflyer
Posted 2013-04-24 18:08:11 and read 11881 times.

Quoting davescj (Reply 3):
However, it is simple: Pot is an illegal drug under federal law. Federal law does not allow pilots to use it. We should be done.

If Horizon screwed up, I don't think they should be able to hide behind federal law to avoid facing the consequences of their mistake. At the same time, I wouldn't advocate putting a pilot under the influence in the cockpit.

There is a middle-of-the-road solution that Horizon should be forced to take. Re-hire the pilot and pay him his guaranteed minimum every month, but don't give him a line. Passengers are safe and Horizon pays for its mistake.

Either he will pass x numbers of random tests and can be declared "clean" or he will bust another random test and will be terminated properly.

Yes, he gets a second chance, but that is the price Horizon pays for rushing through his termination. After all, his second chance is also another chance to screw up...

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: nutsaboutplanes
Posted 2013-04-24 18:14:59 and read 11793 times.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):
I think AS and Horizon will probably have to update their policies to accommodate the new laws. Anyone with a Seattle crew base probably should (or Denver for that matter). If they are smoking the stuff off duty and with enough time to sober up before flying then I don't see any foul.




Airlines are controlled by Federal Regulation, not state law. The carriers could not adjust their policy by state if they wanted to.

To mcdu's point, ALL major carriers have "self-disclosure" programs where an individual can seek help and disclose an addiction or other issue without fear of retribution. I have seen this many, many times. The individual will receive counseling, therapy etc and will be subjected to drug tests for a year or more to make sure that they are compliant.......all at no cost to the individual, the company generally covers the cost.

If an individual tests positive during a random or post accident/ incident screening, the self-disclosure avenue is closed and they if they test positive, that's it. I have never seen a positive post accident or random test end in anything other than termination of employment for CSA's, Rampers, Mechanics and Flight attendants.........I would expect the standard to be even higher for pilots.

Fire the guy, deal with any legal fall-out and drag it out for years. AAG should not cave on this one, I dont think they will as they have a very conservative corporate culture.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2013-04-24 18:15:58 and read 12055 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 21):
He get treatment

After he'd been caught. It's too late then.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 21):
I don't know why he should not be able to continue to make a living as a pilot

Because the "Get me help so I can continue working" card can only be played if you voluntarily come forward with your problem BEFORE getting caught.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 21):
AS's policy is to allow him to continue to fly and beable to make a living doing what he has been trained for.

If he comes forward and seeks treatment prior to being caught, yes. In this case, he got busted. Game over.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: infiniti329
Posted 2013-04-24 18:16:37 and read 12008 times.

Was he high or was just in his system? There is a difference between to the two.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: nutsaboutplanes
Posted 2013-04-24 18:18:55 and read 12142 times.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 23):
Yes, he gets a second chance, but that is the price Horizon pays for rushing through his termination. After all, his second chance is also another chance to screw up...



Couldn't DISAGREE with you more. There is much greater risk in putting a pilot with a known substance abuse problem back in the flight deck of an aircraft..........imagine if their was an accident involving this pilot after QX put him back in the flight deck on a technicality.........how would the airline explain that?

The risk it too great.........that's what corporate attorneys are for.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-24 18:42:07 and read 11862 times.

The article isn't all that clear. Is the violation the APA is claiming Horizon committed in relation to their "volunteering/come forward if you have a problem" program? If not it seems like a pretty bone-headed move on Horizon's part to even have it in their pilot contracts that those with substance abuse issues (if caught in a random screening) can't be terminated immediately. In any case, the guy should be kept away from piloting planes, I can't see Horizon or the federal government wanting headlines in the papers that pot-smoking pilots are allowed to fly.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-24 18:43:55 and read 11875 times.

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 26):
Was he high or was just in his system? There is a difference between to the two.

Sorry, but recreational drug users have ZERO place in the cockpit. If he is a pilot he does not have the opportunity to get high on the weekends and then show up "sober" on Monday. This is a critical job, that describes critical thinking and responses. This guy is flying in the Pacific Northwest that has some of the most challenging weather around. In a CRM led cockpit environment you need BOTH pilots with their heads screwed on properly. In a dire situation this guys could have cost several lives with his lack of discipline and unprofessional behavior. Shame on him for allowing himself to venture down this path.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: MountainFlyer
Posted 2013-04-24 19:20:07 and read 11535 times.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):

Few notes: Marijuana is legal in the state of Washington. If he is a Seattle-based pilot then his marijuana usage is perfectly legal so long as he does so within the borders of the State of Washington (or Colorado).

The drug test in question was in November 2011, more than a year before marijuana became legal under Washington law. Also, regardless of whether or not marijuana is legal under Washington state law, unless QX has unbeknownst to me quit flying outside the state of Washington or is somehow no longer under the authority of the FAA, it is still illegal.

It is also still illegal at the federal level regardless of whether or not the administration chooses to enforce it or not. So no, it is not "perfectly legal."

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):
Another thing to consider is that marijuana is viewed on the same level as cocaine/crack, heroine and other chemically addictive drugs. It shouldn't be. Marijuana is psychologically addictive, not chemically. Cigarettes are chemically addictive, but pilots can use tobacco products.

The legality or illegality of various drugs is not because they are addictive. If nicotine caused impairment of motor skills and judgement or was hallucinogenic, I'm sure it would be illegal too.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: blueflyer
Posted 2013-04-24 19:27:57 and read 11450 times.

Quoting nutsaboutplanes (Reply 27):
There is much greater risk in putting a pilot with a known substance abuse problem back in the flight deck of an aircraft.

I'm advocating he be paid his minimum and not fly until he either fails a random test and be terminated properly, or passes several of them. I am not saying he should return to the controls immediately.

Allowing him to return to the cockpit after successful monitoring is not very different than existing programs, the main difference is that Horizon still has to pay him.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: DiamondFlyer
Posted 2013-04-24 19:42:53 and read 11315 times.

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 20):
This pilot is employed by Horizon Air, not Alaska Air Group nor Alaska Airlines....therefore the thread title is incorrect.

No it is not, as has been pointed out, Horizon is owned by the AAG.

-DiamondFlyer

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: KD5MDK
Posted 2013-04-24 19:43:22 and read 11332 times.

Why doesn't QX just shoot him and stop the appeal there? I'll bet the APA would file a lot fewer grievances if the company did that.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Tomassjc
Posted 2013-04-24 20:15:49 and read 10999 times.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 32):
Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 20):
This pilot is employed by Horizon Air, not Alaska Air Group nor Alaska Airlines....therefore the thread title is incorrect.

No it is not, as has been pointed out, Horizon is owned by the AAG.

-DiamondFlyer

Horizon is operated as a separate entity, AS titles on the aircraft or not. Horizon employees are NOT employed by AS. Horizon aircraft are "Operated by Horizon Air". Alaska is not suing against having the pilot reinstated, Horizon Air is. The thread title IS incorrect.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ORDJOE
Posted 2013-04-24 20:44:10 and read 10749 times.

I really do not have a problem with a pilot that puffs at home, it shows at least they have a stress outlet. Just because he pissed positive is no indication that he was high. Drug tests for the most part try to detect the metabolite(it is far easier to detect than the active ingredient), not the actual THC, so it has no indication whether he was high.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: nutsaboutplanes
Posted 2013-04-24 20:52:51 and read 10674 times.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 31):
I'm advocating he be paid his minimum and not fly until he either fails a random test and be terminated properly, or passes several of them. I am not saying he should return to the controls immediately.

Allowing him to return to the cockpit after successful monitoring is not very different than existing programs, the main difference is that Horizon still has to pay him.




This also sets a precedent, and with unions, that is as good as law. The airline will not do this because they would have to treat future cases in the same way, the union would use it against them in the future. I understand that there are implications that QX did not follow a process, however, that is an assumption as well and not fact. Also, even if QX went the route that you suggest, they should not have to absorb the financial burden of paying an individual who can not fly. If there were to be an agreement, it should be that he do so with no pay and be cleared by medical professionals and a treatment program before returning to flying status and the payroll.

I would like to know what "Horizon didn't fully review the employees record" really means............sounds to me like an overly employee friendly arbitrator.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: TheCol
Posted 2013-04-24 21:56:00 and read 10206 times.

Quoting twincommander (Reply 16):
Every aviation job I've had is the same way. No strike policy. The way it should be. Make space for a new person who WANTS to be responsible with the lives in his hands.

  

That's how this industry works. One strike, and you're out. The safety margins are too thin as it is. If he had decided to come forward with this problem, then things would have worked out differently.

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 20):
This pilot is employed by Horizon Air, not Alaska Air Group nor Alaska Airlines....therefore the thread title is incorrect.

No, you're incorrect. Horizon Air is owned by AAG.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 21):
According to the article he was given a clean bill of health and should be allowed to continue to fly for AS or Horizon. He get treatment and is now deemed to be fit for work and I don't know why he should not be able to continue to make a living as a pilot with AS.

Because he works in an industry with a one strike policy. If Horizon allows him to fly again, then they are setting a precedent for the entire industry.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):
Few notes: Marijuana is legal in the state of Washington. If he is a Seattle-based pilot then his marijuana usage is perfectly legal so long as he does so within the borders of the State of Washington (or Colorado).

The airline industry falls under federal jurisdiction.

Quoting ORDJOE (Reply 35):
I really do not have a problem with a pilot that puffs at home,

There is a zero tolerance policy for use of illegal substances in aviation, regardless of when those substances are used. If he obtained marijuana by prescription, then he would have been legally obligated to notify an FAA medical examiner. Clearly he didn't, since his class 1 would have been immediately revoked.

Quoting ORDJOE (Reply 35):
it shows at least they have a stress outlet.

There are plenty of legitimate stress outlets.

Topic: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: FlyDeltaJets
Posted 2013-04-24 22:03:23 and read 10151 times.

As usual the a.net community is ready to throw anyone out on the street. This case is clear. Horizon had established procedures for substance abuse, they didn't like the outcome and now they are trying to use the courts to circumvent their own policies. This has nothing to do with whether you agree that the pilot should have his job back or not. This is a clear violation of Horizon of its own procedures and the courts should rule in the favor of the procedures which according to my understanding would be the reinstatement of the pilot. Also it says that the pilot successfully completed a treatment program as well.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ASFlyer
Posted 2013-04-24 22:32:49 and read 9940 times.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 37):
Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 20):
This pilot is employed by Horizon Air, not Alaska Air Group nor Alaska Airlines....therefore the thread title is incorrect.

No, you're incorrect. Horizon Air is owned by AAG.

No, you're incorrect. Alaska Air Group owns both Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines. Two separate companies owned by the same holding company. This does not mean that this Pilot is employed by Alaska Airlines or Alaska Air Group. He is employed by Horizon Air and Horizon Air is suing to prevent his return to work. Alaska Airlines is not involved in any way what so ever. They are a completely separately operated company. If this was a Pilot at Express Jet you wouldn't be saying that he works for Skywest. just because they own Express Jet. Or maybe you would, but you would be wrong.

[Edited 2013-04-24 22:35:55]

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: blueflyer
Posted 2013-04-24 22:36:59 and read 9912 times.

Quoting nutsaboutplanes (Reply 36):
I understand that there are implications that QX did not follow a process, however, that is an assumption as well and not fact.

Well, Horizon agreed to binding arbitration (at least until they saw the results), and they lost apparently on the basis of not following agreed upon procedure, so for the time being it is a fact.

You make a very valid point about setting a precedent, but there is no more reason to allow Horizon to set a precedent by refusing to accept the result of a process they willingly agreed to, so what should consequence should Horizon suffer instead?

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-24 22:50:06 and read 9849 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 29):
Sorry, but recreational drug users have ZERO place in the cockpit.

What strikes me about your arguments is the fact you keep focusing in on "recreational drug" users. The simple fact is the policies are designed for substance abuse. That could be alcohol, pot, or something else. It is to provide a more rational approach for dealing with addictions.

I would venture to say your knowledge of the HIMS program is very limited. It's not like he gets treatment and then goes back to flying. There is a very long and complicated process for the pilot to get his medical back. It just does not happen at the end of treatment. If you look at the results of the program you would find it works. The rate of recidivism is fairly low.

Using your logic, I would say it is safe to assume you would favor termination of a pilot if they are stopped and subsequently convicted of a DUI/DWI? After all they have demonstrated "lack of discipline and unprofessional behavior".

Quoting mcdu (Reply 29):
In a dire situation this guys could have cost several lives with his lack of discipline and unprofessional behavior

I think you can not differentiate the difference between alcohol, drugs or any other substance when it comes to dependency.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2013-04-25 00:20:08 and read 9368 times.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):
If he is a Seattle-based pilot then his marijuana usage is perfectly legal so long as he does so within the borders of the State of Washington (or Colorado).

That's not accurate. While the state and local cops won't bust someone for marijuana possession or usage, there's nothing stopping a federal agent from making a bust.

Also, federal regulations specify exactly which drugs a pilot can and cannot have in their system, and in what quantities. Marijuana, like all other Schedule I drugs, are zero-tolerance.

I'm actually quite surprised he was able to keep his medical certificate.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 37):

That's how this industry works. One strike, and you're out.

Not always.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 37):

Because he works in an industry with a one strike policy. If Horizon allows him to fly again, then they are setting a precedent for the entire industry.

Northwest set that precedent 20 years ago, when they rehired a pilot who was originally terminated when he and his crew flew a flight completely and utterly wasted.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: rwsea
Posted 2013-04-25 00:41:45 and read 9272 times.

Quoting cessna2 (Thread starter):
thoughts?

On the surface the article sounds shocking, but the thing is that pot stays in your system a long time. The current technology used when doing pot tests cannot properly distinguish between someone who was high a week ago and someone who is high currently. This isn't the same as alcohol where the tests give an indication of whether you're drunk at that exact moment or not.

