Workplace and Drug testing - Essay Example

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Employment is one of the most crucial aspects of life, immediately people are through with college, they are always looking out for employment opportunities. This always entails sending their resumes to prospective employers who vet them and thereafter decide whether they are fit for the job or not. …
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Workplace and Drug testing
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Case Study on Workplace and Drug testing Employment is one of the most crucial aspects oflife, immediately people are through with college, they are always looking out for employment opportunities. This always entails sending their resumes to prospective employers who vet them and thereafter decide whether they are fit for the job or not. Drug use has been on the rise the world over and employers are trying to work on reducing this trend. There are always a number of tests checking for drug use and any other thing that may be deemed unfit by the employer. Drug checking in employees is something that has caused great debate, with regard to the rights of the employees involved and this will be the focus of discussion in this paper. In 1988, the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) issued a directive on drug abuse programs for those employees in the public sector. Some of the drugs that were singled out for testing in employees included marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and phencyclidine (537). However, some employees decide that they could test for alcohol since though it is a legal drug it was being highly abused by most employees. One of the justifications for workplace and drug testing by corporate is the fact that it is a requirement by the federal and state laws. This is as per the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 that also requires employees in private establishments to undergo drug tests so as to prevent drug use. This justification is further fuelled by the fact that most states and cities have laws concerning drug testing (541). Another reason why most workplaces advocate for drug testing is with regard to what the company in itself stands to gain, that is cutting of costs. For starters, insurance costs will be reduced due to the fact that fewer employees will have to be treated as a result of the problems that they may get after abusing drugs (539), for example, employees who take alcohol excessively and abuse other drugs may be susceptible to liver and lung infection sand this will be on the companies account when they are catered for by their insurance companies. Apart from that, the general productivity of the employees will increase when they do not have to visit hospitals all the time thus developing the whole company (539). Lastly, there is the general positive implication not only to the place of work but the society at large. When employers screen job applicants and their employees for drug use, they help reduce the general usage of the drug since most people will have the fear of being discovered. Most of the time, the use these drugs leads to a lot of crime, broken families, diseases and generally a downward trend of life and workplace screening helps in reducing all these problems (539). Most employers refer employees found to be using drugs to rehabilitation centers thus they are helped in case of other prospective jobs. Despite the fact that workplace drug testing is rather mandatory and is on the rise, there has been the debate as to the question that it affects employee’s civil rights. Some critics point out the fact that the ability of an employee to protect various assets and property must be weighed the right of the said individuals to their privacy (539). It is not fair to dismiss the capability of an employee to work simply based on the fact that maybe they did not pass a drugs test. Urine testing is one of the most commonly used method of testing for drug usage and is considered intrusive and an invasion of privacy (539). There are times when employees are requested to reveal all prescriptions and over the counter drugs that they may have taken within their last thirty days so as to get accurate results. This is not a fair practice due to the fact that it reveals an employee’s off-duty and private life as well as their medical history a matter that is private (539). Other than that, urine and blood tests can reveal other conditions such as pregnancy that may make an employee uncomfortable. Excretory functions are a private affair and when one is requested to bring a sample of his or her urine in itself is an activity that lowers one dignity and self esteem (540). Most employees would argue that drug testing is simply a precautionary measure, however, there are times when lab errors and a mix up of specimens occur and these lead to wrong results. Consequently, suspicion is cast on employees that are free of drug use thus stigmatizing them or worse still losing their jobs (540). In addition to this, a positive result in a drug test does not mean that an employee is unfit to work as some employers perceive it; it would be infringing the right of an employee by laying them off on grounds of a positive drug use indication. As such, drug use testing should be taken with a lot of caution so as not to violate employees’ rights. There are various groups of prospective and already employed people that may have to be tested for drug use. Firstly, people that are in positions where safety is crucial may have to be tested for the sake of themselves and the public at large (537). For instance, someone who has to handle firearms may have to be tested in that they may doze off and the firearms may get to the wrong arms. Secondly, employees who provide reason for questioning such as frequent and unexpected absenteeism, as well as frequent accidents and inconsistent job performances may be subjects for drug testing (537). Forgetfulness, poor concentration and frequent mistakes are an indication of a possible drug user (536). In addition to this, employees who may have gone through rehabilitation should be subjects for periodic drug testing due to the fact that they may have relapsed. Lastly, generally, all the people who apply for employment have to be tested for drug use, so that they can be advised appropriately, most employers also carry out random routinely testing for drug use from their employees. Conclusively, it is the vision of every organization to be successful and meet its goals and drug use is one of the factors that derail this cause. As such, it is the responsibility of every employer to ensure that its employees are free of drug use and if on use to be helped accordingly by being facilitated to join a rehabilitation program. This should be adhered to in that it will help not only the organization but the whole society at large. However, as much as organizations and employers strive to achieve this, they should exercise caution so as not to violate the rights of employees. Work Cited The Changing Workplace Read More
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