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Does An Employer Have The Right To Drug Test Prospective Employees

My good mate Mitch wrote a very interesting article entitled Bloggers Can’t Hide Behind Fake Names Anymore And Defame Others and as usual we are having a bit of a discussion, which is cool, because that is what commenting is all about. Right at the beginning of the post Mitch said ,

I believe drug testing for most jobs is a violation of privacy

to which I took the liberty to disagree. I truly believe that an employer has the right to have a drug-free workforce because he is obligated to protect the other employees as well as those who come into contact with them personally or through some action attributed to their drug induced state. The Australian Government knowing that people under the influence of drugs can cause accidents has introduced random drug testing of drivers, who  if caught are fined and can even lose their license.

There can be many types of employment where an employer may want to have prospective employees drug tested including drivers of public transport, operators of heavy equipment, officers in the law court, surgeons and pretty well any job where an employer can expect any prospective employee to maintain 100% of their attention while on the job. Heck, even athletes have to go through it and not too many complain about them having their privacy invaded.

Now, Mitch has the opinion that my thinking is skewed because I happen to be an employer, and perhaps this is true, so I am putting this out there to see what some of you may think.

Here are some links to books on the subject:

  • The Employee Rights Handbook: The Essential Guide for People on the Job
  • Your Rights in the Workplace
  • Every Employee’s Guide to the Law

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    Peter Pelliccia

    I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

    This Post Has 75 Comments

    1. I’m with Mitch I’m afraid. Unless your job means that you could put people at risk – heavy machinery, driving a public service vehicle, medical world, military world and similar roles where you are either dealing with people’s lives or your work gives you access to something harmful – there is no reason for testing. Obviously, walking into work with the smell of drink on you at 10am, being drunk repeatedly at work or seemingly being on something without a good explanation (sorry, these prescribed drugs have affected me badly), there is no reason to assume bad faith and do a test.

      Most jobs do not have potentially fatal consequences – unless you really stretch the point – and so if you are not exhibiting signs, why test?

      Would you consent to an employer taking a sample of your urine or blood or DNA? Would you give an employer access to your personal PC or a key to your front door? Of course not, and the same rule applies here. Unless you can show good cause, you have no right to test me.
      .-= ray@cult tv series´s last blog ..So You Want to Start an Online Community… =-.

      1. Would you consent to an employer taking a sample of your urine or blood or DNA? Would you give an employer access to your personal PC or a key to your front door? Of course not, and the same rule applies here. Unless you can show good cause, you have no right to test me.

        I have no qualms being tested and showing the result to the employee as I have nothing to hide. As to the rest I’m afraid that has nothing to do with the topic as that is not required of the employee.

        Also an employer had to maintain a profitable business because if it goes broke it could effect the lives of hundreds of other employees, and isn’t it possible that a drugged employee could affect a company’s profitability?

        1. It is perfectly possible that a drugged employee could bring down your business. But if a police officer requires a drug test they have to show probable cause, if an employer has no real reason to believe an employee is on drugs why on earth would they test them? And if they do strongly believe the employee is on drugs, fire them so they can’t do damage.

          Drug testing by an employer is too restrictive and gives too much power to the employer. If they think they are drunk or drugged, get rid of them, since that will be the end result.

          We’re getting very close to someone saying “only people with something to hide will fear a test”. Nope, as we have seen in the sports world, legal substances (energy drinks, food supplements, etc) can give false readings in high profile expensive tests. What’s to say that a test done on the cheap by an employer won’t also flag up a false positive?

          If an employer believes me to be high or a danger they should fire me or have me arrested. Don’t give employers this sort of power over you.
          .-= ray@cult tv series´s last blog ..So You Want to Start an Online Community… =-.

          1. Actually Ray, in Australia the police can do random drug tests on drivers just as they do random breath tests for alcohol and the driver has no choice but to take it on the chin.

