Random Drug Testing is Ethical and Necessary

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The ethics of drug testing has become an increased concern for many companies in the recent years. More companies are beginning to use it and more people are starting more to have problems with it. The tests are now more than ever seen as a way to stop the problems of drug abuse in the workplace. This brings up a very large question. Is drug testing an ethical way to decide employee drug use? It is also very hard to decide if the test is an invasion of employee privacy. “The ethical status of workplace drug testing can be expressed as a question of competing interests, between the employer’s right to use testing to reduce drug related harms and maximize profits, over against the employee’s right to privacy, particularly with regard to drug use which occurs outside the workplace.” (Cranford 2) The rights of the employee have to be considered. The Supreme Court case, Griswold vs. Connecticut outlines the idea that every person is entitled to a privacy zone. However this definition covers privacy and protection from government. To work productively especially when the work may be physical it is nearly impossible to keep one’s privacy. The relationship between employer and employee is based on a contract. The employee provides work for the employer and in return he is paid. If the employee cannot provide services because of problems such as drug abuse, then he is violating the contract. Employers have the right to know many things about their employees. Job skills and training can even be investigated by the employer. The employee is to perform services and these services must be done in a certain manner. Someone who is incoherent because of drug abuse cannot be a pilot for example. This is why employers can test to see if characteristics or tendencies would affect performance. An employee may not want to give a urine or blood sample. The employee may not want to include all of their references but this is besides the fact that an employer is entitled to them. More and more employers are starting to feel this way. "A 1996 survey by the American Management Association found 81 percent of major U.S. companies had drug-testing programs at that time compared with 78 percent in 1995 and just 22 percent in 1987." (May 2) The employer has a right to only certain information and the line must also be drawn in the procedure to obtain the information.
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