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Drug Testing In The Workplace Essays

"Drug testing is one action an employer can take to determine if employees or job applicants are using drugs. It can identify evidence of recent use of alcohol, prescription drugs and illicit drugs." (Stanley, 2007)

According to Cone, who is the head of National Institute on Drug Abuse, Drug testing is a method which define if a worker is using legal or illegal drugs and it can define which kind of drugs is he/she using and the quantity of drug in his/her blood. Drug testing is used to determine available unintentional or intentional overdose, to check compliance with a dope rehabilitation plan, and to define the existence or deficiency of drugs for medicinal and or authorized reasons.

No particular preparations are required for dope testing. Drug testing does not need special preparations. Mostly, it is done as an emergency test, or sometimes it can be planned (for instance, to meet current employment necessities). As a condition of test workers had to tell if they are using medicines and they had to take their medicine bottle as document. (Holmes, L)

If a worker refuses to do the drug testing, it would be lawful to lead him/her off. However, the worker should not be led off before notified him/her, especially in a writing or observed by others, that discharge can reject the warning.

Nearly all businesses inform their workers that if they result positive in drug testing, they will be led off. However, some businesses give workers a possibility for treatment and keep them to work in test situation. If a worker, after a positive test result, is allowed to go back to work, it is a "last chance" for him/her, and he would be tasted monthly casual tests, a year's probation, and direct termination for any consequent positive test answer.

According to Zimmer a professor of sociology at Queens College, drug testing give numeral good reasons about using drug testing in the workplace. First, drug testing might progress workplace security by knowing workers, and lead off the workers who have drug or alcohol troubles, or might give assistance to these workers. Specially, workers who use alcohol, or legal drugs improperly, or illegal drugs, are consumed as superior security danger more than other workers. In the New South Wales Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1983, owners have a universal responsibility to guarantee the healthiness, security and prosperity at work of their workers. This responsibility can be utilized to defend the introduction of workplace drug testing plans.

A further reason that support the drug testing in the workplace is that it can develop the productivity and efficiency of the workplace by allowing the recognition of cheat candidates why utilize dopes or via preventing dope use by actual workers. The manufacture prices which may be cut by not renting on jab candidates who are positive and by preventing dope utilize by presented workers contain those starting from mistakes, absence and worker income, hearth heed and employees' reward.

Third, drug testing helps to know which workers are depending on drug abuse or workers which have healthiness troubles linked with drug use and might give assist to them. Occasionally, it is planned that drug testing might give a post of worker assistance plans. Workers assistance plans are directed to give assistance to workers who have troubles, not only by drug using, but also economic or home troubles.

Finally, in case of banned dopes, drug testing can be utilized to appreciate the individual integrity, honesty or law-abidingness of workers or possible workers. Owners might judge people who use drugs less truthful and less wanted as their workers. For instance, owners might think that if a person breaks the rules by using banned drugs, he/she is ready to steal from the company.

According to Neumann, a Legislative Analyst in Minnesota House, People are against drug testing because they want to protect their private life. It is not fair to obligate workers who do not use drugs to prove that they do not use drugs. "Americans have traditionally believed that general search of innocent people are unfair." It is unfair to obligate them to prove their innocence from an unsecure test that might not give the right answer. Drug testing is not so secure. At 10 percent of cases they result false positive. In a search of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, they discover that 20 percent of workers testing for drug had illegal drugs in their urine test.

Another reason why people are against drug testing is because it gives a lot of information about the private life of workers. It gives many details. It gives details about the different diseases, such as diabetes, heart diseases. It can give information is a worker is pregnant

According to Holmes, A member in the Research Department of Minnesota House of Representatives, The law states that the results of analyzes as well as other results collected through the test are private and confidential. A laboratory that has performed an analysis on drug testing might inform the manager in case of positive result. It is not acceptable to give extra information discovered from the test. For instance, to give information about sicknesses or pregnant. The information should not be given to anyone accepted the manager. There is not acceptable also to give the test results to other workers or additional managers.