            As for the fictional employer in this post, he is targeting prospective employees. If they don’t want the job, they don’t take the test. Hopefully this would give them a drug free employee base freeing them from the necessity of future drug tests.

            If an employer just fired you for no reason he would be setting himself up for a wrongful dismissal suit. If for some reason an employee by his actions whilst at work gives the employer a reason to suspect him, what choice has he got but to have him tested.

            Also, it would be fairly easy to legislate that only dependable sources be used for any drug test.

            1. The police can do this and this is acceptable because we have proper redress if they abuse the power and they have a vested interest inat least appearing to do it correctly.

              But, using our hypothetical employer, he isn’t restricted to testing someone. He can also dismiss – if the employer is that sure someone is high, he can dismiss and trust to the courts to believe in his belief. Allowing civilians, who have no ombudsman or other governing body, to test people – whether via urine or hair or whatever is a real live invasion of my privacy.

              If this does become the norm, I would hope that there is a suitable place to complain to when you are incorrectly accused of being on something.

              And finally, who will be testing the employers?

    2. I’m also an employer Sire and I totally agree with you. I don´t actually test my employees but I wouldn’t want a junkie on my staff.

      1. I’m so glad you got my point Asswass, I was starting to wonder if my post was of such poor quality that everyone was missing the point. :wink_ee:

    3. Man, you are on the ball today aren’t you Mick, oops sorry I meant Mitch. :smile2_ee:

    4. All employers want a drug-free workplace. Workers impaired by illegal drugs can threaten the safety and productivity of a business and could even cause legal problems.

      1. My sentiments exactly FD, and although I can see where others may see it as an invasion of privacy, it’s an unfortunate bi-product of modern society that forces some employers to resort to these measures.


    5. Twitter:
      And I’ll be the first to comment, hopefully. :-)

      My general thoughts are that I, the individual, have no idea what kind of drug test you, the employer, is going to run on me, and what you’ll do with it. There are many different degrees of drug testing, and I don’t know if you’re only testing to see whether I use illegal drugs or alcohol or testing whether I have diabetes, MS, or any other types of diseases. You the employer don’t have to tell me that, and I don’t like that at all. You the employer also only has to tell me I didn’t qualify for the job and nothing else; I don’t like that either.

      I have always said that there are certain jobs where I believe testing is imperative. If you’re going to work with patients or children directly, I agree. If you’re going to be driving long distances, I agree. But the other side of that is, if the person is smart, all they have to do is stop the behavior for about 4 or 5 days, pass the test, then go about their business as if the test meant nothing. That’s about how far back the tests can check. If it’s a job that requires random drug testing, that’s a different animal.

      Personally, I’ve never taken a drug test, and I never will; guess that’s both the pleasure and curse of working for myself. It’s kept me from being considered for some high paying gigs; still, it gives me credibility that I haven’t given up my principles for the almighty dollar. And remember, I’m someone who’s never had a drink, smoke, or done any drugs outside of prescription in my life. I really don’t have anything to hide; I’m just not giving up my privacy on your whim.

      And there you go. So, now folks have both sides of the issue.
      .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Poker Tournament, The Follow Up =-.

      1. Man that reply could have been a post in itself. :smile1_tb: OK, what if it was legislated that the employer stipulated exactly what drugs etc they were looking for? Also I’ve watched ‘Judge Judy’ :laugh_tb: and apparently you can test hair follicles for drug use and the test remains positive for months after and so a regular drug user would not escape detection?


        1. Twitter:
          For me personally, I still wouldn’t go through it. But I’m not the typical “give me a job” type. And your mentioning hair follicles is just the type of thing I’m talking about as far as being too invasive of privacy.

          Not that you’d personally have to worry about this, but did you know that there are some tests that will show a black person as taking either heroin or cocaine, whether they did or not?

