Constitutional Rights In The Workplace Patton Fuller Community Hospital

1608 words - 6 pages

For the purpose of exploring Constitutional rights and their impact on the employees of an organization, this paper will discuss the Patton-Fuller Community Hospital (henceforth "Patton-Fuller"). While in many respects, the rights of Patton-Fuller's employees are similar to those of any other company; a hospital was chosen because the duty of care owed to its patients added another level of complexity in determining whose rights take precedent. Constitutional rights will be explored as they are involved in drug testing (particularly as it pertains to unreasonable search and seizure) and employee monitoring via email/telephone use/video surveillance (and the implications thereof to one's right to privacy).Drug testing in the WorkplaceMany workplaces require drug testing in order to start a new position or to continue employment. Whether or not one is a habitual or an occasional drug user, a positive drug test can put one out of a job or in a rehabilitation facility. Why is workplace drug testing legal? On September 15, 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12564. The intent of this order was to create a drug-free Federal workplace. The order forced all Federal employees to stop using drugs while on or off duty. The Executive Order 12564 eventually helped create the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. "The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some Federal contractors and all Federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a condition of receiving a contract or grant from a Federal agency" (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1988). The order from the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 initially applied only to Federal employees and contracts; nevertheless, private employers, states and other agencies followed the footsteps of the Federal government.Few will argue that most drugs are not harmful to today's workforce; however, some critics argue that drug testing violates employees' constitutional rights to privacy. The process of drug testing that employers use is not always regulated because not every state has regulations in-place. Adding further complications is the fact that there is not a Federal "private employee" privacy rights in-place. "Workplace drug testing is up 277 percent from 1987 - despite the fact that random drug testing is unfair, often inaccurate and unproven as a means of stopping drug use." (American Civil Liberties Union, 1997)Even though drug testing in the workplace has been become common place in most work environments when applying for a new job, what about random drug testing during the tenure of employment? Random drug testing is not regulated in the private sector, much like initial drug testing when applying for a job. The issue raises concerns of violating both the 4th and 14th Amendments.The 4th amendment to the Constitution involves search and seizure. The amendment says, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,...

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