Improving Drug Testing for Federal Employees

Improving Drug Testing for Federal Employees

Length: 1438 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
In an effort to make drug testing for employees of the federal government more accurate, to deter false positives and false negatives it has been suggested to use alternative methods of testing. The Associated Press reported a movement by the federal government to "overhaul its employee drug testing program". (TAP, pg 1) Currently, the government tests its employees during the pre-employment selection and when accidents
occur on the job. Both instances use urine testing and this particular test in not 99.99% guaranteed to show true results; when the drug was consumed or how much is currently in the employees system. The federal government is looking to lower cost and also prevent persons who are tested from being able to use the "cheat" (TAP, pg 1) method. Diluting the sample obtained, refusing the test and other methods are commonly used by employees to deter the true results of the test. They explained "even though employees can be tested at any time the instances of the tests are generated by the severity of the position the employee holds". (TAP, pg 2) Federal employees may be working at a site requiring hard hats and maneuvering heavy machinery or are behind a desk crunching numbers; the decision to test the individual is derived from upper management.
The main focus for the federal governments revamping of drug screening to be able to better determine the timeframe in which the drugs were used and the accuracy of the test. Also, the idea of the new test is to deter workers from finding ways around testing positive and also to stop the inaccuracies of falsely discrediting workers. As they explain with "testing workers' hair, saliva and sweat, testers are able to draw more accurate conclusions which will lessen the false positives" (TAP, pg 2) this will enable the employer to decide if the drug usage did affect or cause the outcome of the negative actions. Hesitation from the federal government to put these tests in place is also derived from the idea that the alternative tests would provide the employers with unnecessary information as to the timeframe of consumption (TAP, pg 1) thus giving them the upper hand in taking and "cheating" the test. At this point, it is under review for how far a company can go with drug testing without infringing on workers privacy. Because testing urine for illegal substances for example can not differentiate between consumption of marijuana for same day usage or five days before an incident occurs.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Improving Drug Testing for Federal Employees." 22 May 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Influence of Testing Potential Employees Essay

- One of the most important decisions that an organization can make is the hiring of prospective employees. It is illogical for an organization to employ an individual that cannot perform their assigned duty. Why would any organization spend large sum of money in training an individual that will not be beneficial to their organization. Therefore, it is reasonable for organizations to filter out the undesirable applicants. According to Dessler (2011) once an organization have a group of applicants, their next stage is to decide on the best person for the job....   [tags: business, hiring employees]

Research Papers
1171 words (3.3 pages)

Improving Employee Job Satisfaction Essay

- Today businesses believe that the sustaining of performance and competitive advantage to becoming a great organization. As an organization’s success depends on their employees’ performance, the value of specific individual employee has played an important role within an organization to be competitive. At that time, the value of each and individual employee and their satisfaction with their jobs are one of the key factors for an organization and organizations need to find ways to improve employee job satisfaction to achieve organizational goals....   [tags: performance, business, satisfied employees]

Free Essays
1806 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Types of Testing and the Impacts on Employers and Employees

- ... These kinds of tests are used to assess an individual’s potential to be successful in jobs that require a great deal of interpersonal interactions and communication (Ployhart, 2006). Physical Ability Test and Drug Testing The purpose of physical testing is to assess an individual’s physical ability to perform. They measure physical capabilities such as strength, speed, and balance. Drug testing on the other hand is used to evaluate whether an individual has previously/currently used illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine (Hadfield, 2009)....   [tags: assessments, evaluation centers]

Research Papers
1635 words (4.7 pages)

Random Drug Testing vs Employees' Privacy Rights Essay

- 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 1402(1989) b. National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, 109 S.Ct. 1384 (1989) 2. Other lower court and State court rulings a. Kraslawsky v. Upper Deck 56 Cal.App.4th 179, 66 Cal Rptr.2d.297(CA 4, 1997) b. Pettus v. DuPont, 49 Cal.App.4th402, 57 Cal.Rptr.2d 46 (1997) 3. Supreme Court cases dealing with Privacy in general a. Griswold v....   [tags: Essays on Drug Testing]

Research Papers
1476 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Random Drug Testing vs Employees' Privacy Rights

- How far is it permitted for the companies to keep an eye on the workers against drug usage. This could be the very first thing to pop up in the heads of anybody but recently according to surveys, there are 80% of constructing and manufacturing companies that emphasis on this issue often. Employees in most states can sue for excessive intrusion into their private affairs. Employers be it credit unions, must balance employees' privacy rights with continuous efforts to establish a safe, productive, and efficient workplace....   [tags: Pre-Employment Drug Testing]

Free Essays
529 words (1.5 pages)

Essay about Employee Testing and Selection, Training and Development

- The enterprise should seize the initiative in the current financial crisis from recruitment, management and development under the force of its firm for talents. Enterprises need talents who can suit to the business, and then the first question for the firms is how to attract and recruit talents. As to the recruitment of talented people, it is a process to choose the individual from available applicants who can perform successfully at certain position. To improve workforce diversity, managers need to widen their scope of recruitment....   [tags: Employees, training, business, ]

Research Papers
524 words (1.5 pages)

Essay about Employee Drug Testing: Fair and Effective

- 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”)....   [tags: Essays on Drug Testing]

Research Papers
1649 words (4.7 pages)

Genetic Testing And The Federal Government Essay

- Genetic Testing is the sequencing of human DNA in order to discover differences or mutations that may prove to be pathological. The notion is that the Federal Government should be able to control Genetic Testing and Research. The Federal Government has highly trained scientists that are able to find diseases and cures in no time. Also, they will be providing testing for the people of the United States of America. As a consequence, this will be making the price of testing cheaper because everyone will need to be tested....   [tags: United States, U.S. state, Cancer, Genetics]