          Two other things. One, have you heard that poppy seeds on a muffin can cause a false positive for marijuana use (I hate those things myself)? Also, there was a news story last week saying that 90% of our paper money over here has cocaine residue on it. Whose to say some of that might not cause a false positive?

          Overall, though, I think there’s been an interesting cross section of responses to this post so far.
          .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Bloggers Can’t Hide Behind Fake Names Anymore And Defame Others =-.

          1. Actually I wasn’t aware of those facts. You’d think though that with advances in today’s technologies they would be able to overcome those discrepancies.

            And yes, I am very pleased with the responses to date.

    6. OK. This could be difficult, but I will start by saying that it is the law in Portugal to take “medical exams” every 6 months. In this procedure several test are undertaken. This test is primarily driven to verify if some “very highly” contagious disease is present in an individual. This is for the purpose of protecting other employees or people who are or may have contact with this person. So much for that being the law.

      Second and I will have to side by you Sire on one aspect and with Mitch on the other. While I understand that there could be a grey area with regards to privacy here, I as an employer myself have to ascertain that all my employees are drug free and medically sound. I have a chain of “Day SPAs” and Tanning salons, where one of our taglines is “Looking After Your Health” (translated), and as difficult as it may be, since my services are driven directly to the public, I do require some sort of physical exam (including drug dependency).

      Now on the other hand, I have a consulting company and I do not require anything else but what the law requires.

      So yes and no, to conclude.
      .-= DiTesco @iblogzone´s last blog ..Make Money With Neverblue Affiliate Network =-.

      1. So, you are Portuguese? I’ve been wondering about you’re nationality for awhile now and because of your name I was leaning towards Italian, see I can be wrong :jittery_tb: :laugh_tb:

        As to your comment, I’m not saying Mitch is totally wrong, merely that there may be more grounds on which an employer would want a drug free environment for his other employees other than just being involved with heavy machinery.


        1. Twitter:
          Goodness, I’ve got you so flustered that now I’m Mick? :doh_tb:
          .-= Mitch´s last blog ..My Top Five Affiliate Marketing Sellers =-.

          1. Merely a typo my friend, you do know of typos don’t you? :laugh_tb: Anyway, I’ve fixed it now. And I am not flustered :jittery_tb: :wink_ee:


            1. Twitter:
              No, a typo would have been “Mith”, not “Mick”. You had me confused with the Rolling Stones, because I’m gonna roll all over you. :king_tb:
              .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Learning More Lessons About Writing =-.

    7. I personally think amployer should be able to drug test a potential employee. If I run a business and I need to make money, and need to make sure my customers are happy, I will hire who ever I want. IF that means I have to run some test, you bet your butt I will. I do not want to lose my integrity over some random person who works for me. That person may feel that his or her rights were violated but I would feel violated because that person caused my customer not to be satisfied. Then again, thats just my opinion.
      .-= Jason´s last blog ..No future for us… =-.

      1. Yep, and everyone has a right to their opinion, and in this case I happen to agree with you. The world would be a better place if everyone did the right and honorable thing but the reality is that they do not.

        I remember many years ago when a major company started running checks on employees leaving the premises, handbags and stuff, and it created a big stink because of ‘invasion of privacy’ issues and now it’s common practice. The thing is the employer had his hand forced because people were stealing from him, and so because of the guilty few the rest has to suffer.

    8. I would agree that employers have the right to know their employees are drug-free.

      I’m liberal in many areas, but not where I can be sued because of employees who get stoned on the job.
      .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..Income Fitness FINALLY….LIVE! And what incredible bonuses! =-.

    9. It’s a sorry state of affairs isn’t it Barbara, that the actions of the minority can cause the majority so much grief.

      1. Since my first post-college job, I have always assumed I’d be drug tested, during the hiring process and also randomly sometimes. I know if I were an employer I’d want to make sure my employees weren’t into some sort of drug that would impair their performance, especially if they could hurt someone and/or cause a lawsuit to be brought against the company. I currently work for a company that employs drivers and other heavy machinery workers (I am not one, LOL) so we are tested randomly. I definitely understand privacy concerns too, of course. It’s too bad a few bad “apples” have to make things so weird for the rest of us.
        .-= Christie@MiscBytes´s last blog ..MiscBytes unusual niche of the month =-.

