Permitting Random Drug Testing in the Workplace

Testing employees at the workplace may be very beneficial when it comes to detecting and stopping drug use at work. This is because all employees who make use of drugs and other intoxicants at their places of work greatly risk causing accidents alongside general harm to their counterparts. On the contrary, screening your employees for drug use does come with some risks which employees should be aware. The other serious point is that drug testing at the workplace has been approved by some states like Georgia. On the other hand, other bills which call for people to be tested at the workplace remain pending in various other states. Most of these legislations are unconstitutional in some other states like Florida and Michigan.

In most cases, individuals who fail these drug tests normally lose their benefits their tests turn out to be clean under the proposals of Georgia. For example, the individuals who fail these tests risk losing their welfare money under this strict plan (Snell & Bohlander 569).

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Random Drug Testing at the Workplace

There are various reasons which make drug testing at the workplace wrong. Firstly, drug testing is not only unfair but also unnecessary. It is extremely unfair to compel employees who may not even be suspects of drug use to go through the uncertain and a very degrading procedure which violates their individual privacy. Additionally, these employees may be producing good performance at the workplace and still have to go through this intimidating drug, testing procedure at the workplace. These kinds of tests are extremely unnecessary because they fail to find out impairment among the work force of a given organization. Hence, drug testing does not in any way enhance the ability of the employee to predict or evaluate his/her job performance at the workplace. On the other hand, in some jobs in which performance impairment might influence safety directly and in situations where workers are far from their supervisors, some simple tests which examine impairment should be used by the employers.

Furthermore, drug testing normally offers employers an opportunity to intrude into the private lives of their workers. Indeed, this should not be the case. Personal privacy is the most comprehensive right among workers. In addition, it is the highly valued right among many people. For example, the real taking of urine samples alongside the resulting sample analysis tries to disclose private information of employees. This in turn violates the right of the employees of not interfering with their private information ((Verstraete 93).

The Court of Appeal states categorically in its Fifth Circuit that there exist limited practices within our society which are very personal and private. The process of drug testing usually subjects people to a degrading and offensive procedure. In some advanced cases, some employees call upon their workers to remove clothes and urinate into a container in front of an observer. These employers claim that they do this to avoid cases of cheating. This is extremely inappropriate. Additionally, analysis of an individual’s urine may disclose various details concerning the private life of that individual instead of drug use. This also includes individual medical information of the employee. For example, it can reveal if a given worker or job applicant is under treatment of various medical conditions. These medical conditions include depression, diabetes, epilepsy or even conditions. In addition, it can reveal if a worker is pregnant. In short, drug testing simply gives employers an opportunity to pop into the behavior of an individual within her personal and private life.

Some employers argue that they harbor the right to ensure a productive and secure workplace. Indeed, this is correct. In situations where workers fail to perform, employers contain the right to dismiss or discipline them appropriately. On the contrary, drug tests do not in any way examine the performance of the employee at the work place (Nash 384).

In most cases, drug tests are normally not constantly reliable. Popularly used drug tests give false positive outcomes with little percentage of correctness. In addition, this unreliability emerges from the fact that drug tests normally confuse similar chemical compounds. The other reason why drug screens at the workplace should be carried is because this exercise is extremely expensive. It is normally very expensive mostly in cases where the company is large for example, multinational corporations. The main advantage is only that bulk rates normally exist. On the other hand, getting favorable deals concerning affordable drug tests can be a nightmare to even large multinational companies.

On the other hand, testing of employees for drugs at the workplace should be encouraged as it contains the following advantages. To begin with, it increases safety at the place of work. This is because drug testing is capable of making the working environment a safe place to operate. As a result, workers will not be much worried about their safety at the work place. This will in turn lead to a rise in productivity (Nash 383).

In summary, screening of employees at the work place will enhance the well being of workers. In addition, accidents associated with drug intoxication will be greatly lowered. The other reason why drug testing should be carried out is because it reduces accidents. This is because when an employee is under an illicit substance influence, the chances of him/her causing an accident at the workplace are very high (Verstraete 93).

By the use of drug testing at the companies, companies will get rid of many accidents. Additionally, it would lower accident incidences at the place of work. The victims of drug use will have impaired judgment. Hence, this will cause them to make misguided and slow decisions during critical times. In addition, drug tests normally assist many drug abusers. The majority of those individuals who abuse drugs are normally addicted to various substances. Consequently, they call for a lot of assistance. Through drug testing enforcement at the work place, it is easy to identify the drug problem of an individual before the problems reach a level where it can hurt those people or other people. The majority of employers tend to incorporate a program for drug treatment as a constituent of their regimen for drug testing. This gives their employees an opportunity to undergo rehabilitation and become gainful again.


Before being requested to go through a drug screening process, a job seeker or an employee should be offered a document acknowledging the fact that they have seen the written policy of the employer. In addition, it is mandatory for the employee to be offered a written notice showing a test result report in a span of three days upon receipt of the results by the employee. This notice is supposed to notify the worker concerning the rights awarded to him/her after receiving the results. In case the results turn out positive upon the screening test, the worker should be told of the right for a positive result explanation. On the other hand, the employer may even make a request for the worker to disclose any medications that he may be receiving or has already taken them in the recent past. Also, any other information, which could influence the reliability of the outcome, should be disclosed to the employer. Although no rulings have been carried out yet concerning this subject, many people feel that random testing of people for drug use is a violation to their personal freedom and rights.



Nash, Jonathan. Workplace Privacy: Kluwer Law International, 2009. Print

Verstraete, Alain. Workplace Drug Testing. Pharmaceutical Press, 2011. Print.

Snell, Scott & Bohlander, Gorge. Managing Human Resources. New York: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

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