So my thought? If he was HIGH at work then there's no question he should be fired. If this was on his own time and does not impact his job responsibilities in any way, then I don't think it's the airline's business what he was doing.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-25 00:49:13 and read 9252 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 42):
I'm actually quite surprised he was able to keep his medical certificate.

Under the current FAA rules, he loses his medical certificate. However, there is a very rigid process for him to get his medical back.....the HIMS program does that. It is extremely difficult for a pilot to get it back on his own.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2013-04-25 02:30:52 and read 8822 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 44):
Under the current FAA rules, he loses his medical certificate.

So in other words, he's done flying anyways.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-25 03:27:12 and read 8603 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 45):
So in other words, he's done flying anyways.

Please re-read what I wrote. No, he is not necessarily finished with flying. If you read the link about the pilot, it would appear he has gone through treatment and subsequent to that complied with all the FAA mandated testing. I would imagine since he is employed by an ALPA represented carrier, the HIMS program took care of the recertification of his medical.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: JBAirwaysFan
Posted 2013-04-25 05:05:38 and read 8163 times.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 37):
The airline industry falls under federal jurisdiction.

Yeah, but the off-duty pilot does not.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 42):
That's not accurate. While the state and local cops won't bust someone for marijuana possession or usage, there's nothing stopping a federal agent from making a bust.

Unless they are instructed not to enforce it within the states' borders, which very well may be the case since it doesn't violate state laws. The Federal Government would have intervened if they were going to choose to enforce it and blocked the law from taking effect. So to say it is not accurate is not accurate either.

There will have to be some adjustments made, IMO, to rules and regs, because these were also made when pot was illegal in all 50 states. Now that recreational use of pot is legal in 2 states (forget the fact that multiple airlines have crew bases in SEA and DEN), things will have to change.
When you're sober, you're sober. When you're stoned, you're stoned. Just like when you're drunk, you're drunk, and when you're sober, you're sober. Even though marijuana stays in your system for 30 days or so, it's in your blood, not your brain. You're not impaired 20 days after you use pot.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-25 05:21:46 and read 8036 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 46):
I would imagine since he is employed by an ALPA represented carrier, the HIMS program took care of the recertification of his medical.

More great use of my dues dollars. . ALPA can't get items passed to help the majority of us that contribute yet they will do whatever it takes to get the users back in the cockpit.

Quoting mmo,reply=41Using your logic, I would say it is safe to assume you would favor termination of a pilot if they are stopped and subsequently convicted of a DUI/DWI? After all they have demonstrated lack of discipline and unprofessional behavior. :

Yes I think you get a DUI you lose your job/certificate. Before taking the first sip, smoking the first joint, popping the first pill the pilot knows it is wrong. The rules have not been dream against them. They are in place and have been for a very long time.

What if I have an "addiction" to Oreo's? I am going to ear them until I can wrap a seatbelt around my lap or fit through the cockpit door. Do I get do join HIMS and have vast amounts of money thrown at me to stop eating? I am sick and tired of having to pay for these programs with increased insurance premiums or decreased coverage. I have flown with EAP volunteers, guys that have been thriving the program themselves and not a one of them has been very good pilots. The brain dmamge incurred my allow functionality but it doesn't make them ideal to work in a cockpit.

Do you really want your family strapped into a cockpit with perhaps TWO drug/alcohol users/abusers that have been given the green light on a dark and stormy night? Personally I don't and with the HIMS program that is very much possible.

You say falling off the wagon is "very limited". Well when do you find out? When they show up for the hand holding class and pop a test? One of those monthly test that they go to while they have been actively flying. So they could be using and flying, not get caught until they go to one of the meetings correct? I am no HIMS expert because I am a me to decipher right from wrong I suppose.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: RWA380
Posted 2013-04-25 05:25:23 and read 8004 times.

Quoting davescj (Reply 3):
However, it is simple: Pot is an illegal drug under federal law

It sure is, however states (ie...Washington) that have legalized it, are now going to get let off the hooks by the feds, when a very promising bill is finally set in place, it will have direct orders from the President himself, keeping Feds from going after and prosecuting those who are covered by a law on the state level, saving tons of resources for real criminals.

Quoting mmo (Reply 8):

Sorry, but as a Captain with many, many years of experience, I disagree. Chemical dependency is a very thorny issue. ALPA and the airlines in general have developed set procedures to help people who have issues. Termination will only encourage people to hide their problems rather than seeking help. The HIMS program has been going for a number of years with excellent results. Going back to the Dark Ages does nothing but drive the problem underground.

Well put, for a captain, you have an enlightened point of view, thanks for the perspective.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 9):
So what about the right of the public to not be flown by an impaired pilot?

If he had been flying imparred or "high" he should be terminated, just like a pilot coming to work, still smelling of alcohol from putting a few back the night before. As a person familiar with both substances, the effect of medicinal marijuana and booze is about the same length of time. If you are comfortable with a pilot flying your aircraft after a night of drinking, then pot smoking would be the same.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 9):
or driving on the same street as me or my loved ones.

Since a fair amount of the population in America has or currently uses marijuana I'd say chances are you drive next to people under that influence every day you take your car our, in most any major city across America.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 9):
the cat is out of the bag with pot as witnessed in places like Colorado. The rights of the pot smoker are going to trump those of the average citizen when it comes to freedom from harm

Nope, the freedoms of the medical marijuana user are going to finally become a non-issue here shortly. Americas opinion has shifted regarding this issue in the past ten years, the majority now support some level of legalization.
This means pot now becomes the same as alcohol, which is ok for pilots to use the day before, or during his off time.

Jiust so you are aware, and I've seen not one person saying this. The pilot suffers with a s.pecific type of back pain, this medical marijuana helps his pain, (would we be happier if he was taking oxycontin and flying?) Anyway, this pilot has stated, he NEVER flew "high", he NEVER flew even the day if he had an early departure. He passed drug tests before, he resides in a state where it is legal

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
The statement is incorrect. The longest cannabis metabolites have been detected in the urine after last use was 31 days (IIRC... I might be off by a day or two). In most cases, it will be undetectable after 7-14 days. As for impairment of coordination and judgement, yes, during acute intoxication it can do that, but not to the degree that alcohol does. It's more of an impairment in awareness and focus. Of course, that is incompatible with being a commercial pilot all the same.

Thank you for squashing some of the ridiculous "Reefer Madness" thoughts that have popped up. A professional opinion is a great way of getting some to re-think their stance. Thanks again!

But if we're going to talk about pot, let's at least work with some facts, rather than popular myths

Reefer Madness, That is the largest hurdle that we will have to overcome in this country, so we can just legalize this shit, and get onto putting our resources into some real crime solving.

Quoting mmo (Reply 13):
However, the bottom line is they all result in impaired employees

Seems to be that everything the pilot said was indicating, that there would have been no impairment while he was on duty.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 14):

You do not know that he was actually impaired. It is possible to test positive for THC for up to thirty days after last usage. I'm certainly not a doctor, but I have never heard of anyone being Impaired for that long, and the article is not that specific.

The local news KOIN 6 here in PDX, did dig a little deeper than this article, and he followed the rules of alcohol use in the cockpit.

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 20):
nor people that are stoned driving a car down the freeway next to me

If you live in a suburban or downtown area of any city, it happens to you every time you drive on the road.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):
Few notes: Marijuana is legal in the state of Washington. If he is a Seattle-based pilot then his marijuana usage is perfectly legal so long as he does so within the borders of the State of Washington (or Colorado). No, he shouldn't be flying stoned and I feel that would be grounds for termination, but if the substance was just in his system then he shouldn't be fired based on the new laws as marijuana stays in your system for an extended period after usage

It does stay in your system a long time, but that of course is no indication of his impairment.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):
I think AS and Horizon will probably have to update their policies to accommodate the new laws. Anyone with a Seattle crew base probably should (or Denver for that matter). If they are smoking the stuff off duty and with enough time to sober up before flying then I don't see any foul
Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 26):
Was he high or was just in his system? There is a difference between to the two.

Just in his system, and there are easy blood tests that can measure the THC in your system, that are sensitive enough to determine when you smoked, or ate it, and how much is in your system. Every state where it is legal, now has a measure that determines if you are getting a DUII or not, just like how much alcohol you can blow before you go, to jail.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 29):
Sorry, but recreational drug users have ZERO place in the cockpit. If he is a pilot he does not have the opportunity to get high on the weekends and then show up "sober" on Monday. This is a critical job, that describes critical thinking and responses. This guy is flying in the Pacific Northwest that has some of the most challenging weather around. In a CRM led cockpit environment you need BOTH pilots with their heads screwed on properly. In a dire situation this guys could have cost several lives with his lack of discipline and unprofessional behavior. Shame on him for allowing himself to venture down this path.


I say the same thing every time I see a pilot in an airport bar, just after flying a long flight. I bet we have pilots on meth, which stays a week in your system, or pilots with alcohol or who knows what else. Marijuana is the lesser of the evils. Ever hear of two guys sparking a doobie at a party, just to end up fighting and being obnoxious like a drunk?

Quoting ORDJOE (Reply 35):
I really do not have a problem with a pilot that puffs at home, it shows at least they have a stress outlet. Just because he pissed positive is no indication that he was high. Drug tests for the most part try to detect the metabolite(it is far easier to detect than the active ingredient), not the actual THC, so it has no indication whether he was high

They can measure how much THC in your system with a simple blood test, which will give them an idea of how high he may or may not be. He was not flying impaired. Your statement is well spoken and accurate, thanks for the right info.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 37):
Because he works in an industry with a one strike policy. If Horizon allows him to fly again, then they are setting a precedent for the entire industry

I hope that happens, at some point in our lifetime this will all be a non-issue, and pot like booze will be measured the same.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 38):
As usual the a.net community is ready to throw anyone out on the street. This case is clear. Horizon had established procedures for substance abuse, they didn't like the outcome and now they are trying to use the courts to circumvent their own policies. This has nothing to do with whether you agree that the pilot should have his job back or not. This is a clear violation of Horizon of its own procedures and the courts should rule in the favor of the procedures which according to my understanding would be the reinstatement of the pilot. Also it says that the pilot successfully completed a treatment program as well.

Yes there Is a Jerry Falwell'esque tenor to many of the responses to the thread, your words are appreciated.

Quoting mmo (Reply 41):
I think you can not differentiate the difference between alcohol, drugs or any other substance when it comes to dependency

It is sad, people (pilots included) get stuck in life, I think everyone deserves help if they need and want it. Or maybe this pilot is not different than other pilots I've known in my past, he just got caught.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: B727FA
Posted 2013-04-25 05:28:42 and read 7970 times.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 37):
That's how this industry works. One strike, and you're out. The safety margins are too thin as it is. If he had decided to come forward with this problem, then things would have worked out differently.

That's simply not the case. He completed the program as set forth by his company and has been cleared to fly.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-25 05:47:38 and read 7860 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 49):
Seems to be that everything the pilot said was indicating, that there would have been no impairment while he was on duty.

He hit a random test while at work. That is not free of impairment.

Quoting B727FA (Reply 50):
That's simply not the case. He completed the program as set forth by his company and has been cleared to fly.

Entry into the program should not be approved if you are positive on a random test. On a random test you have come to work under the influence and therefore should be terminated. Not coming to work high is not a NEW RULE. These people knew these rules before hand and yet chose to put passenger safety at risk for their own needs. This is unacceptable on so many levels and therefore termination is sufficient. However, if we would allow prosecution with jail terms for some of this activity it might help curtail some of the guys asking for more chances. These are adults, not children, you know the risk of your own behavior it is time we start holding them accountable. Should we have to give them a pony too?

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Hypoxik
Posted 2013-04-25 06:54:54 and read 7326 times.

QX is not part of ALPA. Try the trucker's union.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-04-25 07:19:16 and read 7181 times.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):
Cigarettes are chemically addictive, but pilots can use tobacco products.

Diversion tactic. Tobacco does not impair.

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 26):
Was he high or was just in his system? There is a difference between to the two.

That is one of the problems - there is no well established measure. Even with alcohol, which is much better understood, different places have dramatically different levels.

Quoting ORDJOE (Reply 35):
I really do not have a problem with a pilot that puffs at home, it shows at least they have a stress outlet. Just because he pissed positive is no indication that he was high. Drug tests for the most part try to detect the metabolite(it is far easier to detect than the active ingredient), not the actual THC, so it has no indication whether he was high.

It is also no indication he was not impaired.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 38):
As usual the a.net community is ready to throw anyone out on the street. This case is clear. Horizon had established procedures for substance abuse, they didn't like the outcome and now they are trying to use the courts to circumvent their own policies. This has nothing to do with whether you agree that the pilot should have his job back or not. This is a clear violation of Horizon of its own procedures and the courts should rule in the favor of the procedures which according to my understanding would be the reinstatement of the pilot. Also it says that the pilot successfully completed a treatment program as well.

Oh good - process trumps safety.

Quoting mmo (Reply 41):
Using your logic, I would say it is safe to assume you would favor termination of a pilot if they are stopped and subsequently convicted of a DUI/DWI? After all they have demonstrated "lack of discipline and unprofessional behavior".

Yes. If you are convicted of a DUI in Colorado - you loose your right to operate a vehicle (car). They don't care if you loose your job as a consequence. So we let somebody who had to take a taxi to work because he has no DL, fly a commercial a/c.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 49):
when a very promising bill is finally set in place, it will have direct orders from the President himself,

Oh - just frickin great. And people are worried about process. Use of executive orders is yet another symptom of the malaise of our federal government (both sides).

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 49):
I'd say chances are you drive next to people under that influence every day you take your car our, in most any major city across America.

