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Horizon Air Sues To Keep Pot-puffing Pilot Fired  
User currently offlinecessna2 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 330 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 14900 times:

Interesting article...

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

thoughts?

134 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineairtran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3704 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 14822 times:
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Fire him. Having an impaired pilot is not an option.


Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlinemmo From Qatar, joined Apr 2013, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 14610 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



If we weren't all crazy we would all go insane
User currently offlinedavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2306 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 14428 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



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1460 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 14332 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.

User currently offlineairtran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3704 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 14181 times:
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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.


Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlinedabpit From United States of America, joined May 2012, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 14119 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.


User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5027 posts, RR: 28
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 14059 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?



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinemmo From Qatar, joined Apr 2013, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 13868 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.



If we weren't all crazy we would all go insane
User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 353 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 13857 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.


User currently offlinemmo From Qatar, joined Apr 2013, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 13784 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]


If we weren't all crazy we would all go insane
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19574 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 13677 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.


User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 353 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 13676 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.


User currently offlinemmo From Qatar, joined Apr 2013, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 13615 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.



If we weren't all crazy we would all go insane
User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1356 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 13590 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.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1460 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 13462 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.


User currently offlinetwincommander From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 12490 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.


User currently offlinebigfoot0503 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 12339 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



oregon-aviator
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3068 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 12193 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.


User currently offlineAA94 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 584 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 12165 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.



Choose a challenge over competence / Eleanor Roosevelt
User currently offlineHiFlyerAS From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 939 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11938 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.


User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4212 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11913 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]


Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently onlineJBAirwaysFan From United States of America, joined May 2009, 978 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 11828 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]


In Loving Memory of Casey Edward Falconer; May 16, 1992-May 9, 2012
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3971 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 11758 times:
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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...



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinenutsaboutplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 496 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 11670 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.



American Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Northwest Airlines, America West Airlines, USAFR
25 EA CO AS : After he'd been caught. It's too late then. Because the "Get me help so I can continue working" card can only be played if you voluntarily come forwa
26 infiniti329 : Was he high or was just in his system? There is a difference between to the two.
27 nutsaboutplanes : 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 air
28 flyguy89 : 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
29 mcdu : 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
30 MountainFlyer : 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 n
31 blueflyer : 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
32 DiamondFlyer : No it is not, as has been pointed out, Horizon is owned by the AAG. -DiamondFlyer
33 KD5MDK : 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.
34 Tomassjc : 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
35 ORDJOE : 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 ind
36 nutsaboutplanes : 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 th
37 Post contains images TheCol : 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 pro
38 FlyDeltaJets : 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, t
39 ASFlyer : 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
40 blueflyer : 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
41 mmo : 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
42 Maverick623 : 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 fr
43 rwsea : 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 te
44 mmo : 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 pr
45 Maverick623 : So in other words, he's done flying anyways.
46 mmo : 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 throug
47 JBAirwaysFan : Yeah, but the off-duty pilot does not. Unless they are instructed not to enforce it within the states' borders, which very well may be the case since
48 mcdu : 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
49 RWA380 : 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 i
50 B727FA : That's simply not the case. He completed the program as set forth by his company and has been cleared to fly.
51 mcdu : He hit a random test while at work. That is not free of impairment. Entry into the program should not be approved if you are positive on a random tes
52 Hypoxik : QX is not part of ALPA. Try the trucker's union.
53 rcair1 : Diversion tactic. Tobacco does not impair. That is one of the problems - there is no well established measure. Even with alcohol, which is much bette
54 mmo : Obviously, you have some very strong opinions and this has certainly hit a nerve!! So, if you were to get stopped for reckless driving or another movi
55 JoeCanuck : Actually, tobacco can cause imparment. Cigarettes can induce a sense of euphoria and cause mood swings, which can affect concentration, attitude, foc
56 nitepilot79 : 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 parta
57 mcdu : 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 alteri
58 mmo : 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 unpro
59 Post contains images Maverick623 : 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 start
60 JBAirwaysFan : NOT a diversion tactic. Marijuana dose not have any chemically addictive properties. FACT. Wrong, I'm making the point that marijuana is legal in 2 s
61 EA CO AS : 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
62 mmo : 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
63 mcdu : 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 te
64 HiFlyerAS : 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
65 mmo : 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 ex
66 Post contains links flyguy89 : Agreed, especially with the recent ruling linked to below from a Colorado court that companies in Colorado could still fire employees for marijuana u
67 EA CO AS : 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 termina
68 KD5MDK : How about QX just declare a lockout? Safety is preserved, he doesn't fly, it's simple.[Edited 2013-04-25 22:21:10]
69 beechtobus : Well said, thank you MMO. 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 cla
70 mcdu : 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
71 zeke : I have no problem with anyone getting back to work after they have treated for an illness.
72 scbriml : That's easily countered - they had the option to suspend him pending an investigation and take their time to correctly follow their own procedures. T
73 mcdu : 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 an
74 Post contains links yeelep : 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
75 scbriml : 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
76 mmo : 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 bac
77 bobloblaw : I see no problem with firing the pilot. You cant smoke any tabacco at the Alaska Air Group and those are legal as well.
78 mcdu : 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 d
79 Post contains links mcdu : 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 s
80 Tomassjc : 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
81 28L28L : 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
82 Darksnowynight : On duty or at all? We wouldn't know about it. That is completely untrue. I fired a woman yesterday morning for a controlled substance abuse related i
83 DiamondFlyer : 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. -
84 Post contains images flyguy89 : 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 pi
85 mmo : 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
86 drgmobile : Anybody who has done marijuana knows this is absolutely false. Alcohol does not wear off more quickly than marijuana. Its exactly the opposite. The a
87 flyguy89 : Semantics, the guy won't be flying again anytime soon. I'm sure their pilots are just as puzzled with their union's seeming voracious need to defend
88 mcdu : 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 mont
89 beechtobus : "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
90 SonomaFlyer : 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 mar
91 nutsaboutplanes : 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.
92 EA CO AS : We've had employees that were terminated for misuse of sick leave that ultimately substantiated their use under FMLA (a protected leave) and were sub
93 Post contains links mcdu : 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-d
94 FlyDeltaJets : When the process is part of a legally binding CBA it does. Once again if there were legally binding steps Horizion needed to follow, they should have
95 ThePointblank : 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, t
96 mmo : 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 y
97 davescj : This does not matter. The Federal law trumps the state law in this case. Correct. Whether or not he was high is not relevant. The only relevant issue
98 JoeCanuck : Horizon had a policy and they didn't follow it. The illegality of pot is irrelevant because Horizon specifically has policies dealing with illegal dr
99 ThePointblank : 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
100 flyguy89 : ...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 becau
101 davescj : 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 anythi
102 ThePointblank : Unfortunately, grounds for termination =/ reason for immediate termination. Context needs to be applied especially if extenuating circumstances are e
103 2175301 : 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
104 ThePointblank : 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 ha
105 flyguy89 : 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 u
106 mmo : 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 miss
107 flyguy89 : I would be just as upset if it were any other substance, including alcohol (i.e. being breathalyzed). That's fine, then get him some type of severanc
108 ThePointblank : 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 drov
109 rcair1 : 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
110 ltbewr : 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
111 ThePointblank : 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
112 flyguy89 : 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
113 mmo : 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,
114 flyguy89 : Why do you keep saying this? I already told you I would be just as peeved if the guy had been caught drunk. No, I realize the problem is that Horizon
115 mmo : Substance abuser!!!! 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
116 EA CO AS : 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 stra
117 mmo : Really, so the airline has an Alcohol Abuse Policy instead of a Substance Abuse Policy? Your characterization of this being a "clerical error" is lau
118 Darksnowynight : 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 wh
119 Post contains images lightsaber : 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 j
120 flyguy89 : Yeah the problem is that it has the potential to endanger more people than just those who choose to fly Horizon. Can't they? Again, do they not have
121 mmo : 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
122 Darksnowynight : 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 a
123 flyguy89 : Right, but the trigger for these programs involves the pilot himself coming forward about his problem which this guy didn't do. Even that still has t
124 mmo : Not necessarily. Most airlines have adopted the practice of allowing people who fail a random test to re-enter the workforce after completing the com
125 Darksnowynight : 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. Nope. AAG is ab
126 flyguy89 : 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.
127 mmo : Not necessarily. Most airlines have adopted the practice of allowing people who fail a random test to re-enter the workforce after completing the com
128 MD11Engineer : 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 ana
129 ThePointblank : Indeed, not only alcohol and illicit drugs, but also prescription drug abuse. Or he could be pushed to head office doing paperwork. Something will be
130 Darksnowynight : 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 inspec
131 flyguy89 : The difference is though that we're talking about human beings, not inanimate objects. Pilots have a responsibility to their passengers and the compa
132 F9animal : 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 irresponsibl
133 mmo : 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 a
134 RyanairGuru : You beat me to it. AAG can't have anything "up their sleeve" otherwise they would have presented it to the tribunal. Maybe AAG did offer to settle, b
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