1841 Butler v. International Union, UAW

Case No: 1841

2021

The IEB incorrectly held that this appeal was untimely.  This case involves an appeal from the International Representative’s decision not to pursue further Appellant’s reinstatement.  Accordingly, the applicable time limit under Article 33, §4(c) is 30 days from when Appellant first learned of the International Representative’s decision on October 30, 2020.  The International President’s office erroneously found that the time limit for the appeal began to run on October 21, 2020, the date of Appellant’s failed drug test.  This misconceives the nature of the appeal.  Appellant was not appealing the fact that he failed the test, but rather the International Representative’s determination that nothing further could be done for him in the wake of the failed test.   

The IEB’s decision to reject this appeal on the merits rests on firmer ground.  It was not irrational for the International Representative to conclude that further efforts to get the Company to allow Appellant to retake the drug test would be unavailing.  Although Michigan law permits the recreational use of marijuana, Company policy treats marijuana as an illegal substance, subject to drug screening.  The Company and the Union had entered an agreement for Appellant to return to work, subject to successful completion of a reinstatement physical and drug test.  Based upon our experience, there was nothing unusual about the terms of the reinstatement agreement.  Unfortunately for Appellant, the drug test was scheduled soon after the reinstatement agreement was reached, and this did not allow sufficient time for marijuana to leave his system. 

The IEB incorrectly held that this appeal was untimely.  This case involves an appeal from the International Representative’s decision not to pursue further Appellant’s reinstatement.  Accordingly, the applicable time limit under Article 33, §4(c) is 30 days from when Appellant first learned of the International Representative’s decision on October 30, 2020.  The International President’s office erroneously found that the time limit for the appeal began to run on October 21, 2020, the date of Appellant’s failed drug test.  This misconceives the nature of the appeal.  Appellant was not appealing the fact that he failed the test, but rather the International Representative’s determination that nothing further could be done for him in the wake of the failed test.   

The IEB’s decision to reject this appeal on the merits rests on firmer ground.  It was not irrational for the International Representative to conclude that further efforts to get the Company to allow Appellant to retake the drug test would be unavailing.  Although Michigan law permits the recreational use of marijuana, Company policy treats marijuana as an illegal substance, subject to drug screening.  The Company and the Union had entered an agreement for Appellant to return to work, subject to successful completion of a reinstatement physical and drug test.  Based upon our experience, there was nothing unusual about the terms of the reinstatement agreement.  Unfortunately for Appellant, the drug test was scheduled soon after the reinstatement agreement was reached, and this did not allow sufficient time for marijuana to leave his system.