Oh - just frikin' great. Just because people abuse, I'm supposed to be completely tolerant.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 49):
Anyway, this pilot has stated, he NEVER flew "high", he NEVER flew even the day if he had an early departure. He passed drug tests before, he resides in a state where it is legal

Habitual users ALWAYS say that - regardless of the drug of choice. One of the most common statements is denial.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 49):
It does stay in your system a long time, but that of course is no indication of his impairment.

Again, the data on impairment is very incomplete. There is some very disturbing data on long term impairment and cognitive issues.
Come on - we've all been there - known people in their 50's that have been smoking pot since the 70's and you can spot it in a second in response.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-25 07:23:14 and read 7145 times.

Obviously, you have some very strong opinions and this has certainly hit a nerve!!

Quoting mcdu (Reply 48):
Yes I think you get a DUI you lose your job/certificate. Before taking the first sip, smoking the first joint, popping the first pill the pilot knows it is wrong. The rules have not been dream against them. They are in place and have been for a very long time.

So, if you were to get stopped for reckless driving or another moving violation, should you lose your job then? What if you declare bankruptcy, lose your job? I could argue all of those issues show poor judgment and using your criteria termination is warranted. Am I correct?

Quoting mcdu (Reply 48):
Do you really want your family strapped into a cockpit with perhaps TWO drug/alcohol users/abusers that have been given the green light on a dark and stormy night?


That comment shows just how little you understand. They are NOT drug/alcohol users/abusers. Former would be the correct term.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 48):
One of those monthly test that they go to while they have been actively flying. So they could be using and flying, not get caught until they go to one of the meetings correct?

Again, you show you do not have any knowledge of the HIMS program. The testing is random and it's more than monthly What is your point???

Quoting mcdu (Reply 51):
He hit a random test while at work. That is not free of impairment.

Again, the test just shows the presence of THC, not if the person in impaired. Alcohol, on the other hand does show impairment.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 51):
Not coming to work high is not a NEW RULE.


Again you are confusing the presence of THC with impairment.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 51):
This is unacceptable on so many levels and therefore termination is sufficient. However, if we would allow prosecution with jail terms for some of this activity it might help curtail some of the guys asking for more chances.

On one hand you complain about ALPA dues and how much HIMS costs and the impact it has on your medical. But now you suggest jail terms. Won't we run out of jails even quicker if that happens. Now your taxes will increase....
The logic baffles me??? Should be bring back debtor's prison too while we are at it??? That would teach people a lesson!!!

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2013-04-25 08:23:23 and read 6692 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 53):

Actually, tobacco can cause imparment. Cigarettes can induce a sense of euphoria and cause mood swings, which can affect concentration, attitude, focus and coordination.

As well, tobacco has very strong and unpredictible withdrawal symptoms, which can also cause physical and mental degradation.

A long flight without a cig definitely has negative effects on a person...and you can take that from a 30 year former smoker.

It's much the same as how driving abilities are different when a person is relaxed or when they are late, the A/C is broken, you're almost out of gas, you get cut off and miss your exit, you get a ticket and some real Richard steals your parking space.

That's what it's like going too many hours without a smoke....and no, the patch, gum, etc., are not the same as having a smoke.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: nitepilot79
Posted 2013-04-25 08:44:41 and read 6550 times.

I heard from a retired FA that back 60s and 70s there wasn't much drug testing, if any at all within the airline industry, and some pilots would partake on the flight deck mid-flight! I don't recall which airline(s) she worked for. I don't think I'd be comfortable with stoned pilots.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-25 09:17:49 and read 6339 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 54):
So, if you were to get stopped for reckless driving or another moving violation,

You are trying to twist the subject to be all encompassing. If I have an addiction to driving reckless will the HIMS folks save me? Use of mid altering illegal substances is pretty cut and dried argument in my opinion. Suppose the abusers have the champions from HIMS in their corner. Meanwhile the majority of us will continue use to pay the price in dollars, benefits and flying the missed trips for these while they are rehab'd

If I got to make the decisions they would be fired. Why should the company be forced to bear the cost and lost manpower? My personal opinion is that people should bear the burden of THEIR actions. But in the new society it is okay to shirk you responsibilities and act any way you want. Hard to believe this is the same country that produced the "Greatest Gemeration". The "Dr Phil" generation is a turning out to be more disappointing than I could ever imagined.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-25 09:34:55 and read 6226 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 57):
You are trying to twist the subject to be all encompassing.

No I am not. I am trying to show you that all things are not black and white. You are the one that wrote the following
" lack of discipline and unprofessional behavior. Shame on him for allowing himself to venture down this path." Those are your words not mine! Certainly, the examples I cited would fall into your description of lack of discipline and unprofessional behavior.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 57):
Use of mid altering illegal substances is pretty cut and dried argument in my opinion


Then do you condone the use of alcohol? It is a legal substance??

Quoting mcdu (Reply 57):
Meanwhile the majority of us will continue use to pay the price in dollars, benefits and flying the missed trips for these while they are rehab'd

I don't buy that argument. It is proven that rehab is a much cheaper alternative than doing nothing, which if I read you correctly is what you are suggesting. Instead of offering rehab, getting a pilot back to work so he can support himself and his family, you advocate kicking him to the curb. How is that a solution. Missed trips!!! It's alright when someone calls in sick? That is what sick leave is for. I have worked for a 121 carrier and in the bigger scheme of things having a pilot out on LTS does not make a bit of difference.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 57):
If I got to make the decisions they would be fired

I am glad you don't get to make that decision.

I can assure you I am older than the "Dr Phil" generation. Do, don't try to throw mud in this discussion. You will wind up on the short end.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2013-04-25 11:41:00 and read 6100 times.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 47):
So to say it is not accurate is not accurate either.

To say you were completely wrong would be inaccurate, to say you were inaccurate was accurate.

What's that word for repeating a word so much it starts to look funny and loose its meaning?  
Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 47):
Just like when you're drunk, you're drunk, and when you're sober, you're sober.

That's not how it works at all. Everyone has different tolerances to both alcohol and drugs.

You can take any two people of similar age, height, and weight, get them to the point they have a .08BAC, and they will act as though they were at differing levels of intoxication.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 47):
Even though marijuana stays in your system for 30 days or so, it's in your blood, not your brain. You're not impaired 20 days after you use pot.

How do you think you get intoxicated in the first place?

If it's in your blood, it's in your brain. Whether the amount significantly affects your judgement and motor skills is what is important.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 51):
He hit a random test while at work. That is not free of impairment.

Not necessarily. Just because trace amounts of a substance shows up in a urine sample does not mean that amount has the ability to impair.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 57):
Use of mid altering illegal substances is pretty cut and dried argument in my opinion.

But the use of mind altering substances is OK as long as it's legal?

BTW... cocaine, meth, and PCP are not illegal.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: JBAirwaysFan
Posted 2013-04-25 12:27:17 and read 6067 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 53):
Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):
Cigarettes are chemically addictive, but pilots can use tobacco products.

Diversion tactic. Tobacco does not impair.

NOT a diversion tactic. Marijuana dose not have any chemically addictive properties. FACT.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 59):
To say you were completely wrong would be inaccurate, to say you were inaccurate was accurate.

Wrong, I'm making the point that marijuana is legal in 2 states now. Feds don't enforce it otherwise they would have been blocked from taking effect. His smoking pot on his off time is perfectly legal under state law. I'm trying to push that point across because now it is a factor. I wouldn't be making this argument if it were April 2012, but it's April 2013 and measures passed on election day to legalize the stuff. If he was off for five days and smoked pot on his first day off then he didn't break the law. The FARs (though federal) were made when pot was outlawed in all 50 states. That's not the case anymore.

My other point is that you are not still impaired 20 days after smoking pot. I'd say give it 10 hours and you're normal again.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2013-04-25 13:01:50 and read 6035 times.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 60):
His smoking pot on his off time is perfectly legal under state law. I'm trying to push that point across because now it is a factor.

And it's still illegal under federal law, and a major violation of company policy. The termination was justified, despite what the "But pot is legal in some states!" crowd say.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-25 13:26:06 and read 6018 times.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 61):
The termination was justified,

Not to jump in on the State v. Federal issue, the termination was ruled as not justified by the Arbitrator. The justification was because the company did not follow their own guidelines. Horizon violated their own rules and fired the pilot. The company can not just pick and chose what rules it wants to follow. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-25 17:57:00 and read 5894 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 62):
The company can not just pick and chose what rules it wants to follow. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

I hope they argue in court they took this action in the desperate need to assure safety of the traveling public. While it may have had a policy on termination it was in the public interest to terminate.

Always good to see someone freed on a technicality. Would you be cheering so loud if this pilot had killed your kids/grand kids as a result of his impairment. I have lost a close relative to a drunk driver. It was the 5th offense by the individual involved. He ran a large company in the city I live in and had been able to be rehabilitate several times. His last successful recovery was just a few months before the accident in which he killed my family member. At his trial he could afford great legal team to wash the facts away and spin to make it look it wasn't his fault. Fortunately the musty found him guilty and he was given 40 years in jail. Did I mention it was his 5th DUI and he was rehab'd as good to go several times?

I don't harbor the good will you do toward these types of people because I have lived the result of your programs and huge and kisses for the ones making these bad decisions. You get to trot them out at your HIMS meetings as a success when they are probably still using in front of you

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: HiFlyerAS
Posted 2013-04-25 19:20:55 and read 5847 times.

He'll never fly for QX again...Alaska Air Group has plenty of lawyers that will see to that. If he goes to civil court and claims wrongful termination they'll wear him down like an old carpet and he'll never see a dime. In fact it'll be him that's out the big money he'll paying to fight it. Give up and move on would be the smart thing to do.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-25 19:42:27 and read 5804 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 63):
Did I mention it was his 5th DUI and he was rehab'd as good to go several times?

So, now you are comparing this pilot to the person who hit a family member. Does seem a little desperate to me. However, please provide one single example where that has happened under a program as stringent as the HIMS program. I know you will not be able to.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 63):
I don't harbor the good will you do toward these types of people because I have lived the result of your programs and huge and kisses for the ones making these bad decisions. You get to trot them out at your HIMS meetings as a success when they are probably still using in front of you

I was wondering how long it would take until you resorted to an attack that has no basis in fact. Didn't take too long did it? I hope your CRM skills are better than you have demonstrated here.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-25 20:14:27 and read 5771 times.

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 64):
He'll never fly for QX again..

Agreed, especially with the recent ruling linked to below from a Colorado court that companies in Colorado could still fire employees for marijuana usage in off-the-job time even though marijuana is legal in Colorado. Obviously Washington is a different state, but it still sets the precedence.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...e-job-can-still-get-you-fired?lite

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2013-04-25 22:12:09 and read 5710 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 62):
the termination was ruled as not justified by the Arbitrator.

The arbitrator was, and is, wrong. Just because QX may not have followed a set procedure to the letter doesn't negate the fact he committed a terminable offense.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: KD5MDK
Posted 2013-04-25 22:20:47 and read 5693 times.

How about QX just declare a lockout? Safety is preserved, he doesn't fly, it's simple.

[Edited 2013-04-25 22:21:10]

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: beechtobus
Posted 2013-04-25 22:57:05 and read 5665 times.

Well said, thank you MMO.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 63):

MCDU, do you not realize that for every 1 person that you have flown with that you knew was in the HIMS program that you claimed to be a bad pilot, you probably flew with 3 others that you had no clue was in HIMS. Unless it was a publicized or well known event within the company that landed them there, it is a very discreet and private process, and 95 Percent of line pilots have no clue what HIMS is and let alone, who's in it. Do your fellow Crew-members generally introduce themselves by saying " Hi, I'm Fred, by the way I'm in HIMS", because mine sure don't. That's a little evidence right there that the program is doing its job by identifying, treating, and returning affected pilots to work with years of strict monitoring and after care requirements. And with the intensity of a stint in HIMS(a month of inpatient care, intensive (and very expensive) phyciatric, psychological and cognition tests, 90 days of daily AA then several AA meetings a week for many years, bi weekly after care groups, several random breath/drug tests a month, an intense medial screening with a specialized AME every 6 months, monthly meetings with chief pilots or peer monitors), please don't spout on how liberal the program is, it is anything but. Plus at my company anyhow, the pilot covers the bulk of the cost of of the program so please don't drone that you are picking up the bill through union membership, you're not. Insurance may pick up some of the inpatient care but everything else is on the pilot, and time missed is out of the sick/vacation bank of the affected pilot, so again, no whining about how trips that other poor pilots have to do, they're in sick time, that's what sick time is for.

I know you're probably super pilot that has never had any issues in life and are probably a thrill a minute to share a cockpit with but the fact is that in every profession, janitor to brain surgeon, addiction or abuse is going to affect 10-15% of the workforce, pilots included. Sure, there are measures by way of background and cognition tests to keep airlines from hiring people with these problems but people will always slip into the ranks or perhaps the problem had not yet manifested itself when they were hired. The FAA, airline management, and the unions all agree, and 40 years of a proven track record show that having an accessible EAP or HIMS program has recovered the vast majority of affected pilots, saved the airlines untold dollars in training costs that would have to be spent on bringing someone on the street up to that position if everyone with a problem was "just fired" as you advocate, and has most likely saved lives by giving pilots that are affected a chance to come forward and get help instead of further hiding a problem for fear of termination, and possibly continuing use and/or abuse while transporting passengers.

Personally ( while not having had to use the HIMS program) I would much rather have the program in place so people can get the help they need, than not have the program and be flying with users that have no where to go so they have to hide their addictions putting many innocents at undue risk.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-26 02:34:05 and read 5567 times.

Quoting beechtobus (Reply 69):
Personally ( while not having had to use the HIMS program) I would much rather have the program in place so people can get the help they need, than not have the program and be flying with users that have no where to go so they have to hide their addictions putting many innocents at undue risk.

