Is Workplace Drug Testing a Wise Corporate Policy - Research Paper Example

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Is Workplace Drug Testing a Wise Corporate Policy? Introduction Workplace drug testing is a sensitive issue to discuss in the light of allusions to the compromise of the fourth amendment of the American constitution and invasion of the right of privacy (Lumas 129, 130)…
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Is Workplace Drug Testing a Wise Corporate Policy
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Download file to see previous pages Why companies enforce drug testing It can not be denied that drug use has substantially changed the norms of behavior among all sectors of society, particularly in the workplace (Carpenter 795; Godfrey and Parrott 30; Walsh 120; Harris 357). Latest available government data showed that 73.8% of full-time workers who use illicit drugs came from only seven industries, namely: accommodation and food services (16.9%); construction (13.7%); arts, entertainment, and recreation (11.6%); information (11.3%); management of companies and enterprises, administrative support, waste management, and remediation services (10.9%); retail trade (9.4%); and other services, except public administration (8.8%) (SAMSHA n. pag.). Violence in the workplace is a serious concern for both workers and employers (Chappell, and Di Martino 15). Interestingly, studies revealed that drug use is a common catalyst of workplace violence (Hanson, Venturelli and Fleckenstein 41). The following reasons summarize employers’ reasons for implementing drug testing policies: to discourage drug use among employees; negate chances of hiring drug users; identify employees with drug problems and provide assistance for medical intervention; keep the workplace safe; protect the public interest and gain consumer confidence pertaining to workplace safety of their employers; abide by drug testing regulations both on the state and federal levels; and benefit from such programs as the Workers’ Compensation Premium Discount (US Department of Labor par 3). These are the circumstances surrounding the decision of many companies to enforce mandatory drug testing to new recruits and random drug testing to tenured employees. While it is apparent that drug testing is management’s way of adjusting to the changing norms precipitated by drug use among employees, the practice is not readily acceptable for most employees. Management believes that imposing such policy is a necessary evil. Godfrey and Parrott explained the necessity of curbing drug use among employees on the basis of drug use in the workplace resulting to incurred costs for both management and the employees. This cost is measured according to the impact of drug use on the company productivity. Cost is further broken down into the effect of an employee’s availability to contribute to productivity and the actual productivity of labor while the employee is at work (21). Prevalence of drug testing in the industry Van Fleet and Van Fleet considered safety as the primordial concern of practically all companies especially those working in the assembly line and in medical jobs (74). The trucking industry also conforms to mandated drug testing to ensure the safety of the highways from drug use-related accidents (Jacobson 131). Likewise, transportations companies also police their ranks by complying with the Department of Transportation policy on drug testing (Draper 308). To date, some 40 per cent of companies included in the Fortune 500 are already enforcing drug screening. These companies, however, revealed that their drug testing policy is more of requirement compliance than admittance that drug use ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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