Random Drug Testing vs Employees' Privacy Rights

Random Drug Testing vs Employees' Privacy Rights

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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.

While providing member services it is the foremost duty of every employer to respect employee privacy as well and for this laws generally permit private employers, including credit unions, to monitor or record employees' business calls, evaluate job performance and member service, order employee drug testing, search desks and offices for legitimate business reasons, and release personnel file information on a "need to know" basis to fellow managers or employees, or - with the employee's consent - to third parties.

Reasons could vary according to the company and the atmosphere that could be affecting the workplace badly. According to the same research the employers of the company have better reasons for the drug testing, but they may not always be what you think. For example, employees themselves favor drug testing. This could be surprising but the employers think that these constant checks help their workplace to be a safer place and it reduces the workload that drug abusers shift onto peers and subordinates.
Some of the obvious reasons for drug –testing could be the staggering cost of on-the- job accidents, theft, errors, reduced productivity and increased medical and workers' compensation claims to employers. There are different ways to conduct the drug-testing programs and this could also vary, for example; should you hire a professional to implement your program? Should you do testing yourself, or contract with a local lab? Such relevant questionnaires are answered after depending on the situations on the spot.

An increasing number of construction companies are battling the problem through drug-free workplace policies, employee education, drug testing, employee assistance programs and even undercover drug busts for a better world. Federal laws however prohibit using polygraph tests, voice stress analyzers, and other physiological tests in employment situations.
Situations where such drug tests are allowed are after programs like 1) Planning, 2) Needs Assessment, 3) Policy Development, 4) Employee Education, 5) Supervisor Training and 6) Employee Assistance Program Development.

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However there are living examples to support this testing as this press operator agreed "to go public" and share how his alcohol abuse in trade school led to marijuana use and then to cocaine addiction. His massage was simple - drug addiction ruins your life, hurts your family and harms your health. Also, taking a wrong step and making a wrong move could end up in court and the victim could be defending your company against charges of negligence, violation of privacy, defamation, or violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.



Reference:

1. How to Establish a Drug-free Workplace Program Date: 03-01-1999; Publication: Occupational Hazards; Author: Samuel Elkin


2. DRUG-FREE WORKPLACES:SCOTT SUTTON Date: 05-14-1998; Publication: Congressional Testimony; Author:


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