Isn't this what the pilot in question did? He didn't come forward he was caught on a random test. If you read my earlier posts I am in favor of being able to self disclosure beforehand. Once you pop a test pack your bags. You make light of the missed trips. I certainly don't see it that way. Someone has to pick up the slack while this pilot is being rehabbed. The company bears a cost of paying into retirement? and insurance for the offending pilot. And even you admitted insurance pays some costs. I am sure the insurance company doesn't eat those costs out of goodwill. They are passed along.

Finally, as I mentioned I have had first hand experience with the fallout of a so called reformed. Have you or MMO ever dealt with the victim side of abusers? Would you guys support rehabilitation of child molesters, murderers etc? Where do you guys draw the line?

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: zeke
Posted 2013-04-26 02:43:06 and read 5568 times.

I have no problem with anyone getting back to work after they have treated for an illness.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: scbriml
Posted 2013-04-26 04:57:01 and read 5518 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 63):
I hope they argue in court they took this action in the desperate need to assure safety of the traveling public. While it may have had a policy on termination it was in the public interest to terminate.

That's easily countered - they had the option to suspend him pending an investigation and take their time to correctly follow their own procedures. They didn't, and like it or not, the airline is in the wrong.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 67):
The arbitrator was, and is, wrong. Just because QX may not have followed a set procedure to the letter doesn't negate the fact he committed a terminable offense.

How is he wrong? He was ruling on the correctness of the pilot's sacking. The airline has an agreed process and they failed to follow it. If they'd correctly followed their own procedure the pilot or ALPA would have no come-back. The failure here is by the airline.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-26 05:16:33 and read 5503 times.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 72):
How is he wrong? He was ruling on the correctness of the pilot's sacking. The airline has an agreed process and they failed to follow it. If they'd correctly followed their own procedure the pilot or ALPA would have no come-back. The failure here is by the airline.

Let's just change the crime from testing positive on a random drug test to bringing a gun to work and killing a co-worker. The pilot is terminated and via our court system is not convicted of the charge (remember OJ?). He now wants his job back. Due to the quick firing after the murder, he wins a technicality case because the company acted swiftly to terminate him after the killing. Do you still want to champion technicalities to allow this person back in the cockpit?

I hope common sense prevails and this ruling is overturned and the pilot is in a new profession. With the laws in Washington I am sure he can find a job in his much loved field of pot.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: yeelep
Posted 2013-04-26 07:00:20 and read 5453 times.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 60):
Wrong, I'm making the point that marijuana is legal in 2 states now. Feds don't enforce it otherwise they would have been blocked from taking effect. His smoking pot on his off time is perfectly legal under state law. I'm trying to push that point across because now it is a factor. I wouldn't be making this argument if it were April 2012, but it's April 2013 and measures passed on election day to legalize the stuff. If he was off for five days and smoked pot on his first day off then he didn't break the law. The FARs (though federal) were made when pot was outlawed in all 50 states. That's not the case anymore.

I hope nobody is silly enough to believe what your'e saying.
http://www.dot.gov/odapc/dot-recreational-marijuana-notice

(We want to make it perfectly clear that the state initiatives will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program. The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation – 49 CFR Part 40 – does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.

Therefore, Medical Review Officers (MROs) will not verify a drug test as negative based upon learning that the employee used “recreational marijuana” when states have passed “recreational marijuana” initiatives.

We also firmly reiterate that an MRO will not verify a drug test negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use “medical marijuana” when states have passed “medical marijuana” initiatives.)

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: scbriml
Posted 2013-04-26 07:51:47 and read 5389 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 73):
Let's just change the crime from testing positive on a random drug test to bringing a gun to work and killing a co-worker. The pilot is terminated and via our court system is not convicted of the charge (remember OJ?). He now wants his job back. Due to the quick firing after the murder, he wins a technicality case because the company acted swiftly to terminate him after the killing. Do you still want to champion technicalities to allow this person back in the cockpit?

Nice straw man.

Back in the real World - the arbitrator was asked to rule on the correctness of Milam's sacking, not on his fitness to be a pilot. He found that Horizon had not followed their own process and thus his firing was invalid. Large corporations put these processes and procedures in place to protect themselves. If they subsequently fail to follow them, then they have to accept the consequences. Doubly so since, presumably, the binding arbitration is part of the process agreed between the company and union.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-26 08:24:04 and read 5368 times.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 67):
The arbitrator was, and is, wrong. Just because QX may not have followed a set procedure to the letter doesn't negate the fact he committed a terminable offense

With your position fresh to everyone, let us assume that QX fires a pilot for sick leave abuse (perceived) even though he as medical records that back up his sick leave. Is that OK with you. Because after all, you did state that just because an employer does not follow procedure to the letter of the law, it's ok!!!! Why have a union, why have procedures and policies in place. How about a pilot who refuses to take an aircraft because of a MX issue? Using your standard, the company is justified in terminating the pilot.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 70):
Have you or MMO ever dealt with the victim side of abusers? Would you guys support rehabilitation of child molesters, murderers etc? Where do you guys draw the line?

You are kidding aren't you? Show me where your suggested behaviors fall into the category of substance abuse?

Quoting mcdu (Reply 73):
Let's just change the crime from testing positive on a random drug test to bringing a gun to work and killing a co-worker.

A little dramatic don't you think?????

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-04-26 08:29:46 and read 5370 times.

I see no problem with firing the pilot. You cant smoke any tabacco at the Alaska Air Group and those are legal as well.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-26 09:02:33 and read 5325 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 76):
You are kidding aren't you? Show me where your suggested behaviors fall into the category of substance abuse?

So you only defend substance abusers? What about all the others that say what they do is an addiction? There is a doctor out there that will always dare to call whatever your proclivity is, an addiction. Be it sex in a whatever flavor to drugs, alcohol and food.

Didn't you mention that pilot in question was a user and not an "abuser". Isn't that a fine line to walk when the DOT has a zero tolerance policy? I just reall feel you guys are jumping for joy over getting off on a technicality. Would you have been outraged had Horizon followed all the steps and terminated this pilot?

The addicts and abusers of the system have made it almost impossible to terminate bad employees. Due process should be fail a test, find a job. That is the beauty of random testing, if you have those trying to hide their addiction they get popped. If they have a problem and come forward you guys in HIMS can tell them how special they are and get them back in general population with your "magic".

There shouldn't be any loopholes in failing as drug test as a pilot. I do hope no other carrier would ever consider employing this guy. The disclosure of failed drug test on the app would do the trick and make him unemployable elsewhere.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-26 09:23:56 and read 5312 times.

According to the lawsuit, Milam had not managed to complete a full month of scheduled flying in the three years before his firing, and had used more sick time in a year than any other Horizon pilot. Milam would later tell the arbitrator family and personal health issues kept him from work.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/artic...t-puffing-pilot-4449113.php#page-1

Sounds like a great employee. He admits to smoking 1-3 times a week up to the point he was caught. Also he was hired in 2004 and since 2008 had not flown a full month due to "issues". This SL issue alone should have gotten him time off without pay. The costs associated with this type of behavior is not negligible to the company.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Tomassjc
Posted 2013-04-26 10:00:57 and read 5286 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 77):
You cant smoke any tabacco at the Alaska Air Group and those are legal as well


Actually in certain states, Oregon and California come to mind, AAG is prohibited by state law to prescreen new hires for tobacco use.

Tom SJC

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: 28L28L
Posted 2013-04-26 11:22:35 and read 5225 times.

Perhaps this case will in some way introduce less intrusive policing of what airline employees may choose to do on their unpaid time off.

I believe a more balanced policy is needed to combat the over the top knee jerk reaction and subsequent random drug testing introduced by Liddy Dole (United States Dept. of Transportation) in the late 1980s.

Always thought it interesting how having marijuana found in ones system could be equated to any sort of intoxication in the work place, as prevailing opinion says that marijuana can trigger a positive test result up to 30 days after usage.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2013-04-26 11:34:20 and read 5217 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 77):
I see no problem with firing the pilot. You cant smoke any tabacco at the Alaska Air Group and those are legal as well.

On duty or at all?

Quoting mcdu (Reply 78):
Would you have been outraged had Horizon followed all the steps and terminated this pilot?

We wouldn't know about it.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 78):
The addicts and abusers of the system have made it almost impossible to terminate bad employees.

That is completely untrue. I fired a woman yesterday morning for a controlled substance abuse related issue. It all depends on your company.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 78):
Due process should be fail a test, find a job.

At some companies, it is indeed like that. But Horizon is not allowed to do this, and they knew it. Horizon has a CBA that they failed to follow. A CBA is a legally binding contract that has behind it the force of law. If Horizon is very lucky, and let's be clear that they certainly do not deserve to be, they will get off with having to rehire this guy, issue massive back pay, and incur the cost of his wages while he completes a rehab program and is not flying. If they are not lucky, and fairness prevails, they will learn just how much liability they have exposed themselves to. If they didn't want that to be the case, they shouldn't have signed that contract. Simple as that.

Irrespective of that, they need to ascertain who made this moronic decision in the first place and terminate the hell out of them. Unless of course, they are happy to endure the negative publicity this has brought them while paying for another such incident in the future.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 78):
I do hope no other carrier would ever consider employing this guy.

It looks like he's going to keep his license (for the time being). If he has the hours, why shouldn't they hire him? In any case, it's moot since he's keeping his job.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: DiamondFlyer
Posted 2013-04-26 11:37:39 and read 5209 times.

Quoting 28L28L (Reply 81):
Always thought it interesting how having marijuana found in ones system could be equated to any sort of intoxication in the work place, as prevailing opinion says that marijuana can trigger a positive test result up to 30 days after usage.

Until it's no longer a federal offense to use, there is no way the DOT is going to allow a DOT regulated position to have any positive test for it.

-DiamondFlyer

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-26 11:41:29 and read 5204 times.

Quoting 28L28L (Reply 81):
I believe a more balanced policy is needed to combat the over the top knee jerk reaction and subsequent random drug testing introduced by Liddy Dole (United States Dept. of Transportation) in the late 1980s.

Until there's a test that can actually detect whether or not the person is impaired, then better safe than sorry. If it was revealed to you that a pilot about to fly a flight tested positive for marijuana, but it couldn't be detected whether or not he was impaired from it right now, how comfortable would you be putting your children on that flight?

Quoting mmo (Reply 76):

It's all a moot point anyway with recreational marijuana use illegal at the federal level, the guy won't be flying again either way. I'm just curious as to what APA is trying to gain here other than bad publicity, the guy lied concerning his FAA certificate, used an illegal substance and didn't come forward about it til he was caught. I understand the argument that he may not have been high while he was flying, but it's also just as provable that he was, neither side will ever know, so why is the APA erring on the side of a technicality rather than safety...it's these types of cases that are the reason people dislike unions, they protect and promote mediocrity over safety and common sense.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 79):
He admits to smoking 1-3 times a week

So the guy was a regular stoner then, awesome to know he was plying the skies  
Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 82):
In any case, it's moot since he's keeping his job.

How is that point moot since that is the entire reason they're in court?

[Edited 2013-04-26 11:49:37]

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-26 12:51:34 and read 5145 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 78):
So you only defend substance abusers?

What other options are there under the FARs? NONE! Your lack of logic and trying to bait people is really amazing. But, I am not going to fall for it. We shall just agree to disagree.

Funny how you never answer the issues I raise but you can certainly pose off the wall scenarios and questions you expect everyone else to jump through hoops to answer.....

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 84):
It's all a moot point anyway with recreational marijuana use illegal at the federal level, the guy won't be flying again either way

Absolutely, not true. He already has his medical back. Suggest you might want to review the FARs.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 84):
it's these types of cases that are the reason people dislike unions, they protect and promote mediocrity over safety and common sense.

Gee, I look at as ensuring employees are fairly treated. Why shouldn't the rules be applied equally? What if you were the person on the short end of the stick in a similar situation? I guess that would be OK?

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: drgmobile
Posted 2013-04-26 13:02:33 and read 5136 times.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 12):


Yes, alcohol is also a problem. However, alcohol wears off much more quickly than pot. Even when someone who has smoked a joint says they are normal, they can still have impairment of motor skills and judgement.

Anybody who has done marijuana knows this is absolutely false. Alcohol does not wear off more quickly than marijuana. Its exactly the opposite. The acute affects of marijuana wear off within a couple of hours.

The question is what is the problem? Is it about the fact that the activity currently is illegal under federal law, or is it about whether or not the pilot is fit to fly an aircraft. The two are not one in the same. To fly my plane, I'll take somebody who smokes pot on a very regular basis over somebody who drinks alcohol on a very regular basis ANY DAY. Focus should be on the right things.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-26 13:40:06 and read 5103 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 85):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 84):
It's all a moot point anyway with recreational marijuana use illegal at the federal level, the guy won't be flying again either way

Absolutely, not true. He already has his medical back. Suggest you might want to review the FARs.

Semantics, the guy won't be flying again anytime soon.

Quoting mmo (Reply 85):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 84):
it's these types of cases that are the reason people dislike unions, they protect and promote mediocrity over safety and common sense.

Gee, I look at as ensuring employees are fairly treated. Why shouldn't the rules be applied equally? What if you were the person on the short end of the stick in a similar situation? I guess that would be OK?

I'm sure their pilots are just as puzzled with their union's seeming voracious need to defend and ensure the employment of a fellow pilot who felt he could flaunt the rules and denigrate (even if only in a minor way) their profession. I have no doubt the vast majority of pilots take their profession and their safety obligations to their passengers very serious (especially the ones who've had substance abuse issues and willingly stepped forward for help), so I doubt they have much sympathy for this guy and what their union is doing for him.

The arbitrator in this case even said himself that it was absolutely a serious and terminable offense that violated the trust between a pilot and his/her passengers but that, because of a technicality, he gets let off the hook. Keeping my fingers crossed, but me thinks common sense will prevail in the courts.