1. Cone, E. (July, 1998). Workplace drug testing. Retrieved on July 15, 2010 from http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t980723e.html

According to Cone, who is the head of National Institute on Drug Abuse.

2. Holmes, L. (October 2000.) Workplace drug and alcohol testing. Retrieved on July 15, 2010 from http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/dgaltest.pdf

According to Holmes, A member in the Research Department of Minnesota House of Representatives

3. Anita Neumann. (June, 2009). Workplace substance abuse: a grave problem. Retrieved on July 15, 2010 from http://www.allbusiness.com/medicine-health/diseases-disorders-mental/12626912-1.html


Drug Testing In Employment

Concerns have been raised in regards to requiring employees to be given drug tests in the workplace. The question of concern is using such a program, would it be an ethically correct and socially desirable action for the employer, or would it infringe on the privacy rights of the employee. The first argument at hand is giving employees drug tests actually related to the essential job functions and, second, that it can harm the employer, other employees, and the general public.

There are groups of people that will argue that the employee's right to privacy is violated whenever personal information is requested, collected, or used by an employer in any way or purpose that is not related to or in violation of the relationship that exists between employees and the employer. In order for an employer to subject its employees to drug testing, they must prove that there is a relevant need for the testing. Employers know that by subjecting their employees to drug tests, without sound reasoning, will be subject to federal and state laws.

The knowledge of drug use is job-relevant information. A person who uses drugs can be a huge liability to themselves, the employer, co-workers, and the public. Drug users tend to have lower productivity compared to non-drug users. Drug users also have higher work injuries compared to non-drug users. What does this mean? High costs. Costs can be measured in the expense of absenteeism, injuries, health insurance claims, loss of productivity, employee morale, theft and fatalities. However, these reasons are not the only reasons businesses should conduct drug tests. Most of us agree that the drug problem in the United States is a major problem that will most likely never be solved in our lifetime, if ever. It is the firm's responsibility, however, to provide a work environment as safe as possible for employees and for the greater good of the general public.

John Stewart Mill states that, "Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness." The principle of utility should be seen as a means for generating secondary moral principles. For example, "don't steal," promotes happiness because more people would generally be happier, this is the key concept of Mill's utilitarianism theory. Promoting drug testing in the workplace would bring general happiness to society. Having peace of mind that the doctor operating on them will perform his job duties correctly, the bus driver driving kids safely to and from school, the CEO who has a secretary take important phone calls and the businessperson who frequently flies is a responsible person, and is free of drugs. Businesses can avoid the argument of the whether or not drug testing is job related by stating in the contract that drug tests will be given, for what reasons and why.

There is no such thing as "leave your home life home and your work at work." Every person who is employed brings a part of their home life to work. The argument of "what I do when I am not at work is none of your business" can only go so far. In most cases, businesses do not care what one does in the privacy at their home. It only becomes an issue when it starts to affect job performance, the health and safety of the employee, co-workers, and the general public. Drug users cannot simply wiggle their noses and wish the drugs they took leave their body instantly; therefore, personal home life is brought on to the workplace.

Mills argues that it is okay to allow interference with a person's rights in order to prevent harm. For example, in the construction industry, there are major on-the-job drug issues. The National Survey of Drug Use and Health released in 2005 a study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington, D.C. that there were about 19 million past-month illicit drug users. The chart below is the percentages in the construction industry of illicit drug users.

Substance abuse among different occupations in the construction industry.

These percentages are frightening because these people are big liabilities to contractors and the general public. An error in construction work can cause major damages, serious injuries, and possible fatalities.

There is also the argument that not every person should be tested. Reason being, there are jobs that do not pose a clear and present danger for causing harm if performed under the influence of drugs. Refering to the construction industry , assume that a construction "runner" (a person who runs materials to another person to do a task) is under the influence of drugs. While climbing up a ladder to hand a co-worker a hammer, they miss a step because they have drugs in their system, reaches for help, falls, pulling


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