Against Drug Testing In The Workplace

1736 words - 7 pages

Abstract
The issue of drug testing in the workplace has sparked an ongoing debate among management. There are many who feel that it is essential to prevent risks to the greater public caused by substance abuse while on the job. However, others believe that the costs far outweigh the benefits and that it is an invasion of privacy. Putting all ethical issues aside, evidence presented in this paper supports the latter. The costs of drug testing are excessive and only a small percentage of employees are actually found to be substance users. Drug testing in the work place has a negative effect on productivity; contrary to what was originally intended. It actually decreases productivity instead of improving it. Drug testing causes a feeling of distrust and drug testing should not be a part of a healthy work environment.

Introduction

In today's workplace, drug testing has become a controversial matter. Every employer, regardless of industry or profession, must decide which way to position themselves and their company. There are many who feel that drug testing in the workplace is an invasion of privacy. On the other side, however, are those who believe that in today's workplace drug testing may not be popular, but it is vital to a successful business. These individuals point out that in positions where public and personal safety is concerned; the safety of the public supersedes any other issue. This holds true in the case of air line pilots, bus drivers and health care professionals, to name a few. The end result employee drug testing includes a safer working environment, increased productivity, and better product integrity so that the business (or organization) may see greater financial profits and also improve its image. The evidence suggests however, that there has been a decline in the use of drug testing by companies as of late. This would conclude that drug testing programs did not meet these expectations. This paper will support the idea that drug testing in the work place does not increase productivity, and that it costs more money than it saves for those businesses.
Discussion
One of the issues in favor of the anti-drug testing position is that sometimes persons are falsely accused due to poor testing methods or unreliability of those tests. Tests which measure impairment and alertness are the methods most commonly cited as unreliable. According to an article appearing in Business Week Magazine (1991), companies that use a test known as "Factor 2000" are finding that drug and alcohol use are not the most common reasons for failure. Fatigue and illness are the most common reasons for failure, not substance abuse. Lewis Maltby (1986) of the Drexelbrook Controls Company clarifies this by stating that drug testing does not tell whether an employee is impaired, but it does tell whether they have a substance problem. It is very hard to find evidence that positively identifies poor performance due to drug use. There are too...

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