[Edited 2013-04-26 13:47:11]

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-26 13:56:42 and read 5079 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 85):
What other options are there under the FARs? NONE! Your lack of logic and trying to bait people is really amazing. But, I am not going to fall for it. We shall just agree to disagree.

Funny how you never answer the issues I raise but you can certainly pose off the wall scenarios and questions you expect everyone else to jump through hoops to answer.....

Which FAR says drug use is okay? You are trumpeting FAR's yet I can't say I am familiar with an FAR that says smoking pot 1-3 times a week for 6 months is okay. Also you neglect to address his lack of being present for work for 3 years with the highest sick leave usage of ANY Horizon pilot. This guy exhibited stoner behavior that should have gotten him terminated before the test failure. Unfortunately with people like you in unions these guys are defended and propped up just like the lawyers do stoners and drunk drivers in court. If you happened to take a public opinion poll on whether this pilot should be allowed to return to the cockpit I suspect you would lose in a landslide. Introduce the technicality rule and you probably lose by a wider margin.

This pilot was not a "one and done" and just happened to get caught. He obviously was an addict that doesn't deserve to ever fly again as a commercial pilot.

Last time I filled out an app many years ago there was a question regarding failed drug test and drug use for applicants. With this pilots notoriety his ability to work elsewhere is limited. Once Horizon gets this over turned this pilot can go back to the pipe. I have zero sympathy for a guy like Milam. He doesn't deserve any more chances based on his work history and admitted actions.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: beechtobus
Posted 2013-04-26 15:36:37 and read 5024 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 70):

"Would you guys support rehabilitation of child molesters, murderers etc? Where do you guys draw the line?"

MCDU, you're actually asking if I draw a line between someone who murders someone or fondles little kids for pleasure and someone who is in the beginning stages of a treatable substance addiction/abuse problem? Ahhh, yes, i am very glad to say yes I do, In fact I would be afraid of someone who doesn't draw a line or see the difference as they may be the one that has antisocial issues. Just like someone who doesn't see a difference between someone who puffs pot vs. shooting a coworker or someone jay walks vs. robbing a convince store.

I do truly feel for your you and your family on your loss, I really do. That's horrible to lose someone due someone else's pure stupidity, negligence and antisocial behavior. If it was up to me the guy would have gotten 400 years. After 5 DUIs, the system obviously failed keeping this guy from hurting people by letting him out in public, let alone behind the wheel. But it's a far stretch comparing the guy that killed your family member to a pilot that may have landed in the HIMS program due to his own admittance, being referred there, or a first time brush with the law. First off, I believe after 2 DUIs, the FAA revokes your certs and medical for an extended period and after 3, you're out for good, nothing HIMS can do there.

You say that you're for people going into HIMS via self disclosure but then you follow it with nonsense like " If they have a problem and come forward you guys in HIMS can tell them how special they are and get them back in general population with your "magic"." Or "You get to trot them out at your HIMS meetings as a success when they are probably still using in front of you". My problem with these statements is that your spreading misinformation on a public forum that HIMS is somehow bad, is a waste of resources, and you equate it to the supposed reformation that the guy that killed your family member received. It is a completely different animal than supposed court ordered rehabilitation, and it requires very very intensive, long term, and closely monitored steps. As a 40 year and running cooperative between the FAA (this should tell you something alone if these guys are behind it), Management, and the Unions, it's proven to work and be an asset to the airline at large and public safety whether you ever need it or not.

Let me ask you; if a pilot develops a pre-diabetic condition whether its for not turning down the last piece of cake one too many times or heredity are they to be fired because it may affect your health premiums and likely require extended time off? Addiction has been proven by almost every health authority to be a disease like diabetes (I.e. a physically different bodily composition than a person without the condition and due to heredity in some cases). This is a matter of fact, not opinion. But it is treatable with intensive real therapy like HIMS just like pre-diabetes is with strict diet and exercise. People come with problems sometimes, yet fixing them if the problem is fixable (even if it raises insurance premiums/ union dues) is generally better policy than throwing them to the wolves. That is my humble opinion anyhow.

I'm holding my opinion on this particular story as I'm sure the media being the media, there is more than likely much of the story that we are not getting. The fact is that I cannot see this guy keeping his medical or being able to get it back for a loooong time after failing a DOT test for pot, HIMS or no HIMS. If the story is to be taken at face value, then I agree that he probably deserves to lose his job, as I said though, I bet there is more to the story.

[Edited 2013-04-26 15:59:18]

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: SonomaFlyer
Posted 2013-04-26 16:03:21 and read 4994 times.

Folks there is a problem concerning Marijuana and at what amount of THC a person is impaired. Simply put, there is no equivalent .08% standard for marijuana. In criminal court (my domain) - proof needs to come from a combination of symptoms observed by the officer plus a test that is positive for a certain amount of THC. Even then, the whole thing is still subjective and unless the person is acting totally whacked out when contacted and/or a terrible driving pattern, its tough to get convictions for prosecutors on Marijuana DUIs.

A positive test for a metabolite is a far cry from a positive test for THC. It simply indicates use. There are tests to determine historical alcohol use going back a few days in time(i.e. you would test .000% on a machine or standard blood test). Should we employ those as well? Of course not because alcohol is a socially celebrated drug that almost everyone uses! The pilots I know would storm the halls of Washington at that being mentioned by anyone in Congress.

I know nothing about the pilot in question other than the test issue. No one should fly with any psychoactive substance in their system. That includes THC (Marijuana) and alcohol as well as benzodiazepines and other mind altering substances, prescribed or not. Its the only way to have a clear line and ensure safety.

The problem for pot smokers is THC remains detectable even after the "high" has passed; definitely longer than alcohol. So the pot smoking pilot should consider whether he should stop smoking or only do it on a long vacation to ensure there is none in his system when he returns to flying.

A bright line, zero strike policy provides a clear indication of expected behavior. If someone chose to use anyway, find another career.

[Edited 2013-04-26 16:04:58]

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: nutsaboutplanes
Posted 2013-04-26 17:09:19 and read 4940 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 79):
Sounds like a great employee. He admits to smoking 1-3 times a week up to the point he was caught. Also he was hired in 2004 and since 2008 had not flown a full month due to "issues". This SL issue alone should have gotten him time off without pay. The costs associated with this type of behavior is not negligible to the company.



Great find mcdu! Clearly this guy has cost the airline far more than he will ever contribute........this is like letting Lindsy Lohan fly your plane.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2013-04-26 18:41:09 and read 4901 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 76):
let us assume that QX fires a pilot for sick leave abuse (perceived) even though he as medical records that back up his sick leave. Is that OK with you.

We've had employees that were terminated for misuse of sick leave that ultimately substantiated their use under FMLA (a protected leave) and were subsequently reinstated. But attendance reliability is a gray area and unique circumstances can vary from one employee to another.

"Did you get busted on a random drug test?" is not a gray area, it's black and white. Either you did or you didn't, and if you did, you're in violation of company policy (in addition to federal regulations) and are subject to termination. Not conducting a review of the employee's history prior to discharge doesn't negate the fact he committed a terminable offense.

He's done.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-04-26 19:49:17 and read 4863 times.

Another example of the guilty saying they were the victim. Some similarities to the Horizon case.
http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/articl...olism-was-a-disability-4466710.php

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: FlyDeltaJets
Posted 2013-04-26 20:42:52 and read 4838 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 53):
Oh good - process trumps safety.

When the process is part of a legally binding CBA it does.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 92):
"Did you get busted on a random drug test?" is not a gray area, it's black and white. Either you did or you didn't, and if you did, you're in violation of company policy (in addition to federal regulations) and are subject to termination. Not conducting a review of the employee's history prior to discharge doesn't negate the fact he committed a terminable offense.

Once again if there were legally binding steps Horizion needed to follow, they should have done so. This is the same in any industry. If certain steps are not followed when punitive actions are taken you have every right to argue against it. This happens in the workplace and the criminal justice system all the time. The rules weather agreed with or not have to be followed. You work to change the rules not ignore them.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ThePointblank
Posted 2013-04-26 22:33:16 and read 4785 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 84):
I'm just curious as to what APA is trying to gain here other than bad publicity, the guy lied concerning his FAA certificate, used an illegal substance and didn't come forward about it til he was caught.
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 87):
I'm sure their pilots are just as puzzled with their union's seeming voracious need to defend and ensure the employment of a fellow pilot who felt he could flaunt the rules and denigrate (even if only in a minor way) their profession. I have no doubt the vast majority of pilots take their profession and their safety obligations to their passengers very serious (especially the ones who've had substance abuse issues and willingly stepped forward for help), so I doubt they have much sympathy for this guy and what their union is doing for him.

The union has a duty to protect their members, whenever they like the circumstances of a case or not. If the APA tried to walk away from this case, they would be subject to a very successful lawsuit for failing to properly representing them. They have no choice in that matter, the are obligated to do their utmost best to protect and defending all of their members in any termination case.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 87):
The arbitrator in this case even said himself that it was absolutely a serious and terminable offense that violated the trust between a pilot and his/her passengers but that, because of a technicality, he gets let off the hook. Keeping my fingers crossed, but me thinks common sense will prevail in the courts.

FYI, the court will only conduct a judicial review of the arbitrator's decision. Judicial reviews are very limited in scope and won't accept any new evidence, they will only review a decision and check to see if it was reasonable based upon the circumstances presented in the arbitration.

Arbitrator's in the labour relations context have a lot of discretion wide scope of discretion in the arbitration process and ultimate decision and this discretion is explicitly set out in the governing legislation in the area where the case occurs.

A judicial review of an arbitrator's decision can only occur on on the basis of one or more of three possible errors: an error of jurisdiction, an error of fact, or an error of law. Once the application is received, the presiding judge must first determine the appropriate standard of review and the degree of deference, if any, that the arbitrator should be accorded.

The court takes a pragmatic and functional approach to this question by considering four categories of factors: the expertise of the arbitration board, the existence of a privative clause in the labour relations statute, the purpose of the labour relations act as a whole, and its arbitration provisions in particular, and the nature of the question being reviewed. The expertise of the board is the most important consideration for the court.

In the context of labour arbitrations, the board or sole arbitrator is generally considered to have high expertise, which supports a deferential, non-intrusive attitude toward arbitral decisions.

A strongly worded privative clause purports to remove the possibility of judicial review. Although a privative clause cannot oust the jurisdiction of the court completely, it does indicate to the court that a deferential approach is appropriate. The absence of a privative clause or a statutory right of appeal, on the other hand, suggests that a lower level of deference is appropriate.

Courts generally do not like to interfere with arbitrator's decisions, so I personally don't see much of a chance of this judicial review having much in the way of success. A court will only interfere with the decision of the arbitrator or board if the decision was patently unreasonable, which usually means that the arbitrators act in bad faith, base their decisions on extraneous or irrelevant matters, use legislation for an improper purpose, or fail to take relevant matters into account. Basically, the original ruling has to be 'patently irrational' before they will even agree to step in, and this is a very high standard to achieve. I believe from a number of papers on the subject of judicial reviews of a arbitrator's decision, 3/4 of the cases that went to court usually had the rulings upheld.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 94):
Once again if there were legally binding steps Horizion needed to follow, they should have done so. This is the same in any industry. If certain steps are not followed when punitive actions are taken you have every right to argue against it. This happens in the workplace and the criminal justice system all the time. The rules weather agreed with or not have to be followed. You work to change the rules not ignore them.

Indeed. When dismissing an employee with cause, dot your i's and cross you t's and double check yourself to make sure you haven't made a mistake anywhere along the line. If not sure if you have enough to dismiss someone with cause, go with dismissal without cause, and be prepared to pay enough severance to make the person go away.

[Edited 2013-04-26 22:34:28]

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-26 22:34:22 and read 4781 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 88):
Which FAR says drug use is okay?

I suggest you go back and re-read what I posted. Never wrote, implied or stated what you are trying to say I did.

The problem with your argument is you keep changing them. The arbitration was merely for his termination as the result of his drug test failure and the company's subsequent to follow company policy and return the pilot to work.

The sick leave is another issue which frankly the company should have done something if they had a "sick leave" policy. The 121 carrier I worked for had a very aggressive sick leave policy. Ironically, there were several pilots who sought help under the HIMS program as the result of the company pursuing them for excessive sick leave.

If the company is truly proactive, I would argue the tracking of sick leave can be used effectively with the union to possibly identify people with substance abuse problems.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 93):
Another example of the guilty saying they were the victim

Really???? How so??? Does the agency involved have a policy on alcoholism? If not, I would argue he is out of a job. You seem to be confused about the real issues in the case. It is not what you are trying to say it is, but, it is an issue of the company following an agreed to program and not following their OWN policy.

I really hope you are never in a position where you have had a lapse of judgment and you need help. You show no compassion or empathy for anyone who needs help. That is really a sad commentary on life.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: davescj
Posted 2013-04-27 05:58:17 and read 4672 times.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 22):

Few notes: Marijuana is legal in the state of Washington. If he is a Seattle-based pilot then his marijuana usage is perfectly legal so long as he does so within the borders of the State of Washington (or Colorado).

This does not matter. The Federal law trumps the state law in this case.

Quoting nutsaboutplanes (Reply 24):
Airlines are controlled by Federal Regulation, not state law. The carriers could not adjust their policy by state if they wanted to.

Correct.

Quoting ORDJOE (Reply 35):
I really do not have a problem with a pilot that puffs at home, it shows at least they have a stress outlet. Just because he pissed positive is no indication that he was high.

Whether or not he was high is not relevant. The only relevant issues are his the facts he used pot and that is illegal and a violation of federal regulations.

Quoting JBAirwaysFan (Reply 47):
Yeah, but the off-duty pilot does not.

