Case: Labor Arbitration/Off-Duty Drug Use (Arb.)

June 15, 2021, 8:03 PM

The VA Gulf Coast Veterans System had just cause to discharge a certified registered nurse anesthetist whose unchallenged random drug test was positive for marijuana metabolite (THCA) and who admitted that he had been using it as a sleep aid and to relieve anxiety, since Executive Order 12564 made the entire federal government, including VA hospitals, “drug-free” workplaces and specifically forbade use of illegal drugs on or off-duty, Arbitrator Barry J. Baroni ruled. He found that the “safe harbor” provision in the master agreement did not apply, as the grievant had failed to step forward and self-report. The hospital established ...

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