Re: Enforceability of drug testing in the workplace
Date: April 11, 2010
Drug screening tests are becoming more and more controversial in the workplace and in today’s society. Where did this hatred for substance use begin and what fueled it? The tests and statistics on drugs in the workplace show that it does not affect productivity or safety by any amount. Nevertheless, the government and private agencies have flooded the media with reports of the dangers that drugs cause to our nation. Nancy Regan declared that, “Every casual drug user is an accomplice to murder.” Also, private companies have used drug testing to influence a reason to terminate an employee to cut costs.
Testing employees for drugs has become a new normality in the workplace today. Many have taken the side that drug testing increases the safety and productivity of a work environment. But new studies have been done that show drug testing does not increase safety or productivity [Maltby. 99]. Recently, state governments have passed laws that give employers incentives to administer drug tests that they normally would not have done.
Certified drug tests are much more expensive to administer which influences employers to use cheaper non-government certified tests. This can lead to false readings and in turn, falsely accusing a person of drug use. If a company is not using certified drug testing methods, they can ultimately be accused of unlawful termination because the outcome of the test may be incorrect. Additionally, if the person is producing what is expected in terms of performance, knowledge of drug use on the grounds of productivity is irrelevant [Shaw. 103].
When regarding drug testing in the workplace, there are a few things to consider. 1) Workplace drug testing is not required unless enforced by federal laws regarding certain transportation jobs and construction workers. 2) If the drug use is not relevant to the job then punishment is unethical. 3) Reasons for...