Incorrect. The federal regulations dealing with his license to fly do not get suspended just because he is off duty. The fact that his off duty action became an issue for his license is the point.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 84):
If it was revealed to you that a pilot about to fly a flight tested positive for marijuana, but it couldn't be detected whether or not he was impaired from it right now, how comfortable would you be putting your children on that flight?

Exactly. The flying public has rights as well as the flight crew.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 84):
It's all a moot point anyway with recreational marijuana use illegal at the federal level, the guy won't be flying again either way. I'm just curious as to what APA is trying to gain here other than bad publicity, the guy lied concerning his FAA certificate, used an illegal substance and didn't come forward about it til he was caught.

BINGO

And this discussion about "addictions" and "knowing more about addictions" is true. However, alcohol is a legal substance as is tobacco. The substance under question here is illegal.

Perhaps - as Horizon is aware of a federal crime - should simply turn over the evidence of federally criminal acts to the United States Attorney.

Dave

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: JoeCanuck
Posted 2013-04-27 16:07:00 and read 4539 times.

Quoting davescj (Reply 97):

Horizon had a policy and they didn't follow it. The illegality of pot is irrelevant because Horizon specifically has policies dealing with illegal drug use including rehab and firing and they have contractual obligations to follow these policies.

The courts are just holding Horizon to what they signed.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ThePointblank
Posted 2013-04-27 17:46:51 and read 4472 times.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 98):

Horizon had a policy and they didn't follow it. The illegality of pot is irrelevant because Horizon specifically has policies dealing with illegal drug use including rehab and firing and they have contractual obligations to follow these policies.

Correct. And any substance abuse and employee assistance program offered by any company is meant to try to return employees back to work. Horizon and the APA had a mutually agreed upon contract that stipulated how a employee with substance abuse problems are to be treated. Horizon, according to the arbitrator (which, FYI is mutually decided upon prior to arbitration) didn't follow the contract by conducting a review of the employee's file prior to termination. If Horizon did conduct a review of the employee's file and determined still that termination was the course of action, we would not be here waiting to see if we have a judicial review forthcoming.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 98):

The courts are just holding Horizon to what they signed.

More precisely, probably will.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-27 18:54:45 and read 4440 times.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 98):
The illegality of pot is irrelevant because Horizon specifically has policies dealing with illegal drug use including rehab and firing and they have contractual obligations to follow these policies.

...if the pilots stepped forward themselves. This guy did not step forward, in fact concealed it by lying on his FAA health cert and got caught because he was randomly tested.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 99):
Horizon and the APA had a mutually agreed upon contract that stipulated how a employee with substance abuse problems are to be treated.

The guy should be or should have been terminated, the drug test was undoubtedly grounds for termination as the arbitrator said himself. The hang-up is that QX didn't crack open the guy's file for 5 minutes before actually terminating him, either way the guy won't be flying for Horizon again (or for anyone at all anytime soon for that matter) with the FAA recognizing marijuana as a schedule I narcotic.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: davescj
Posted 2013-04-27 19:48:56 and read 4400 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 100):
This guy did not step forward, in fact concealed it by lying on his FAA health cert and got caught because he was randomly tested.

And here is the key difference. He did not ask for help. He was busted.

Personally, I think in the case of illegal drugs, it is insane to have anything other than "automatic termination" in pilot's contract.

In the alternative, QX could simply allow an internal appeal. His file is reviewed. Then he is fired and his name give to the FAA to have his license revoked. Then this hiring issue would be irrelevant.

Dave

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ThePointblank
Posted 2013-04-27 20:34:54 and read 4376 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 100):
The guy should be or should have been terminated, the drug test was undoubtedly grounds for termination as the arbitrator said himself.

Unfortunately, grounds for termination =/ reason for immediate termination. Context needs to be applied especially if extenuating circumstances are evident, such as family or medical problems. The burden of proof for summary dismissal of an employee resides with the employer based upon the “balance of probabilities”. The employer must respond in a measured way, looking at all the relevant circumstances. The employer needs to look at context (length of service, mitigating issues etc), and above all, the PENALTY MUST FIT CRIME (be proportionate).

Just cause for termination requires an assessment of the context of the alleged misconduct. More specifically, the test is whether the employee’s behaviour gave rise to a breakdown in the employment relationship. Just cause for dismissal exists where the dishonesty violates an essential condition of the employment contract, breaches the faith inherent to the work relationship, or is fundamentally or directly inconsistent with the employee’s obligations to his or her employer. In accordance with this test in a wrongful dismissal suit, a trial judge must instruct the jury to determine: (1) whether the evidence established the employee’s deceitful conduct on a balance of probabilities; and (2) if so, whether the nature and degree of the dishonesty warranted dismissal.

The second branch of the test does not blend questions of fact and law. Rather, assessing the seriousness of the misconduct requires the facts established at trial to be carefully considered and balanced. As such, it is a factual inquiry for the jury to undertake. In certain contexts, the contextual approach might lead to a strict outcome: cause for termination exists where theft, misappropriation or serious fraud is found. However, lesser sanctions may be applied for less serious types of misconduct. An effective balance must be struck between the severity of an employee’s misconduct and the sanction imposed.

Absent an analysis of the surrounding circumstances of the alleged misconduct, its level of seriousness, and the extent to which it impacted upon the employment relationship, dismissal on a ground as morally disreputable as “dishonesty” might well have an overly harsh and far-reaching impact for employees. In addition, allowing termination for cause wherever an employee’s conduct can be labelled “dishonest” would further unjustly augment the power employers wield within the employment relationship. An analytical framework that examines each case on its own particular facts and circumstances, and considers the nature and seriousness of the dishonesty in order to assess whether it is reconcilable with sustaining the employment relationship, is favoured.

Although the employer and employee may have agreed to terminate his employment contract, this did not necessarily imply a waiver of the employee of his right to be treated fairly and in good faith by his employer.

Remember that procedural fairness is important for dismissing an employee with cause. You need to investigate allegations thoroughly and promptly, keep investigations confidential, give employee full opportunity to explain conduct and respond to allegations, make sanction proportionate to offence, always act in good faith, consider extenuating circumstances (mitigating or aggravating), and finally consider intent, remorse, disciplinary and performance record.

When terminating employee's, it is extremely important if you are terminating for cause to make sure all procedures are properly followed. In a unionized environment, this is especially important! I can't emphasize it enough as a manager, especially one in a unionized work environment.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: 2175301
Posted 2013-04-27 20:36:19 and read 4372 times.

I am baffled that Horizon has not made him go away with a big pile of cash. That is what other companies tend to do when they get caught not following procedures and really do not want someone to return as an employee. I know of cases that involved payment of up to 20 years of salary (and 10 years is quite common).

Have a great day,

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ThePointblank
Posted 2013-04-27 20:47:39 and read 4367 times.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 103):
I am baffled that Horizon has not made him go away with a big pile of cash. That is what other companies tend to do when they get caught not following procedures and really do not want someone to return as an employee. I know of cases that involved payment of up to 20 years of salary (and 10 years is quite common).

Indeed, that is often the easy way out if you really want to get rid of someone, but don't have enough to dismiss with cause.

However, from what I have seen, what will be the very likely scenario here is that the judge, baring some serious issues with the arbitrator's decision (beyond Horizon not liking it) that I described earlier, will uphold the decision, and order Horizon to reinstate the employee.

Horizon can then immediately decide to terminate the employee without cause and pay a severance package appropriate for his seniority and experience to make him go away.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-28 10:06:01 and read 4217 times.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 102):
Context needs to be applied especially if extenuating circumstances are evident, such as family or medical problems.

I fail to see how the context you're talking about is relevant here. What difference do family or medical problems make in a case involving regular use of recreational drugs? The context you're bringing up here might be relevant if marijuana were legal at the federal level and technology was such that it could be detected whether or not a person was actually high. But the reality is that it isn't in either case, and when it comes to operating a large, fast-moving machine carrying dozens of people, strict prudence is absolutely necessary in the interest of safety.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 102):
The employer needs to look at context (length of service, mitigating issues etc), and above all, the PENALTY MUST FIT CRIME (be proportionate).

As far as can be known with present technology, the guy put lives at risk, I'd say the penalty fit the crime and I think most pilots would agree that termination was the appropriate penalty here.

I suppose my problem with all of this is not so much in acknowledging that Horizon didn't follow their own internal procedures, why they didn't I don't understand. My issue is that I find it morally wrong that the APA is actually trying to get this guy reinstated as an active pilot, do they not have their own standards for safety regarding pilots and substance abuse? If they were simply trying to milk out some compensation for the guy for QX not doing things by the book, I'd brush it aside. But to want to reinstate a guy who apparently had no intention of stopping his reckless behavior until he got caught is just irresponsible to me and a slap in the face of every pilot who does follow the rules and takes their profession seriously.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-28 12:45:14 and read 4148 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 105):
My issue is that I find it morally wrong that the APA is actually trying to get this guy reinstated as an active pilot, do they not have their own standards for safety regarding pilots and substance abuse?

I have to ask, is it because of the drug use or something else?

If it were alcohol, would that make it any better or worse?

I think what you are missing is the bigger picture. This is not about his substance abuse, but about the company's failure to follow their agreed upon procedures. What if the pilot had been terminated for failure to take an aircraft that he felt was not airworthy? Would that be OK with you?

The problem is no matter what side you argue for, you can't pick and choose what rules you will follow and those you will disregard. That is what the company tried to do and they were caught. The same standard exists on both sides.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-28 14:56:17 and read 4076 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 106):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 105):
My issue is that I find it morally wrong that the APA is actually trying to get this guy reinstated as an active pilot, do they not have their own standards for safety regarding pilots and substance abuse?

I have to ask, is it because of the drug use or something else?

If it were alcohol, would that make it any better or worse?

I would be just as upset if it were any other substance, including alcohol (i.e. being breathalyzed).

Quoting mmo (Reply 106):
This is not about his substance abuse, but about the company's failure to follow their agreed upon procedures.

That's fine, then get him some type of severance compensation, but why is a professional pilots association trying to get a guy back in the skies who apparently had total disregard for safety and the rules as well as the trust between himself and his passengers? Again, it just wreaks of irresponsibility to me.

Quoting mmo (Reply 106):

The problem is no matter what side you argue for, you can't pick and choose what rules you will follow and those you will disregard.

As as I said, I agree, penalize the company, but don't penalize the company by putting a dangerous pilot back in the air, that just penalizes everyone.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ThePointblank
Posted 2013-04-28 17:50:16 and read 4016 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 105):
I fail to see how the context you're talking about is relevant here. What difference do family or medical problems make in a case involving regular use of recreational drugs? The context you're bringing up here might be relevant if marijuana were legal at the federal level and technology was such that it could be detected whether or not a person was actually high. But the reality is that it isn't in either case, and when it comes to operating a large, fast-moving machine carrying dozens of people, strict prudence is absolutely necessary in the interest of safety.

FYI, that exact quote you quoted me from is actually a quote from a judge in a court decision in a landmark decision.

We have to understand what drove the employee to use recreational drugs; if there are stressers at home, such as a divorce, family infighting, medical issues, then there is a higher likelihood that a person might turn to drugs as a way to 'escape' from the problems at home. As such, drug use is a recognized symptom of potential stress at home and as such, the employer must recognize, emphasize, and acknowledge that home issues affect a employee's behaviour and conduct and help employees resolve such issues.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 105):
My issue is that I find it morally wrong that the APA is actually trying to get this guy reinstated as an active pilot, do they not have their own standards for safety regarding pilots and substance abuse?

I explained this earlier:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 95):
The union has a duty to protect their members, whenever they like the circumstances of a case or not. If the APA tried to walk away from this case, they would be subject to a very successful lawsuit for failing to properly representing them. They have no choice in that matter, the are obligated to do their utmost best to protect and defending all of their members in any termination case.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: rcair1
Posted 2013-04-28 18:47:20 and read 3980 times.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 108):
We have to understand what drove the employee to use recreational drugs; if there are stressers at home, such as a divorce, family infighting, medical issues, then there is a higher likelihood that a person might turn to drugs as a way to 'escape' from the problems at home. As such, drug use is a recognized symptom of potential stress at home and as such, the employer must recognize, emphasize, and acknowledge that home issues affect a employee's behaviour and conduct and help employees resolve such issues.

A pilot who is driven to self medicate due to stress - particularly with a drug which is illegal and can cause him his job, is already a risk. If you look at NTSB reports - one of the first things they do is investigate the crews lifestyle to see if there is evidence of high stress.

So - the net, net, of this is that he violated both the law and company regulations and got caught, but because the airline did not follow procedure he gets a pass.

In all likelihood he will soon fail again - and the procedure will be followed. Hopefully, nothing 'bad' will happen....

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ltbewr
Posted 2013-04-28 19:22:11 and read 3963 times.

The bigger issue here is why he is using pot, that he has a vaguely defined medical problem as to back pain and using an illegal drug to deal with it rather than legally acceptable medicines, treatments or physical therapy. Yes, there is greater acceptance of using pot for certain types of pain and even legal use of it in some countries and in the last few months in 2 USA States, but it is still illegal on the Federal level and Zero tolerance by the FAA/NTSB for transportation workers in positions like aircraft pilots to have any indication of them in blood or other tests.

Unions put into agreements certain items that conflict with those laws or at least allow a 'one strike' situation as the testing may in turn be in conflict with 5th Amendment Constitutional protections against self-incrimination. There is also conflicts with numerous state and federal laws as to medical privacy, labor law, disability law and other laws that puts Horizon in a difficult situation unless they have sufficient proof to remove him with cause besides the failed drug test or the union contracts allow for firing for a failed drug test alone. That is probably why the arbitrator made the decision they did, but I suspect the pilot will go to court on the ground I suggested above and may win or lose.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ThePointblank
Posted 2013-04-28 19:40:33 and read 3948 times.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 109):
A pilot who is driven to self medicate due to stress - particularly with a drug which is illegal and can cause him his job, is already a risk.

