Workplace drug testing
Workplace drug testing refers to a procedural examination of the biological specimen of the employees of an organization in order to ascertain the presence of drugs. Workplace drug testing is becoming a significant requirement for organizations in terms of safety compliance and other legal requirements. It is therefore imperative for organizations to deploy appropriate drug testing programs. This essay highlights the various justifications for workplace drug testing, the various ways in which workplace drug testing affects the civil rights of employees, and the groups of prospective and current employees should be tested.
There are various justifications for conducting workplace drug testing. The first justification why companies may undertake workplace dug testing is to comply with certain laws and requirements of contracts. For instance, it is the mandate of the federal law that corporations conduct a drug testing on their employees. In addition, other state laws also require that employees must pass the alcohol and drug testing in order to be permitted to work. This implies that law compliance is one of the major driving factors behind the justification of conducting a workplace drug testing.
The second justification for workplace drug testing is that it an effective cost reduction strategy since insurance costs are greatly reduced, while at the same time fostering employee productivity. Another beneficial result of workplace drug testing is that the company can use to eliminate the influx of employees who fail to meet the requirements of the testing policies.
Another justification for workplace drug testing is that it is a social responsibility of the company to undertake the activity. Employee have the obligation to be under no intense influence of drugs, and the companies have to make sure that they keep in check their employees abuse of drugs. Employee’s indulgence in drugs is a crime and the company has the responsibility of eliminating such cases. This implies that workplace drug testing is an effective strategy for the companies to combat drug abuse by its staff. The principal justification is that this form of social responsibility helps the overall society in the reduction of cases of drug abuse. From an individual perspective, drug testing helps in salvaging the individual’s career early enough. As a measure, companies usually opt for treatment programs for the case of positive results of the drug testing.
The aspect of workplace drug testing is relatively new and still under development; this implies that there are significant legal precedents associated with workplace drug testing on employees. The fundamental strategy in combating such issues is to clearly outline the drug testing policy in employees and its intended objectives and the underlying legal issues associated with the activity. The Bill of Rights in the constitution of the United States is only restricted in government actions, implying that only public employees are protected by such provisions, while employees in the private sector do not enjoy the benefits of such provisions. This serves as a key legal difference, in the sense that public employees are subject to stringent drug testing policies compared to their counterparts in the private sector. Under the Fourth Amendment, public employees are protected against unjustified searches and seizures, as such, various forms of drug testing such as the urine testing and HIV testing are perceived to be forms of seizure by the law courts; therefore, they serve to undermine the civil rights of the employees. The Fifth Amendment serves to guarantee that the due process of the law is followed when undertaking a workplace drug testing on the employees; in addition, it also serves to protect the employees against cases of self-incrimination associated with the workplace drug tests. Therefore, public employers have the obligation of guarding any firing that is a violation of these. The underlying argument is that employees can be subject to drug tests that do not follow the due process of the law; as such they may be victims of self-incrimination, especially those employees who work for the private sector. Lab tests are commonly characterized by errors and employees are may be victim of unjustified judgments due to the errors associated with the drug tests.
There are various groups of employees that employers can opt to carry out a workplace drug testing on. The first principal groups are those employees who work in safety sensitive positions, who might jeopardize their own security and the security of other employees.
The second groups of employees that require drug testing are those employees who provide cause; this is typical for employees who display erratic behavior and intense absenteeism at the workplace. In addition, the drug tests should also be done on employees who reveal inconsistence in their job performances and usually have unexpected accidents during work. A drug testing is also a requirement for those employees who are applying for job positions in the company. This serves to aid in the compliance of the legal and contract requirements for the company. In addition, drug testing on job applicants helps in the assessment of their effectiveness for the job that they are applying for. Employees who have been known to have serious drug issues are also subject to drug testing. This category also includes employees who have undergone through rehabilitation and other drug treatment programs. Drug testing should be carried on them on a random basis in order to ascertain their levels of drug abuse and their fitness for the current job.
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