Drug Testing has progressively become very popular in today's low wage jobs. Jobs like Wal-Mart, Sav-on, Block Buster and many burger establishments; where the starting salary is seven dollars and twenty cents an hour requires its applicants to be drug tested before they are hired. Drug testing is based on a blue collar, white collar division.
Annually in America, billions of taxpayer dollars are spent to pay for the unnecessary expenses caused by drug-impaired employees. Workers whose performances are negatively altered by drug use contribute to losses in business productivity and assist in lowering workplace safety. On average, according to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), $100 billion is lost per year due to accidents, decreases in productivity, and other related expenses caused by incompetent, drug abusing employees (“Coalitions”). However, through a thoughtful system, businesses can be protected against the harms presented by deleterious contraband abusers. In an effort to curb staff member drug trends and to protect employee health, public safety, and business interests, drug screening programs should be implemented into company policy and carried out in a constitutionally acceptable manner.
“Welcome to our team Mr. Dave Matthews. Here at Vandalay Industries, we take pride in hiring the highest caliber of workers such as yourself, and to ensure the safety of all our employees in the latex factory, we ask that you pee in to this plastic cup.” While this may not be the best way to bring about a company’s drug testing policy to a new hire, the fact remains that in most every position today, if no urine sample is given, it translates into “no job for you!” Drug testing, a once rare and uncommon policy, is now among many employers a requirement for any new or existing job position. Although seen by some as an infringement on one’s constitutionally granted rights, companies who have adopted these policies say that it works to cut down on company revenue losses, reduces job-related injuries, and offers peace of mind for both employees and consumers alike. Nevertheless, those in opposition to drug testing argue that its costs far outweigh its benefits, saying that drug tests are unfair, unnecessary, and lead to a society where “Big Brother is watching over you” (Jussim 2). Regardless of these unfounded accusations by opponents, the fact remains that drug testing is essential to a safe and productive drug-free work environment.
As drugs such as marijuana continue to legalize, the United States of America jeopardizes the safety of the citizens. Today, people have a construed belief that drugs allow a person to become more intellectual. Because of this distorted view of drugs, both teens and adults are relying on drugs to accomplish their duties such as their jobs. To guarantee the safety of the employees, the government enforces the “General Duty Clause” of the OSH Act of 1970. Under the OSH Act of 1970, companies are responsible in creating a better working environment. As much as employees disagree with drug testing, drug testing helps create a better working environment.
A. Court Cases Affecting Privacy of Employees and Drug Testing in the Workplace
1. Supreme Court cases affirming drug testing
a. Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives Association 109 S.Ct
b. National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, 109 S.Ct. 1384 (1989)
For years, the issue of legalization has been an increasingly controversial subject. Millions of dollars are spent annually in the War on Drugs causing many to wonder if this fight is cost-effective or if an alternative such as legalization would be more realistic than current efforts in drug prevention. Opponents state that with legalization would come an increase not only in availability, but also with everything associated with that availability. This includes suffering of users and their loved ones, death of users and innocent alike, increases in health-care costs, cost to employers, drug-related crimes, and increases in various other social, economic, and emotional costs. On the other hand, advocates argue it is pointless to continue to ignore the presence of drugs in society. They feel society must acknowledge the now-illegal narcotics as it has with alcohol and tobacco. Legalization would result in purity assurance, labeled concentration of the product, obliteration of pushers, obliteration of drug crime, savings in expensive enforcement, and significant tax revenues. Both sides of the controversy are confident with the credibility and effectiveness of their respective arguments, making it necessary for society to ask itself whether legalization of narcotics is a realistic alternative to current prohibition and the war on drugs or if legalization would result in more negative consequences than positive.
"DrugFacts: Nationwide Trends." National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIH, n.d. Web. 13 Nov 2013. .
Drug Tests Are Unconstitutional
Our government has chosen to ignore our rights as citizens. Random
drug tests on student athletes violate the right to privacy. Random
drug testing violates our personal rights in the Fourth Amendment in
the Constitution. The amendment states that U.S.citizens should be
protected against unreasonable search and seizure.
“Office of National Drug Control Policy.” The White House. USA, 1 Dec. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. .
Illegal drug use has a harmful effect on our nation’s economy and overall health, but in the sports arena, the question is raised about who is responsible for regulating drug use, and whether professional leagues have a responsibility to help in regulating drug use among participating athletes. Because drug use has harmful side effects, because using drugs to enhance performance is unfair, and because professional athletes have the potential to influence young people's decisions professional sport leagues should better regulate drug use among the athletes that represent their league.