That's why Employee Assistance Programs exist. They are meant to help employees facing some difficulties at home find a method to help cope with such stressors without having to put their jobs at risk.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 109):
If you look at NTSB reports - one of the first things they do is investigate the crews lifestyle to see if there is evidence of high stress.

That's why you take the person out of the workplace, temporarily, help the employee deal with their issues, and then help them get back to work. The earlier the employer can recognize that there is a problem with an employee and intervenes, the better it is for the employer.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-28 20:51:40 and read 3896 times.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 108):
FYI, that exact quote you quoted me from is actually a quote from a judge in a court decision in a landmark decision.

We have to understand what drove the employee to use recreational drugs

Right, which is why assistance programs are there for employees who step forward with their problem of their own volition, this guy doesn't make the cut, he lied about his marijuana use and apparently had no plans to stop until he got caught by a random test. I am all for the internal programs airlines have to safely assist those with issues, but if they're irresponsible enough to continue flying, put lives in danger and not seek help, immediate termination is warranted.

And for future reference, it's common courtesy if you're quoting an outside source to say so. I don't know if it was your intention, but I don't appreciate the shuck-and-jive "surprise you're actually arguing against a judge" move.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 108):
I explained this earlier:

I understand that, but as I said previously, there are other ways of compensating him that don't include putting him back in the cockpit and endangering lives. I understand the obligation they have to this member, but again, does the union itself not have its own policies regarding drug use? You'd think a professional pilots association would have standards regarding these issues. Repeating what I said earlier, if Horizon didn't follow their own contractual procedures they should be penalized, but putting this guy back in the cockpit is a penalty for everyone (i.e. the flying public).

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-28 22:49:09 and read 3838 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 107):
That's fine, then get him some type of severance compensation, but why is a professional pilots association trying to get a guy back in the skies who apparently had total disregard for safety and the rules as well as the trust between himself and his passengers? Again, it just wreaks of irresponsibility to me.
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 107):
As as I said, I agree, penalize the company, but don't penalize the company by putting a dangerous pilot back in the air, that just penalizes everyone

It appears to me that you still fail to realize the bigger issue. The simple fact is the company had a policy which it completely disregarded. Again, it appears to me, the problem you seem to have is the fact the issue involved pot and not alcohol. The fact is the company had a policy for dealing with substance abuse and it disregarded the policy.

Also, please qualify your comment about a "dangerous pilot back in the air". I would be interested to see how you arrived at that conclusion.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 109):
In all likelihood he will soon fail again - and the procedure will be followed. Hopefully, nothing 'bad' will happen....

Care to share some evidence to back your statement? If you look at the HOMS program you will find the success rate is well above average for other treatment programs. So, I would like you to share your experiences about how the pilot will "fail again".

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-29 00:29:37 and read 3780 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 113):
Again, it appears to me, the problem you seem to have is the fact the issue involved pot and not alcohol.

Why do you keep saying this? I already told you I would be just as peeved if the guy had been caught drunk.

Quoting mmo (Reply 113):
It appears to me that you still fail to realize the bigger issue.

No, I realize the problem is that Horizon didn't follow their termination procedures, what I do take issue with is the remedy being sought by the APA and not simply that penalties/compensation/remedies are being sought.

Quoting mmo (Reply 113):
Also, please qualify your comment about a "dangerous pilot back in the air". I would be interested to see how you arrived at that conclusion.

What do you call a pilot who uses an illegal schedule I narcotic, lies about it and tries to conceal it only until he gets caught? As a passenger, no, a test can't determine if he's high, it also can't tell me that he's not so I sure as heck wouldn't want myself or my loved ones on his plane.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-29 01:04:41 and read 3764 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 116):
What do you call a pilot who uses an illegal schedule I narcotic, lies about it and tries to conceal it only until he gets caught?

Substance abuser!!!!

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 116):
Why do you keep saying this? I already told you I would be just as peeved if the guy had been caught drunk.

But what is being written is specifically about this pilot, not the general issue. What I can not get is there is a program for substance abuse. Granted in the pilot community it mainly deals with alcohol. However, it is not an alcohol abuse program, but a substance abuse program. The program itself, makes no differentiation of what substance it is. That is how the program works. Are you suggesting the airlines back out of the substance abuse programs and just fire everyone or simply make it an alcohol abuse program?

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 116):
No, I realize the problem is that Horizon didn't follow their termination procedures, what I do take issue with is the remedy being sought by the APA and not simply that penalties/compensation/remedies are being sought.

What would you suggest the union do? The simple fact is there has to be consistency both on the part of the company but on the part of the union. They can not pick and choose what battles they fight and what pilots they represent. That is called "duty of fair representation". Like it or not, that is the law and if the union does anything else then they are guilty of failure to represent their members.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2013-04-29 03:59:37 and read 3708 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 106):
I think what you are missing is the bigger picture.

As I said earlier you're the one who is completely missing the big picture, since you're hellbent on desperately grasping at this sole remaining straw about the company making a clerical error, as if that somehow negates the fact he violated not only a zero-tolerance company policy but also FAA regulations.

He's done. Buh-bye now.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-29 05:42:16 and read 3663 times.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 116):
As I said earlier you're the one who is completely missing the big picture, since you're hellbent on desperately grasping at this sole remaining straw about the company making a clerical error, as if that somehow negates the fact he violated not only a zero-tolerance company policy but also FAA regulations.

He's done. Buh-bye now.

Really, so the airline has an Alcohol Abuse Policy instead of a Substance Abuse Policy?

Your characterization of this being a "clerical error" is laughable. It was much more than a simple clerical error, it was a major breech of the company's own policy. I am not grabbing at straws. Obviously, the arbitrator also agrees as he ruled the pilot has to be returned to work. So, I guess there are two of us who don't understand things.

The simple fact is, the company had a substance abuse policy, not an alcohol abuse policy. The pilot complied with the program and the company summarily terminated him with out regard to the policy. I would say he will be there for a while. Is he done??? I don't think so.

So, just what do you think the union should do? Should they represent him or just tell him to take a hike? What about someone who has an alcohol problem? Does the union represent them or tell him to get lost? What about a pilot who refuses to take an aircraft or wants more fuel and gets terminated. Does the union represent them or just pick and choose who they want to represent???

AMF

[Edited 2013-04-29 06:02:15]

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2013-04-29 05:57:29 and read 3649 times.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 116):
He's done. Buh-bye now.

Done being fired, yeah. The Judge is not going to overrule a competent Arbitrator. If you believe otherwise, perhaps this pilot isn't the only one who'd fail a urinalysis. If it really bothers you, you don't have to fly Horizon.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 114):
No, I realize the problem is that Horizon didn't follow their termination procedures, what I do take issue with is the remedy being sought by the APA and not simply that penalties/compensation/remedies are being sought.

APA doesn't get to pick and choose, or take a knee when they feel like it. Not getting this man's job back, as he's clearly entitled, would be a breach of their obligation in this matter, and open them up to as much liability as Horizon's trying to do for themselves.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 104):
Indeed, that is often the easy way out if you really want to get rid of someone, but don't have enough to dismiss with cause.
...

...Horizon can then immediately decide to terminate the employee without cause and pay a severance package appropriate for his seniority and experience to make him go away.

Yes, this. I'm amazed that no one at QX has thought to do this while simultaneously sacking who ever made this breathtakingly stupid decision in the first place. I'm not sure what type of reverse-gear these things have; they may well be stuck and have no choice but to fight it all the way now. But all that's going to get them is a court order to re-instate this guy, give him back pay and whatever compensation he's owed additionally and now that it's public as hell, they get to be the airline that get's high while they fly, in the public eye. Way to go QX, way to go...

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-04-29 06:39:15 and read 3614 times.

I had two friends in high school become habitual marijuana users. There judgement would be impared for up to 5 weeks after use! Over the years their judgement 'faded' and each time they 'went without' for an extended time resulted in their recovery to a 'lower level.' The idea that pot is harmless isn't true for habitual users.

Quoting traindoc (Reply 9):

So what about the right of the public to not be flown by an impaired pilot? Pot stays in the brain for up to 30 days and definitely affects motor coordination and judgement.

  

Quoting mcdu (Reply 15):
You do realize this guy wasn't on the fence. He didn't come forward and say he had a problem. He was BUSTED on a random check.

That is important. His contract forbid the use. But then again, that contract allows him to fly again...

Quoting mcdu (Reply 15):
However if they show up at work on drugs or alcohol and only get religion once they are caught is too late in my opinion.

So true.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 53):
Diversion tactic. Tobacco does not impair.

Agreed. Annoying, but legal.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 53):
Habitual users ALWAYS say that - regardless of the drug of choice. One of the most common statements is denial.

   Not to be believed.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 59):
If it's in your blood, it's in your brain. Whether the amount significantly affects your judgement and motor skills is what is important.

That is the fact. The 'user' needs to take a month off after use. Simple as that.

Quoting 28L28L (Reply 81):
Always thought it interesting how having marijuana found in ones system could be equated to any sort of intoxication in the work place, as prevailing opinion says that marijuana can trigger a positive test result up to 30 days after usage.

It impairs the individual for 30+ days. So why not?

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-29 09:34:32 and read 3550 times.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 118):
If it really bothers you, you don't have to fly Horizon.

Yeah the problem is that it has the potential to endanger more people than just those who choose to fly Horizon.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 118):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 114):
No, I realize the problem is that Horizon didn't follow their termination procedures, what I do take issue with is the remedy being sought by the APA and not simply that penalties/compensation/remedies are being sought.

APA doesn't get to pick and choose, or take a knee when they feel like it.

Can't they? Again, do they not have their own internal standards and rules regarding their pilots and drug use? Do you think the guy would honestly turn down a couple hundred thousand in cash potentially over just back pay? Does his contract specifically state that in the event of wrongful termination the prescribed remedy has to be full reinstatement?

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 118):
and now that it's public as hell, they get to be the airline that get's high while they fly, in the public eye. Way to go QX, way to go..

More than likely the narrative will be that a union is trying to let pilots fly high, the APA can pat themselves on the back as well.

[Edited 2013-04-29 09:37:19]

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-29 09:53:26 and read 3516 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 120):
Again, do they not have their own internal standards and rules regarding their pilots and drug use?

Again, there is not two different standards for an alcohol problem vs. a drug problem. It is all under the "substance abuse" umbrella. The union does not do the testing, that is a company issue. There is a professional standards committee which can be a good conduit for a pilot to perhaps raise some concerns about another pilot. Also the HIMS committee could possibly step in and help a pilot suspected of having a substance abuse problem.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 120):
Does his contract specifically state that in the event of wrongful termination the prescribed remedy has to be full reinstatement?

My guess is no. However, the Company's policy, which is agreed with the union spells out just what the process is. That is where the wheels came off the wagon. The company bypassed the steps in an agreed to process.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2013-04-29 10:02:13 and read 3510 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 120):
Yeah the problem is that it has the potential to endanger more people than just those who choose to fly Horizon.

Then make him an instructor. They still owe him his job, at rate, back.

Fighting an Arbitrator makes it look like QX do not have their act together as an airline. So if you're worried about safety, why aren't you concerned about an airline that can't even fire someone who pops a test correctly? Aren't you concerned that QX screws up all manner of paper work? Because that's the impression they're giving here. You know, since we're talking about safety and all...

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 120):
Can't they?

No, they can't. They have an affirmative duty to aggressively follow up on this. Not only is there the issue of this pilot being a dues paying professional here, but as well, it sets precedent, which in corporate/union affairs, is law.

It's possible you may not have ever worked at a closed shop before, but just about any Shop Steward can tell you about these things and why they matter.

In any case, they can no more let this guy piss in the wind than your defense attorney can do a crap job for you, because, hey, you're a bad person if hit your wife, right (just using an example of what folks can be accused of), so why protect you?

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 120):
Does his contract specifically state that in the event of wrongful termination the prescribed remedy has to be full reinstatement?

It would be the 1st CBA I've ever known not to if that isn't the case. They don't necessarily have to restore him to the line, but yes, it would be title, position, pay and hours if that's what you're asking. Full back pay is also very standard issue in cases like this.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 120):
More than likely the narrative will be that a union is trying to let pilots fly high, the APA can pat themselves on the back as well.

Hmmmmmm... No. APA really didn't make noise about this during Arbitration. QX should have done the smart thing and sucked it up. But here they are, splashing it all over (while making clear that they don't have the HR affairs in order too), by trying to overrule a legally binding Arbitration. No doubt they probably regret this by now (unless they're even more inept than we can assume), but as I said, they may not have a choice at this time but to see the loss through.


Legally speaking, they have about the same chance of getting this overturned as a woman would have getting her child support payments reduced because she doesn't like the kind of car her ex-husband drives. They can file all the motions they want, but...


In any case, putting that on the APA is a stretch at best. Was it Johnny Cochrane's fault the LAPD & DA office of LA County screwed up prosecuting OJ so badly that will be joke for three more decades?

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 120):
Do you think the guy would honestly turn down a couple hundred thousand in cash potentially over just back pay?

I have no idea what he would do. What would you do? What would any of us do?

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-29 10:43:33 and read 3472 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 121):
There is a professional standards committee which can be a good conduit for a pilot to perhaps raise some concerns about another pilot. Also the HIMS committee could possibly step in and help a pilot suspected of having a substance abuse problem.

Right, but the trigger for these programs involves the pilot himself coming forward about his problem which this guy didn't do.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 122):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 120):
Yeah the problem is that it has the potential to endanger more people than just those who choose to fly Horizon.

Then make him an instructor.

Even that still has the potential of endangering others.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 122):
Fighting an Arbitrator makes it look like QX do not have their act together as an airline.

