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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Giving "high in the sky" a whole new meaning

There are certain thinks you just don't want to think about while your sitting at the gate waiting to board a flight. One of them is the pilot in the bathroom of the 737 you are about to board doing a few lines of coke. This morning, in Gabbard v. FAA, the 6th Circuit made the friendly skies a little bit safer by affirming an arbitrator's decision that had approved the FAA's revocation of a pilot's license after he had failed a drug test.

The take-away from this case has nothing to do with airlines, drug tests, or arbitrations. Instead, this case serves as another reminder that employees can sue for any reason at any time. Gabbard could not possibly have thought he was going to have his license reinstated, especially after an arbitrator had ruled against him. Yet, he had no shame in parading his shameful conduct before the second highest court in the land. Even the most rock solid termination can end in a lawsuit. That risk, however, should not hamstring employers from taking necessary actions to rid their workplaces of bad employees, especially when good cause exists.

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