Research Papers
1164 words (3.3 pages)

Drug Testing in the Federal Workplace Essay

- In September 1986, President Reagan issued Executive Order 12564. This was done in an effort to make the Federal Government a drug free work place. He believed that persons who used illegal drugs were not suitable for Federal employment. The order required the heads of governmental agencies to establish both a voluntary and mandatory testing program to determine the use of illegal drugs by employees in sensitive positions. Sensitive position employees were defined to include employees granted access to classified information and individuals serving under presidential appointment....   [tags: Substances Employment Papers]

Research Papers
2197 words (6.3 pages)

Drug Testing Essay

- Drug testing is a laboratory procedure that looks for evidence of drug consumption by analyzing urine, blood, and hair samples. If tested, you must provide a sample in front of an observer to make sure that it is not tampered with. Samples are then sent to a laboratory for analysis, after which the employer is notified of the results (Wodell 1). Exactly who should be subject to the new trend of mandatory drug tests, is the big question being raised among businesses, schools, athletes and federal government employees....   [tags: Essays on Drug Testing]

Research Papers
2736 words (7.8 pages)

The idea of reprimanding the employees for failing the test has a loop hole "in different cases, one specimen may be better than the other" said Dr Donna bus, drug testing leader at SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (TAP, pg 2) voicing the idea that urine test versus saliva may turn out different results for the same person who is taking the test and inevitably if tests false positive would tarnish their professional reputation.
This article was an informative vice used to compare the drug testing practices of national companies, search alternative testing as well as review the current guidelines for government workers and their privacy. "Drug testing may be an invasion of privacy, but because drug use puts other in danger, [drug testing] is an acceptable practice" stated G.A. Holland, chief estimator for Bloomfield, Conn., construction firm (Verespej, pg 189) The idea that testing is more important than an employees privacy is derived from the numerous examples of alternative testing shown in the article on the federal government. Views that federal workers become emotionally stressed by the changes to the current drug policy is mentioned in the article but states the "proposed changes would not go into effect until the agency solicits public comment, finalizes guidelines and prepares for the transition" (TAP, pg 1) "…workers are willing to give up their privacy for a safer working environment" is an example shown with statistical comparisons that increased in the percentage of people for the testing versus those against it (Verespej, pg 189) 19.3% of those surveyed say they consider drug testing an invasion compared to the 30% in the earlier survey" More recently, workers are feeling secure with their coworkers if they understand a drug test was required to perform their assigned tasks; they have become more accepting of the loss of privacy.
The Associated Press shows the federal government's views to be valuable for the workers success, the company's success and shows concern for protecting the rights of its workers but not enough to cease the drug testing. It generated statements showing what the government's intentions are with advanced testing "overhauling employee drug testing" (TAP, pg 1)The decision to change test equipment was based on the number of discrepancies that testers were finding with persons falsifying their own test results and also hearing persons stating that the "years of experience with workplace drug problems have made managers and employees less tolerant of users" (Verespej, pg 190) Privacy among federal government employees has become less of an expectation because again in order to work for the government there is a definite pre-employment drug test and each person is advised of random testing (TAP. Pg 1)
The belief that a corporation should be held liable for incidents that occur on the job by intoxicated persons has no direct relation to the government article. The government has a completely different set of guidelines for its employees than a private company may have. The ability to enhance the private company's drug testing policy is solely up to that company. Addressing company obligations to workers for their actions on the job while under the influence appears to be the theme Moore used in "The Ought Implies Can" theory. The article did not discuss government's responsibility to the workers if tests results were false; it voiced minimal concern for privacy, control over who received testing/administrators and gave brief suggestions for future testing (TAP, pg 1) It was shown with findings from a survey completed that employees are less concerned with their own privacy and more concerned with safety on the jobs. "93% of employees compared to the 88% four years ago feel they [managers] should be able to test employees for drug use" (Verespej, 191)
In conclusion, we see the two theories are not truly relevant or effective for the article on government changes. Each author shows minimal concern for employee privacy, each views testing as necessary but Verespej views the process as a negative if not continued. "Products and companies survival are too important to trust an employee with a drug problem" says Jack VerMuelen (Verespej, pg 190) the idea that alternative testing is more effective for the federal government generated from raising the success rate of the workers and demanding more responsibility. "45% of IW readers compared with 29.6% four years ago say that drug test should be conducted at random and include all employees (Verespej, pg 191) Improving the quality of tests used will deter workers from seeking out ways to deceive the tests, will promote a sense of fairness and increase the quality of life for the employees. Moore's ideas are inadequate for assisting the federal government's concerns because she again is addressing ‘who's at fault for the employees' negative actions' (Moore, pg 193) She is accepting of drug testing but her focus is liability from companies for their employees and moral responsibility. She concludes that she accepts that drug testing infringes on employee rights to privacy but she was not willing to address the issue, "drug testing is not only unnecessary for the protection of public safety but does not serve any ‘compelling interest' at all (Moore, pg 194-200) The issue raised by the federal government to enhance the types of testing to be used on workers can be partially resolved through Verespej's theory. Today, the federal government has all its' employees required to take random drug test regardless of the level of employment, timeframe with the company and regardless of age.

1. Government Plans Broader Drug Screening – Move could spur business to follow suit: The Associated Press, Jan 14 2004: link to news article below -
2. Drug Users – Not Testing – Anger Workers: Verespej, Michael A., Industry Week, Feb 17, 1992: Taking Sides Ninth Edition, Newton and Ford pp 189-191
3. Drug Testing and Corporate Responsibility – The "Ought Implies Can"
Argument: Moore, Jennifer, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 8 pp 279-287:
Taking Sides Ninth Edition, Newton and Ford pp 192-204
Return to