I doubt Alaska Air Group would be bringing it this far honestly if they didn't have something up their sleeve or some fact as yet unrevealed, AAG is everything but not having their act together.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 122):
So if you're worried about safety, why aren't you concerned about an airline that can't even fire someone who pops a test correctly?

I already told you that I'm perfectly fine with QX being penalized for the issue, just not in a way that could potentially penalize other innocent people not even involved in the issue.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 122):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 120):
Can't they?

No, they can't. They have an affirmative duty to aggressively follow up on this.

I completely understand the obligation, but like I said, I'm not ok with the remedy here, it potentially endangers innocent third parties.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 122):
Hmmmmmm... No. APA really didn't make noise about this during Arbitration.

That's irrelevant, the cat is out of the bag now and all people are going to understand is that a company is trying to keep a pot-smoking employee from endangering lives while the union is trying to put him back in the cockpit.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-29 10:51:10 and read 3472 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):
Right, but the trigger for these programs involves the pilot himself coming forward about his problem which this guy didn't do.

Not necessarily. Most airlines have adopted the practice of allowing people who fail a random test to re-enter the workforce after completing the company mandated rehab program. Whether or not you like it, the issue of past practice is very important in labor law. As long as this pilot was treated like other pilots, then no problem. Otherwise, big problems.


Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):
I doubt Alaska Air Group would be bringing it this far honestly if they didn't have something up their sleeve or some fact as yet unrevealed, AAG is everything but not having their act together.

Arbitrator's decisions are very, very seldom overturned. That's just the way it is. I don't know what AAG would have up their sleeve but I wouldn't hold my breath for anything.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2013-04-29 11:22:22 and read 3445 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):

I completely understand the obligation, but like I said, I'm not ok with the remedy here, it potentially endangers innocent third parties.

I don't see how. He will or has completed a rehab program before returning to work. Once done, he's exactly the same as other pilots.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):
I doubt Alaska Air Group would be bringing it this far honestly if they didn't have something up their sleeve or some fact as yet unrevealed, AAG is everything but not having their act together.

Nope. AAG is about middle of the road where this is concerned, and certainly not among the better airlines where following rules and getting gigged by the FAA are concerned. But that's not relevant, since QX is only owned by AAG and functions as their own company.

If they're anything like AAG, like I said, they'll be about the middle of the road. Nowhere near as good as VX, nowhere near as bad as 5X in terms of having their act together.

In any case, my point is that if they think it's ok to bungle something as simple as this, what makes you think they can pull an LAHR, or even a general MX history report without there being "slips" like that all over? I'm sure there are discrepancies all over the place with these guys (since there are at every airline), but things like this make me wonder how much more than average we'd be looking at...

There are few things more important than paper trails in aviation, and these guys making an issue of it is tantamount to shouting "hey, we're not very good at being an airline." That may not be the case, but they should have muzzled this, post haste.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):

I already told you that I'm perfectly fine with QX being penalized for the issue, just not in a way that could potentially penalize other innocent people not even involved in the issue.

Who would be penalized? As mentioned before, this guy won't fly without going through a program. It's how you make an unserviceable part into a serviceable part again.

Let me ask you something... What do think about flying on a plane that has retreaded tires? Or overhauled powerplants? Or doubler plates on the skin? Parts wear out, and have to get replaced. The thing is, no airline on Earth can afford to replace these only with new parts. Even EK birds fly with brakes that were once catalogued as WTL.

This is exactly the same. The guy had a problem. Now he doesn't. So where's the danger?

If you're genuinely scared of things like that, I would tell you just don't fly. No airplane in service (with the exception of less than year old new-borns), flies without rebuilt, reconditioned parts. Parts that were once dangerous, but now are not. They're all certified, but they've been worn down before.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):
the cat is out of the bag now and all people are going to understand is that a company is trying to keep a pot-smoking employee from endangering lives

Or alternatively that something the company suddenly considers important was somehow handled so poorly in the first place. I would think that if it were that important, they could have done it right the first time. Since it's easy and all...

Quoting mmo (Reply 124):
Arbitrator's decisions are very, very seldom overturned. That's just the way it is. I don't know what AAG would have up their sleeve but I wouldn't hold my breath for anything.

Absolutely. The only thing I can come up with (and understand that this is a huge stretch & I don't really believe it would be legitimate) is that they are waiting for this guy to pop another test in the meantime. That won't happen, but it's just about the only thing that could help QX at this point. I hope they like writing big checks.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-29 12:07:26 and read 3431 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 124):
Most airlines have adopted the practice of allowing people who fail a random test to re-enter the workforce after completing the company mandated rehab program.

Is Horizon one of those airlines though? It doesn't appear so as the arbitrator said they guy should have been fired if not for the paperwork mishap.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 125):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):
I doubt Alaska Air Group would be bringing it this far honestly if they didn't have something up their sleeve or some fact as yet unrevealed, AAG is everything but not having their act together.

Nope. AAG is about middle of the road where this is concerned, and certainly not among the better airlines where following rules and getting gigged by the FAA are concerned. But that's not relevant, since QX is only owned by AAG and functions as their own company.

All I know is that going to court like this is typically avoided like the plague by most large companies with quietly settling outside court being much more preferable. If there indeed isn't something up there sleeve and the ruling doesn't go their way, then yeah I would agree with you that it doesn't look like they have their act together if they're taking it this far for nothing.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 125):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):

I already told you that I'm perfectly fine with QX being penalized for the issue, just not in a way that could potentially penalize other innocent people not even involved in the issue.

Who would be penalized?

Punitive monetary damages against Horizon as a company, termination of those who handled the paperwork...any number of avenues would be preferable.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 125):

Let me ask you something... What do think about flying on a plane that has retreaded tires? Or overhauled powerplants?

As I said earlier, I don't have a problem with rehabbed pilots back in the cockpit. The hang-up for me however is that this guy didn't step forward willingly and lied to conceal his use, his credibility is completely shot.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-29 12:39:19 and read 3403 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):
Right, but the trigger for these programs involves the pilot himself coming forward about his problem which this guy didn't do.

Not necessarily. Most airlines have adopted the practice of allowing people who fail a random test to re-enter the workforce after completing the company mandated rehab program. Whether or not you like it, the issue of past practice is very important in labor law. As long as this pilot was treated like other pilots, then no problem. Otherwise, big problems.


Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):
I doubt Alaska Air Group would be bringing it this far honestly if they didn't have something up their sleeve or some fact as yet unrevealed, AAG is everything but not having their act together.

Arbitrator's decisions are very, very seldom overturned. That's just the way it is. I don't know what AAG would have up their sleeve but I wouldn't hold my breath for anything.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: MD11Engineer
Posted 2013-04-29 12:48:30 and read 3393 times.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
Quoting traindoc (Reply 9):
So what about the right of the public to not be flown by an impaired pilot? Pot stays in the brain for up to 30 days and definitely affects motor coordination and judgement.

The statement is incorrect. The longest cannabis metabolites have been detected in the urine after last use was 31 days (IIRC... I might be off by a day or two). In most cases, it will be undetectable after 7-14 days. As for impairment of coordination and judgement, yes, during acute intoxication it can do that, but not to the degree that alcohol does. It's more of an impairment in awareness and focus. Of course, that is incompatible with being a commercial pilot all the same.

But if we're going to talk about pot, let's at least work with some facts, rather than popular myths.
Quoting AA94 (Reply 19):

While I appreciate the dedication to accuracy (I really do!), I think the sentiment still remains that we (the flying public) don't really want anyone, at any degree of impairment, flying our aircraft. In my opinion, it's a difficult, involved job that requires a high level of focus and attention to detail, tasks that require utmost coherence.

Since, unlike for alcohol, there are no legal limits for the amount of marijuana metabolites in the body, the limit is set by the accuracy of the analytic equipment. Today this equipment is extremely sensitive and can still detect traces of the drugs, which in fact won´t have any physiological activity at these extremely low concentrations. We had this issue in the conservative German state of Bavaria, where people, where minute traces of pot were detected in their blood or hair, where convicted, and, since they were as pot users automatically classified as addicts, they lost their driving licenses and other government licenses.

Jan

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: ThePointblank
Posted 2013-04-29 15:05:52 and read 3347 times.

Quoting mmo (Reply 115):
But what is being written is specifically about this pilot, not the general issue. What I can not get is there is a program for substance abuse. Granted in the pilot community it mainly deals with alcohol. However, it is not an alcohol abuse program, but a substance abuse program. The program itself, makes no differentiation of what substance it is. That is how the program works. Are you suggesting the airlines back out of the substance abuse programs and just fire everyone or simply make it an alcohol abuse program?

Indeed, not only alcohol and illicit drugs, but also prescription drug abuse.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):
Even that still has the potential of endangering others.

Or he could be pushed to head office doing paperwork. Something will be found to accommodate the situation.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 123):
That's irrelevant, the cat is out of the bag now and all people are going to understand is that a company is trying to keep a pot-smoking employee from endangering lives while the union is trying to put him back in the cockpit.

Because the union has to fight for their employees under the duty of fair representation. They have no choice.

I will tell you that from my experience as a manager in a unionized setting, having represented the employer many times, there have been instances where after a meeting, the union rep or shop steward will come over and tell me in private that the guy they were representing was a complete slimeball and they wanted to see the guy gone as well. I always fully understand that the union has to do what they have to do and I take no offence to such situations.

Quoting mmo (Reply 124):
Arbitrator's decisions are very, very seldom overturned. That's just the way it is. I don't know what AAG would have up their sleeve but I wouldn't hold my breath for anything.

Like I said. Unless the arbitrator really made a truly head scratching call or something else, then the decision will hold.

FYI, during judicial review, no new evidence can be presented. AAG cannot bring up anything new in the review. Whatever evidence was presented in the arbitration is the only evidence allowed.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 126):
It doesn't appear so as the arbitrator said they guy should have been fired if not for the paperwork mishap.

Correction: the arbitrator said that it was grounds for dismissal, not automatic dismissal. Big difference between the two; someone may do something that is grounds for dismissal, but they may not be dismissed (they may be written up, suspended, etc).

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 126):
Punitive monetary damages against Horizon as a company, termination of those who handled the paperwork...any number of avenues would be preferable.

In Canada, FYI, there is also something called Wallace damages, after the Supreme Court of Canada's 1997 decision in Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd. Basically, if the employer, during dismissal, was either unprofessional, dishonest, callous, careless, unfair and cruel, and the employee suffered damages or severe emotional distress as a result of such behaviour, then the former employee will get extended notice period as a result. The US court system may have something similar.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2013-04-30 04:09:11 and read 3212 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 126):
As I said earlier, I don't have a problem with rehabbed pilots back in the cockpit. The hang-up for me however is that this guy didn't step forward willingly and lied to conceal his use, his credibility is completely shot.

I can see how you might feel that way. But keep in mind, most unserviceable parts (to continue and belabor my analogy) have to be found during inspection and won't just volunteer themselves anyway. So I guess that means I would favor more randoms...

Like others have said, the problem is that there is a good deal of professional repercussion involved with that and even if times are better than they once were, the work culture at QX (and most airlines) is such that hiding these things becomes preferable (though not sensible).

My problem with that (and I think you may agree) is what happens when a Pilot never gets random'ed? One could theoretically go several years with this type of illness while flying, but still not come forward because of the ramifications of doing so.

This is something that I would say is in a state of evolution in this industry, so while things are better, they are not yet where they need to be. Aggressive HIMS programs and a work culture that views addiction as an unserviceable part (as opposed to a vice deserving of termination) will go a long way towards taking us where we need to be there.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-30 17:43:54 and read 3120 times.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 130):
But keep in mind, most unserviceable parts (to continue and belabor my analogy) have to be found during inspection and won't just volunteer themselves anyway. So I guess that means I would favor more randoms...

The difference is though that we're talking about human beings, not inanimate objects. Pilots have a responsibility to their passengers and the company not to willfully endanger lives. It says something about a person's character and credibility beyond this issue if they conceal it and endanger people, especially if systems and programs are in place to help them.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 130):
Aggressive HIMS programs and a work culture that views addiction as an unserviceable part (as opposed to a vice deserving of termination) will go a long way towards taking us where we need to be there.

I'm perfectly fine with HIMS programs and encouraging those with problems to willingly step forward; however, if such systems and culture are in place at a company and the employee still doesn't come forward for help/treatment and conceals their use, they should be terminated. To have a problem like that is human, but it doesn't excuse being reckless and irresponsible because of it if the help is there.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: F9animal
Posted 2013-04-30 18:30:43 and read 3082 times.

What gets me brewing about this is, he knew the potential consequences when he did it! He had a choice, and choices like this are clearly irresponsible. He admitted he did it. I still feel there is zero tollerance when it comes to this. There are thoisands of pilots looking for jobs that will not make irresponsible choices like he did. I would not fly on a plane with a known drug user at the controls.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: mmo
Posted 2013-04-30 22:19:53 and read 3023 times.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 132):
I would not fly on a plane with a known drug user at the controls.

I have to ask, would you feel the same way about someone who had an alcohol problem?

I am very sorry, but you can not focus on the substance of the abuse but you have to focus on the abuse itself. That is the basis of the entire HIMS program.

Topic: RE: Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-04-30 22:51:01 and read 3003 times.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 129):
during judicial review, no new evidence can be presented. AAG cannot bring up anything new in the review. Whatever evidence was presented in the arbitration is the only evidence allowed.

You beat me to it. AAG can't have anything "up their sleeve" otherwise they would have presented it to the tribunal.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 126):
going to court like this is typically avoided like the plague by most large companies with quietly settling outside court being much more preferable

Maybe AAG did offer to settle, but he turned it down knowing that (regardless of whether it is on a legal technicality) he has a good chance of winning in court.


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/