        1. Yeah, those damn bad apples have always been a problem. In the old days they used to string em up or tar and feather these miscreants. We are too civilized to do that these days and so we the innocent have to suffer because of the wrong doings of others.

    10. Hm, I think both of you (Sire and Mitch) has some pretty good points.

      So I think I’ll propose this: Drug testing is OK, as long as it’s being done by a doctor and the employee signs a form where it’s clearly written *what* will be tested for so it’s just a matter of testing illegal drugs or drugs that will clearly affect your ability to work – or simply function optimal with your co-workers.

      But at the same time, I don’t care about what drugs my co-workers does in their own time/weekends, I just don’t wanna know about it. Even though it does not affect their work at all, just knowing that a co-worker is doing drugs, will make me think less of him.
      .-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..How Do You Decide Which Charity To Donate to? Childrens, Animals, Cancer, or…? =-.

      1. I agree with you Klaus. If I give my informed consent, then fine. If an employer decides to test me then nope, that’s not fine. That is an assumption of guilt and I would rather not have that job. If they want me to trust them, to show I reward their trust, they will have to accept that I am not on drugs unless I show such behaviour that they need to fire me.
        .-= ray@cult tv series´s last blog ..So You Want to Start an Online Community… =-.

        1. That’s all well and good for you Ray, but you’d have to admit that there are a whole lot of people out there who wouldn’t think twice about pulling one over on the boss if they had a chance, and if it wasn’t for them this post wouldn’t be necessary.

    11. Interesting debate is running here. I am with freedom but I always believe that if someone’s freedom affected others’ freedom, we can not call it freedom anymore.

      The case presented here simply deals with the ‘performance’ of the employee in the work so how can we ignore that if he/she are into drugs, work will not be affected?

      Maybe the soultion is that such check done ‘before’ being hired via hospitals who confirm that he/she is drug-free without affecting the privacy; it’s like when people make a ‘health check’ that nobody reveal it.
      .-= Hicham´s last blog ..Book Shopping =-.

      1. BTW I am not aganist the guys personally but I think they should go for treatment just for themselves, their health in the 1st place! Just a clarification :)
        .-= Hicham´s last blog ..Book Shopping =-.

      2. Excellent point Hicham; perhaps the feelings of some of those worried about invasion of privacy will be appeased if the testing is done under hospital conditions and the employer is only given results pertaining to illicit drugs.
        .-= Sire´s last blog ..Helping Others Is Not Bullshit =-.

    12. Ok, before I say anything… I did not read one reply above as it looks like a novel above me. I guess you struck a nerve with this post… which is awesome. My response is going to be short and sweet as comparison I am afraid.

      As for me, there are certain jobs that I believe employers have the right to drug test, which I am not going to list them all… but there just is.

      There are other jobs that I don’t think require drug testing, as drug use might be beneficial to their performance… like perhaps a comedy writer, etc…

      But bottom line… it is the employers business and if he or she doesn’t want people to work for them who does drugs… that should be their choice. Get a job somewhere else if you do drugs.
      .-= Doug Dillard´s last blog ..Tuan Nguyen of 20DollarBanners Interview =-.

    13. Good morning, Sire.

      Employers have the right to do whatever they want, as long as they don’t break the law in doing it.

      Prospective employees have the right to do whatever they want, too. Some will take a drug test in exchange for a job. Some won’t.

      Saying “I have nothing to hide” only side-steps the issue.

      I have nothing to hide. I’m an honest person who never took illegal drugs, rarely drink alcohol, and haven’t smoked in over 30 years.

