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Workplace Drug Screening

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Running head: THE LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES OF Workplace Drug Screening Chemical Dependency in the Workplace PSY/425 Drug use and abuse is on the rise with so many variations of drugs being readily available. Employers are realizing the importance and cost savings of drug testing. Studies show that alcohol and drug abuse cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars each year. This cost comes in the form of reduced productivity, increased health costs, increased insurance costs, and crime. Most legal issues come from claims of invasion of privacy or the lack of probable cause as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. When an employee is required to submit to a drug test, they feel their privacy is being invaded claiming what they do outside of work has nothing to do with work. The results of the test must be kept confidential, otherwise legal actions could result claiming an invasion of the employee's privacy. ...read more.


The testing of the hair is able to detect most of the substance activity in depth over a long amount of time. The drugs will deposit a residue in the shaft of the hair that will remain there until the hair is cut, whether the drugs were taken through injection, ingestion, or inhalation. If the user has long hair, the length is bad news for them because it will contain more history. When the hair test was first used, the lab would gather large specimens for testing, causing many complaints in this method of testing. The testing and method of collection have gotten better which is reducing the cost of the test, making it more appealing to the employer. The most popular test and least costly is the urine test. The presence of alcohol and chemicals can be detected for several days or weeks after use. To make sure the specimen is a fresh sample, the labs ask that the person empty his or her pockets and lock the contents along with any bags in a lockable unit. ...read more.


Random and comprehensive testing of employees in sensitive positions, 2) voluntary testing of any employee or appointee who wishes to participate in the drug testing program, 3) Reasonable suspicion testing, based on specific and particular facts and reasonable inferences from those facts, 4) Special condition testing, as part of an examination following an accident, 5) Follow up testing, administered by an agency or company during or after counseling or rehabilitation through an employee assistance program, 6) Testing applicants for any position or appointment. (Carrol, 2000) Those who abuse drugs and alcohol come from all walks of life. This is one reason many employers are now requiring that a pre-employment drug test be performed. The employer is expected to protect their company and their employees against those who abuse drugs and alcohol. With that in mind, the employer is able to have anyone tested that has showed probable cause. In conclusion, workplace drug screening is a big benefit to both the employee and the employer. The employee will feel safer knowing they are working in a drug free environment. The pre-employment testing will help weed out the users that could possibly cost the company money. ...read more.

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