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NCJ Number: 120147 Find in a Library
Title: Arbitrators, Social Values, and the Burden of Proof in Substance Abuse Discharge Cases
Journal: Labor Law Journal  Volume:40  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1989)  Pages:582-593
Author(s): K W Thornicroft
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 12
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on a study of a sample of 145 relevant arbitration cases drawn from Volumes 85-91 of the Labor Arbitration Reports for the period July 1985 to August 1988, this article argues that the burden of proof determined by arbitrators to apply in substance abuse employee discharge cases is strongly influenced by societal norms and values.
Abstract: Arbitrators are influenced by the prevailing social norm that alcohol abusers are qualitatively different from drug abusers, thereby justifying disparate treatment between the two. Alcohol abusers are more often viewed sympathetically as persons who are ill and in need of medical treatment. This article examines the dichotomy in terms of the burden of proof that an employer must overcome to sustain a position in a grievance arbitration. The model presented suggests that the burden of proof can be manipulated by arbitrators to reach arbitral outcomes consistent with prevailing social norms regarding substance abuse. 1 table, 1 figure, 35 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Substance abuse in the workplace
Index Term(s): Arbitrators; Burden of proof; Employee dismissal
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