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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Mark Johnson worked as an aircraft mechanic for Continental Airlines from 1991 until March 2001. In August 2000, Johnson was given a random alcohol breath test. His blood alcohol content was .115, and Johnson was terminated. Johnson filed a grievance and, with the help of his union, entered into a “last chance agreement” with Continental. The agreement required Johnson to submit to six separate conditions, including meeting with a employee assistance program (EAP) director for evaluation. Johnson was later diagnosed with alcohol dependency. He then entered into a rehabilitation agreement. The agreement stated that any use of alcohol would be considered a violation of the agreement. Though the agreement provided an exception for alcohol use when included in medication prescribed by a doctor, the agreement also required Johnson to notify EAP staff. Johnson was also required to take random alcohol tests and to maintain contact with EAP managers. Failure to abide by the terms would result in Johnson’s termination. In March 2001, Johnson left a message on an EAP manager’s voice mail stating that he was taking over-the-counter cough medicine. The next day, after receiving Johnson’s message but not contacting him about it, Continental gave Johnson an alcohol test. He blood alcohol content was .04. A subsequent test less than a half-hour later showed a level of .029. Continental terminated Johnson. Johnson filed a grievance, and a review board of arbitrators upheld the validity of the last-chance agreement and the rehabilitation agreement, but ultimately concluded that Johnson had not violated either agreement. Continental filed suit against Johnson’s union to vacate the board’s decision. The district court granted the union’s motion for summary judgment and denied Continental’s motion. Continental appeals. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. The court disagrees with Continental that the district court should have reviewed the board’s award without giving it deference both because the dispute involved a last-chance agreement, and because board ignored an express term of the agreement. Reviewing a long line of cases, the court concludes that the deferential standard did apply and the district court was correct in using it. The court nonetheless holds that the district court erred. In order for the award issued by the board to be within the board’s authority, the award must “draw its essence” from the last-chance agreement and the rehabilitation agreement. The court notices among the board’s findings and conclusions about the incident that Johnson complied with the agreements because he spoke with someone on his doctor’s staff and received approval to take the cough medicine. There is no evidence of any kind, however, that Johnson or a member of the doctor’s staff spoke with the doctor regarding Johnson’s situation, or that the doctor contacted Johnson directly or indirectly. Consequently, there is no evidence that Johnson’s doctor ever approved of the use of cough medicine. “Because Johnson’s doctor did not prescribe him medicine containing alcohol, his notification to the EAP director, and that person’s not calling him back, is irrelevant. The [last-chance agreement] and [rehabilitation agreement] do not require a call back to Johnson. By failing to require proof of a doctor’s order, the Board’s interpretation effectively reads ‘doctor’ out of the [rehabilitation] agreement. Such an interpretation is not an arguable construction of the agreements; thus, the Board exceeded the scope of its jurisdiction in fashioning its award.” OPINION:Lynn, J.; Barksdale, Pickering and Lynn, JJ.

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