Drug Testing in the Workplace
When the question of drug testing in the workplace arises, many problems tend to come along with it. For employers, the solution is simple; drug tests are mandatory for employment. When it comes to employees, however the response might be more along the lines of It s none of your business or That s a violation of my rights . Yet on both sides, there will always be a set of pros and cons.
Let s take a look at the employer s argument first. It is their company and if they are going to pay someone to work for them they are going to want the most efficient and productive person for the money they are going to spend. Of course an employer is not going to want to hire an addict who is late to work constantly, is unproductive, and takes more sick days than anyone in the company. Employers will definitely see this as a loss of time, and more importantly money. Especially when they are paying for health insurance. Statistics show that American businesses lose billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and health care costs as a result of drug use since 75 percent of drug users in the United States are employed. That reason alone should be convincing enough for employers to implement drug testing for employment. However with this comes the possibility of lawsuits by employees if fired for this cause. Employers are required to offer rehabilitation programs before firing the employee. Drug and alcohol use has also been the direct result of an increase in on the job accidents. It can compromise the safety of other employees, especially when the occupation is somewhat dangerous. The perfect example is a police officer. An officer must not be impaired in any way while on the job. If there is any impairment, it puts civilians and fellow officers at risk. I don t believe that one would want a drug addict to be out protecting them. I certainly wouldn t.
The employee also has an opinion on this one. Everyone in American wants to have an opportunity to have a job. Everyone makes mistakes and no one wants to ultimately pay for them. If you keep people from getting jobs on the aspect of drug use, there would definitely be an increase in unemployment and in the number of people on welfare. So in essence, employers would still end up paying the money in taxes. So does it actually benefit to drug test in the workplace? Not only that, but also many feel that it violates their rights. Health should be ones personal business. No one should be able to intrude on that personal matter. Many would say that it is not fair to exclude someone from employment if they have made a mistake. They could argue that there was inaccuracy in the testing methods. It has also been proven that there is inaccuracy in urine drug testing especially. This is the method most commonly used by employers because it is the cheapest method. There are also hair folical testing, and nail testing.
What ever the case may be there are still pros and cons to drug testing. It is not only a question of money, but does it indeed violate ones personal life? Whatever the decision is, I still believe that it is necessary to implement drug testing in the workplace. This will keep both employees and in some cases civilians safe.