Drug testing in the workplace
Drug testing is a controversial topic in several work places today. However, I strongly belief that this should not be the case because if the program is well planned and organized is likely to benefit both the employer and the employees. Drug testing is likely to assist in reducing the number of work place accident which can result to serious physical injuries to the employees and great losses to the workers. According to United State of Labor employees who get involved in work place accident are mainly those under the influence of some drugs. Therefore, reducing drug abuse cases among the employees, work place accidents will also reduce significantly hence making work places safer for the entire team. In addition, most employers do place employees found to be abusing drugs in a recovery program. By doing this, I believe that both the employee and the employer will greatly benefit after the recovery of these employee. This is because the employers will not have to incur additional costs in recruiting training and orientating a new employee. Instead the employee will be safe and fit to continue working without also having to retire and suffer other challenges associated with drug abuse (Ruiz & Millman, 2005).
Even though I do belief drug testing in the work place is a safe and good program that can assist the entire company, there are still multiple employees who feel that the program should be abolished. Those against the program argue that drug testing by an employer is violation to employees’ privacy right. Employers who employ the right personnel do not need to continue and carry out tests in the future. It is also argued that employers do not need to monitor employee activities outside the working relationship and doing so is pure intrusion and exploitation. In most cases employee who do not embrace the program tend to have a negative attitude toward the employer and this is likely to interfere with their performance at the work place (Brownlie, 2003). Further, counter arguments also include the fact that employees are likely to sue the employer for violation of their rights by insisting on a drug testing exercise. Even so, the strengths of the exercise are strong enough to counter these problems.
From a personal point of view, employees who strongly oppose the program have something to hind and therefore the company should consider them as less loyal to the company and likely to be less productive even if the drug testing program is abolished. The employer should also strive to reduce or stop legal cases that may arise if the employees sue the company or the employer. This can be done by ensuring a clear and well structured policy is prepared and signed by employees before the testing exercise begin. If the employees do sue the company or the employer, the company is likely to wait a lot of time in the court hearings and well as resources that will be needed to hire an advocate (The privacy Commissioner of Canada (1990). However, when the program is well organized, employees fully informed on issues relating to the testing, what will be tested and the necessity of the testing, the company can afford to go ahead and carry out the testing exercise. I would also like to state that if a company rejects the testing exercise due to the fear that employees might sue the company and incur a lot of expenses, the company is likely to incur the same when work accident become common and employee performance decline due to drug influence.
Brownlie, Ian Principles of Public International Law (6th ed.). OUP. 2003
In his article Brownlie states that there is no specific law that focuses on drug testing in the workplace. However, he states that there is a legal guide that deals with this topic. There are many factors that encourage employees to be tested and they include: type of industry, existence of potential health and safety risk, privacy considerations and provisions in the employment agreement
Ruiz Joyce & Millman, Robert Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook (4th ed.).Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2005
The authors focus on the benefits and problems with drug testing in the work place. the practice is good and can assist in reducing labor challenges in many ways especially those related to work related accident. However, the practice can only achieve good result is the applicants or employees are involved in the planning stage of the process. This means that applicants should be informed in advance or as early as employment time. Factors such as similar testing process for all employees and ensuring the tests are administered by a laboratory certified by the state should also be considered.
The privacy Commissioner of Canada. Drug testing and Privacy. Ministry of Supply andServices Canada: Ottawa, Ontario. 1990. Retrieved from HYPERLINK “http://www.priv.gc.ca/information/02_05_12_e.pdf” http://www.priv.gc.ca/information/02_05_12_e.pdf
The article is quite healthful to the concerns of human rights and their association to social, political and social issues. The author further discusses the relationship between drug testing and privacy by pointing out the issues that relate the two topics. In most cases the topics are related in terms of the testing process in terms of the variables of justification and the circumstances of testing. The article concludes that though there is not law privacy laws preventing drug testing, the process is justified if it complies with the government testing policies with privacy act.