      I made my mind up many years ago that I will never take a drug test or a lie-detector test unless there is a court order forcing me to do so, and then I would fight it. I will not testify against myself for any reason.

      I would never give up that principle just for a job.

      Others can do what they wish.

      I don’t buy the argument that I have to be tested because of some other hypothetical employee who may be doing something.

      Act on your dream!

      JD

      1. Nice to see you again John. Everyone has to live their life the way they see fit as long as it does not effect the lives of others.

        If a drug test is a prerequisite of employment and a person doesn’t agree to it he need not apply, it’s as simple as that
        .-= Sire´s last blog ..WassupBlog’s Ultimate Blogging Contest =-.

        1. Good morning, Sire.

          I agree. That’s why I didn’t apply for a couple of jobs along the way that I would otherwise have enjoyed.

          Act on your dream!

          JD

          1. Then again John, they may have turned out to be pure hell. I’ve always found it best not to dwell on past choices, good all bad. I figure that what you do with future choices to be more important that those of the past.


    14. Twitter:
      I’ve been getting drug tested since the early eighties. Both the Army and trucking companies test regularly. I can understand both views. Who wants to be driving next to a tractor trailer being driven by someone stung out on ‘stay awake’ drugs? It was a big problem for a long time. What about police with a badge and gun, should they be able to partake in the slow times?

      At the same time I understand Mitch´s point on what is being done with the test. Where does the employer’s right end? Do they get to test for insulin to see if someone is diabetic? What about hormone treatments to see their true sex? What about a woman’s birth control medication to see if she might get pregnant soon.

      Here in the U.S. we’re looking at getting rid of preexisting condition restrictions for medical insurance acceptance. With unrestricted testing employers could effectively do the same thing to lower the cost of their employer provided insurance. Is that fair?

      I think only certain jobs should be tested and then there should be a limit on what can be tested.
      .-= Brian D. Hawkins´s last blog ..Get Featured With Our Promotional Buttons =-.


    15. Twitter:
      The commentary has been interesting so far. I can easily see all kinds of differences based on culture, age, and positional status.

      What’s most interesting is seeing how some folks are willingly ready to give up their privacy in saying they have nothing to hide. Back in the 70’s, privacy was really a big issue in the United States, and we complained about it a lot. We didn’t have many of the things that are out now to monitor us, yet we knew what was coming. Many people my age read, and feared, the concept of Orwell’s 1984. I didn’t read it, but I knew about it; I knew what they were talking about.

      It’s what we have now. Here’s another general take on it. Once you decide to give up any part of your privacy, you pretty much give up any semblance of privacy for the rest of your existence.

      For instance, y’all do know that there’s devices that can actually “see” you inside your house, monitor your movements, and know exactly where you are at any moment, right?

      And who here remembers the uproar from two years ago when we learned that President Bush had signed secret orders that basically allowed the government to eavesdrop on everyone’s phone calls without a court order? That, plus you all do know that you can be tracked anywhere in the world if your cell phone is on, right?

      Yeah, I hear the argument now: “If I’m not doing anything wrong, I have nothing to worry about.” Yeah, keep believing that one. How many people have ended up in jail who didn’t commit the crime?

      Pandora’s Box may already be way too open to close again, and I don’t like it. But I guess that’s where we’re heading. By the way, I wonder how many of you younger people are walking around with the implant that your parents had put into you to track you in case you were snatched by some potential child molesters. Something else to think about.
      .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Take Responsibility For Your Blogging =-.

      1. Although it sounds like a Science Fiction novel I realize there is a lot of truth in what you say Mitch, but unfortunately all this has been brought on by the unscrupulous in our society. If we just sat back saying that nope, you’re not doing that because you are invading my privacy, do you for one moment think that those unscrupulouse people would abide by our wishes?

        Nope, they would have free reign knowing that they could do all of the stuff that you mentioned in your post without the fear of any of the same tactics being used on them.


