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Heinze v. Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division

November 7, 2017

Andrew J. Heinze, Plaintiff,
v.
Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties, LLC, et al., Defendants

          ORDER

          James G. Carr Sr. U.S. District Judge.

         This is a “Hybrid 301” action against the plaintiff's former employer, Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties (Company) and the union representing its employees, United Steelworkers Local 12695 (Union). The plaintiff claims that the Company's decision to fire him after he flunked a random drug test violated the parties' Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and that the Union's dropping of his ensuing grievance violated its duty of fair representation.

         Jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         Pending is the Company's motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (Doc. 7).

         For the reasons that follow, I grant the motion and dismiss the complaint with prejudice and without the right to seek leave to amend.

         Background

         In December, 2016, the Company notified the plaintiff that it had, pursuant to the Company's Substance Abuse Policy (Policy), selected him for a random drug test. On reporting for the test, the plaintiff admitted that he had recently used marijuana. The Company immediately suspended him pending the test results. When the result was positive, the Company fired the plaintiff on December 16, 2016. When he asked, the Company told him there was nothing that could be done to allow him to keep his job.

         Plaintiff filed a grievance. After a lapse of several months, during which the Union had not kept the plaintiff informed of what, if anything, it was doing with the grievance, the Union notified him that it was dropping it.

         Section V(A) of the CBA prescribes what happens under the Company's Policy when an employee flunks a drug test:

The Company's preventive drug and alcohol testing program will serve as a deterrent to the abuse of illegal drugs and/or alcohol by employees and as a demonstration of the Corporation's character to its customers, its employees, and the public. Selection for testing will be on a non-biased system and testing will be conducted at unscheduled and unannounced times. Prior to testing, employees will be required to complete a consent agreement. All employees in all positions are included in the preventive drug and alcohol testing program unless prohibited by state law. The Company may require a breath analyzer, urinalysis, or other drug/alcohol testing of an employee.[1]

         Section VII(C) of the CBA states that “[e]mployees testing positive under this provision are subject to immediate termination of employment for the first offense without rehabilitation.”[2]

         Discussion

         To prevail in this case, plaintiff has to prove both that the Company breached its obligations under the CBA and that the Union's decision to drop his grievance was arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad fath.

         The plaintiff's principal contention is that the Company failed to offer him an alternative consequence for flunking the drug test, other than on-the-spot suspension and subsequent termination. But he has pointed and can point to nothing in the CBA that gives him any right whatsoever to such an option. Entirely to the contrary, the CBA unambiguously provides that any ...


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