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Employee Drug Testing (A Violation Of Constitutional Rights)

2313 words - 9 pages

EDGEWOOD COLLEGE - BUSINESS LAW I
Employee Drug TestingViolation of Constitutional Rights Judd, Jennah
9/18/2014

1
Introduction:
The word "privacy" means many different things to different people. One widely accepted
meaning, however, is the right to be left alone. The composers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
embraced this meaning and it is referenced many times throughout both documents. This right is now
under attack by Private employers who use the power of the paycheck to tell their employees what they
can and cannot do in the privacy of their own homes. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) along
with the opponents of Employee Drug Testing believe that what a person does during non-working
hours away from the workplace should not be used as a basis for discrimination. Employee drug testing
is an invasion of privacy and it violates an employee's constitutional rights.
Employee drug testing began in 1986 when Ronald Reagan signed an Executive Order
prohibiting federal employees from using illegal drugs, on or off-duty. In 2011, 71% of respondent
business reported some category of employment drug testing. That number is up from 21% when drug
testing was first introduced in 1986.
Companies Which Drug Test Employees
Business Category Testing of NewHires Testing of All Employees
Financial Services 35.8% 18.8% Business & Professional Services 36.0% 18.4%
Other Services 60.3% 34.7% Wholesale & Retail 63.0% 36.8% Manufacturing 78.5% 42.2% http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Drug_Testing_Employee#sthash.ILKWAqVy.dpuf

2
Legal Authority:
Three standards will be used in showing that Employee Drug Testing violates an employee's
constitutional rights.
1. The Restatement of the Law, Second, Torts 652B
Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis formulated the common law "right of privacy" as a
general principle rooted in existing common law. The Restatement, Second, of Torts further
outlined this privacy right by setting forth a four-part common law test for unlawful invasion of
privacy.
The Restatement of the Law, Second, Torts 652B states "One who intentionally intrudes,
physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or
concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be
highly offensive to a reasonable person." Drug testing would be considered to be highly
intrusive and offensive and it violates a person's reasonable expectation of privacy.
In regards to Drug Testing the Tort that we are most interested in is 652B. In this Tort it
says that privacy is invaded by "Unreasonable intrusion upon the seclusion of another." "Drug
Testing reveals all kinds of personal information that has nothing to do with drugs," say's
Murray Mollard, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties association. For example a
Urinalysis screening can disclose a person's medical condition or pregnancy. Most employee's
would also agree that what they do off of work grounds is...

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