        1. Twitter:
          I’ll ask this question then, Sire. If we as a society are going to allow these things because of unscrupulous people, then shouldn’t even gun that’s out there in the world not in the hands of law enforcement or the military be taken away? And, since there are those people who are going to drink and drive anyway, shouldn’t all of us have to take cabs or buses and no one gets to own one?

          I know the scenarios may seem a bit out there, but you know, Sire, here in America, there are more and more controls being put on people all the time. We fight for awhile, they hit something else, we get upset about that and they slide something old that they wanted beforehand in under our noses.

          Interesting places this conversation has gone, eh? :cool1_tb:
          .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Poker Tournament, The Follow Up =-.

          1. Ever since the Port Arthur massacre the Government initiated their Gun Buy Back Policy. Since then you need a very good reason to own a gun, and self defense is not considered a good enough reason.

            As to the car analogy, I think the answer to that is rather than banning everyone from driving is over the top. All that has to be done there is punish those flouting the law and anyone with prior drinking convictions can only drive a car that has a alcohol sensor installed.


            1. Twitter:
              I’m’ betting I’m one of the few Americans who knows about the Port Arthur massacre, Sire. Over here, gun control is a hot button item, hotly fought over because of different interpretations of the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution.
              .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Learning More Lessons About Writing =-.

    16. Even I would object to an employer testing for anything other than illegal drugs, certainly not for diabetes and the like. :nono_tb: :guns_tb:

      In Australia the employer does not pay for their employees health insurance. This would only raise their costs which would then be passed onto the consumer, making them less competitive with overseas goods.

    17. Well Ray, as to who would test prospective employees, I reckon that should be left up to a professional institution, such as a hospital that has no vested interest in the results. In that way they would only have to provide the appropriate information. In this way the person being tested would not have to worry about personal stuff being revealed, such as them being pregnant or a diabetic etc.

    18. I would say just let people do what they want. If they are going to puff on the zootu – fine, if they want to drug test their staff – fine, if they don’t mind having a few doobie suckers in the workforce – fine. Then everyone is happy. No need to moan about other people’s way of running their body or business.

      One job that I think should definitely have testing is for the President of the United States. Then Clinton and Bush probably wouldn’t have got in :razz_wp: and maybe Obama would have been found to be up to his eyeballs in God-complex drugs :razz_wp:
      .-= David´s last blog ..Writing for Search Engines and People =-.

    19. Holy crap thats a comment field… WOW!

      Sire I feel your pain in regards to this matter but I also see where Mitch is coming from.

      I think there needs to be a clear distinct message of what exactly is being tested for, banned substances not medical substances. It’s not an employers right to know or be involved in medical issues that do not effect performance.

      Thats my two cents, now I need to head over and read Mitch’s blog.
      .-= Extreme John@Extreme John Blogs and Business´s last blog ..An email to Mark Maconi Homes =-.

      1. Really? That’s weird John, because I’m not in any pain at all :wink_ee: I’m merely putting forth an argument for those occasions when an employer may have the right to test any future employees. Personally I don’t care one way or the other as I don’t see it as a big deal. If that was all that stood between me and a job I would gladly take the test as long as they foot the bill.

    20. Absolutely. Drug testing is perfectly legitimate if you are performing tasks that involves responsibilities over the health and well-being of fellow employees or customers. Heavy machinery operators, peace officers, medical professionals, quality control… it would be absolutely criminal if such safeguards were not in place.

      1. Thanks so much Rick, I really appreciate your input.

    21. Hi Sire. My opinion on this matter will be different from yours, mostly because I am American, and personal liberty is something that I value very strongly. I don’t know what it’s like in Australia, but here, the politicians are always singing the praises of living in a free country, where liberty reigns supreme. They also talk about our three inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I happen to think that the freedom to use drugs falls under at least two of those rights, and arguably all three.

