Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers, 531 U.S. 57, 11 (2000)

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Cite as: 531 U. S. 57 (2000)

Scalia, J., concurring in judgment

and a return-to-duty test with a negative result." 59 Fed. Reg. 7493 (1994).

Regarding drug use by persons in safety-sensitive positions, then, Congress has enacted a detailed statute. And Congress has delegated to the Secretary of Transportation authority to issue further detailed regulations on that subject. Upon careful consideration, including public notice and comment, the Secretary has done so. Neither Congress nor the Secretary has seen fit to mandate the discharge of a worker who twice tests positive for drugs. We hesitate to infer a public policy in this area that goes beyond the careful and detailed scheme Congress and the Secretary have created.

We recognize that reasonable people can differ as to whether reinstatement or discharge is the more appropriate remedy here. But both employer and union have agreed to entrust this remedial decision to an arbitrator. We cannot find in the Act, the regulations, or any other law or legal precedent an "explicit," "well defined," "dominant" public policy to which the arbitrator's decision "runs contrary." Misco, 484 U. S., at 43; W. R. Grace, 461 U. S., at 766. We conclude that the lower courts correctly rejected Eastern's public policy claim. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is


Justice Scalia, with whom Justice Thomas joins, concurring in the judgment.

I concur in the Court's judgment, because I agree that no public policy prevents the reinstatement of James Smith to his position as a truck driver, so long as he complies with the arbitrator's decision, and with those requirements set out in the Department of Transportation's regulations. I do not endorse, however, the Court's statement that "[w]e agree, in principle, that courts' authority to invoke the public policy exception is not limited solely to instances where the arbitra-


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