Marijuana Moment reports
An Alaska Airlines technician in Washington State who was fired over a positive marijuana test had his termination reversed earlier this month after formally challenging the decision, insisting he did not knowingly use cannabis and was unaware of how THC would have gotten into his system.
The worker, whose name was redacted from an arbitration decision provided by a lawyer for his union, was given a random drug test in July, 2022. The level of THC metabolites came back above a minimum threshold, and he was immediately fired given the safety-sensitive nature of his lead aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) role.
The employee—referred to in the decision as the “grievant”—didn’t deny the accuracy of the test result itself, but he “denied using marijuana or other drugs, and could not explain the positive drug result other than speculating he may have unwittingly ingested a marijuana edible at a block party/barbecue he had recently attended,” according to facts laid out in an arbitration panel’s decision.
“I don’t smoke weed,” the worker told an Alaska Airlines maintenance director in an investigatory interview. The barbecue “would be to me the only avenue that I would have ingested it,” he said,
At the time he was fired, the worker had been employed at the airline for about 22 years, first being hired at age 24. He had also passed several random drug tests without incident and had no disciplinary record. He’d held a lead role since 2017.