For many years now, the government has been working effortlessly to control the loss of business endured by businesses due to the widespread of substance abuse. According to an article, “drug use in the workplace has been linked to low productivity, high absenteeism and increases in the number of workplace accidents (Jeanty, n.d., ¶ 1). Yet, drug screening employees and benefit recipients have become a discussion of privacy invasion and the Fourth Amendment. Many would argue on the basis of defamation from their employers and how they have been singled out from the rest of the employees. The government attempted to cease the use of illegal drugs in the workplace while assisting businesses with proper policies and laws to help eliminate the loss in which they have accrued.
In attempt to cease the drug abuse in the workplace, the government enacted the Dug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (DFWA) which mandated some Federal contractors and all Federal grantees to agree in providing a drug free workplace in order to receive any types of contracts or grants from a Federal Agency. The DFWA applies and directly affects any organization and federal contractors who are awarded a contract by any federal agency. Any organization or company in agreement with the DFWA is required to run a drug free workplace before obtaining any contract, post antidrug use policies and provide training to its employees, and must go through a drug free certification process in order to receive the grants (Jeanty, n.d.).
According to the guidelines under the DFWA, any grant or federal funded organization must update their current policies to implement the drug free workplace requirements as well as develop awareness programs which address the potential use of drugs and disseminate information on available programs available. Employers are not liable to pay for such rehabilitation drug programs, but the grants available to them have been authorized to cover the cost of implementing the new information into their policies. On the other hand, just like any other law, there are penalties associated with the DFWA and the consequences for not abiding by the rules. Violation of any conditions under the DFWA carry out penalties to include suspension of any grant payments, the cease of grant funding, and the suspension for obtaining any federal grants in the future. These periods of suspension for future grants can run anywhere up to a maximum of five years (Jeanty, n.d.).
For some, they might agree that the implementation of the DFWA has put a control on the substance abuse in the workplace and has decrease the number of injuries related to drug use, but as mentioned before, this topic of discussion has brought up numerous debates which call the guidelines into question. Let’s take a look at how substance abuse impacts the workplace and the arguments behind drug screening.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), it has cost employers annually...