      However, I’ll continue this thought, disregarding the current unconstitutional laws. As far as an employer drug testing, I am not in favor, unless they have a genuine reason why their employee should be clean and sober. Athletes get paid good enough money, so they should be clean. To me, that’s completely off topic. Regular employees though, should have the freedom to do what they wish OUTSIDE of the workplace. It is immoral to expect an employee to abide by your standards in their own homes. If a person wants to get high after work, then there shouldn’t be any problem with that, and it is none of the employer’s business.

      What is the employer’s business is whether or not the employee is sober during the workday. That is important. I don’t have any problem with an employer reprimanding someone for being high on the job. That isn’t right at all. But to give up your most basic human right in exchange for a paycheck? No, I think that’s wrong.
      .-= Trey – Swollen Thumb Entertainment´s last blog ..Blogging Is Hard Work! =-.

      1. Trey, although we don’t have it in our constitution, that I know of, we pretty well have the same views. in regards to,

        They also talk about our three inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

        I would like to put to you that it’s probably implied that the pursuit of these inalienable rights should not jeopardize those same rights for another person. This being the case, it seems unfair that an employee should choose to come to work under the influence of drugs or booze or whatever, and his being there may be putting other employees in danger of one form or another.

        As an employer, I pay my employees above award rates and I expect 100% of their concentration while they are at work, and they can’t do that if they are under the influence. This means I’m not getting my money’s worth, and my customers, the people my staff come into contact with, are not getting the service they demand and deserve.
        .-= Sire´s last blog ..Crap Email From The Office Of Mr.Kunle Williams =-.

    22. I’m of the opinion that if your job involves taking responsibility for other people’s lives or your direct actions could cause harm in the future then you have a duty to be clean and sober. From that perspective, yes I think drugs tests are acceptable. You’ve sacrificed a degree of freedom by assuming responsibility for the lives of others.

      If you’re a web designer who comes back to his desk on a Monday after a weekend of cocaine and weed (and the residual traces will be in your system) but you’re perfectly able to carry out your tasks then no I do not agree that an employer has the right to make someone take a drugs test.

      Probably rather simplistic and low level but that’s my view.

      1. Not ever having taken drugs I’m not sure how much residue is left after a weekend of cocaine and weed, but if the employee can give a 100% of his attention to his job so as to earn his keep sure, why not.
        .-= Sire´s last blog ..Blog Me This You Blogging Fools =-.

    23. Some of the city workers I knew in the 90s were on coke, and I’m not talking about the diet kind. Working in the city is high pressure, and instead of testing employees, some bosses encouraged the use of this. I even heard a story of one company employer, who dished out the stuff as a bonus for reaching certain targets. After several years I decided this job wasn’t for me, It seems that in certain parts of the city, the biggest test is not a drug one, but a how to avoid them one. The only drug tests that get carried out are from companies at the lower end of the employment market, wall mart workers etc, no disrespect, but many of these workers probably need something to cheer them up, they seem far less likely to effect anything by using drugs. If we were serious about tackling the numbers of drug users in the workplace I would suggest we test the wall street mob, civil servants, fighter pilots and most importantly politicians, we wouldn’t want these people to have their judgements impaired by drug now, would we?

      1. I’m really interested as to what bosses would hand drugs out as a bonus?

        In regards to testing “wall street mob, civil servants, fighter pilots and most importantly politicians”, I agree with you on that one.

    24. This is an argument I’ve heard many times before. With anything that could potentially be an invasion of privacy (such as compulsory ID cards) the population tends to divide into about three, and it the same with this post here. The three are:

      1) Those that have nothing to hide and therefore don’t mind (that’s you Sire).
      2) Those that have nothing to hide but find it an invasion of privacy (Mitch).
      3) Those that really do have something to hide.

      I’m with Mitch myself. Now the problem is everybody is different. I personally don’t like the idea of people knowing everything about me, others don’t mind. One thing they are trying to launch here in the UK is road tax based on how many miles you do. They want to do this instally a GPS in every car. This means the government will know everywhere you drive, which trips you do regularly etc etc… this is definitely an invasion of privacy. Would you find that so?

      The other flip of the coin is that if we don’t introduce some of these measure then the people that fit into category 3 will be more likely to get away with it, and this is what makes it such a difficult argument. So I can see where both sides are coming from, but my opinion lies firmly with Mitch’s views.
      .-= Ste@free Playstation 3´s last blog ..How To Get a Free PS3 =-.

      1. Actually, they’re thinking of doing the same thing here, and while I don’t particularly care if they know where I am going but I take exception to them charging me for how many miles I do. That is crap and most Aussies wouldn’t stand for it. Shit, they’re already making enough money from all the other exorbitant taxes, we sure don’t need a new one.

    25. I think, Sire is right. Drug testing is a must. I mean, if the employee or let say, prospective employees have nothing to hide or not using any kind of addictive drugs, then, drug testing won’t be a big deal then.
      .-= Ron@Boracay Hotels´s last blog ..Club Ten Beach Resort Boracay =-.

      1. I don’t agree with that statement but perhaps in a wider context. I was having a discussion with a friend about CCTV cameras here in the UK and bemoaning the fact that we are the most watched country in the world whilst only 1 in 1000 crimes are solved with the aid of this technology. Slightly off topic I know, but the premise is the same. I was saying that I don’t like the intrusion whereas he was saying, well if you’ve nothing to hide then you shouldn’t worry. It was missing the point somewhat I thought. Just because I have nothing to hide doesn’t mean I want people watching me and everything I do, much as just because people don’t use drugs shouldn’t be subjected to drugs tests.

        1. Hi Matt, thanks for taking the time to comment mate. The problem the prospective employer has is that unless he won’t know unless the tests are done.

          In regards to CCTV camera’s, I don’t have a problem with them unless they start putting them in the loo or something.
          .-= Sire´s last blog ..Sometimes It just Doesn’t Pay Being Jack =-.

    26. Nice hot topic. I find it surprising that no one has brought up the “Big Brother” aspect to it all. Sure, owners have the right to subject you to drug tests to protect their investments. You have a choice to take the test and pass, or fail and get fired. Is it an invasion of privacy? No, it is a part of earning a check. Consider it a job qualification. Does testing keep good people out? No. The saying that every time they idiot proof something, they invent a better idiot is true. Criminals will always figure out a way to beat the system. In the process, the costs of the tests, legal fees to fight claims, and lawyer fees to write policy and administer the tests come from our salaries in the process.
      I like the internet, my iPod, my flip video, and other modern devices, but I know that everytime I log on Big Brother is watching, taking notes, and leaning way over onto my privacy.

      Still, I side with Sire. Test em all. I’m good with that.
      .-= Mark Smith´s last blog ..The Winners of Our “Who Comments Most” Contest are… =-.

      1. So in other words, someone who uses an illegal drug is by default, not a good person? You’re saying that testing doesn’t keep good people out. Plenty of good people are into recreational drugs, and don’t let it affect their job performance. And anyway, the only difference between legal drugs and illegal drugs are just that, the legality. Work wise, alcohol, which is a drug, would affect your work performance pretty much in the same way that most narcotics would. Your logic is similar to the logic that people who drink alcohol are bad people.

        Also, if the issue of privacy isn’t at stake here, then when is it at stake? When do the rights of the employer go too far in return for a paycheck? Marital status? Maybe a single employee would devote more of his or her time to the job. Racial status? After all, some people don’t like black people, and they’d rather buy a car from a white person. Religion? It’s a sure sign that an atheist will work more hours since they don’t need to go to church.

        Of course, it’s illegal to discriminate for any of these reasons, but they can affect your job performance too. You can step on a LOT of toes by claiming that an employer’s right to commerce is more important than an employee’s civil liberties. Is it the role of employers to enforce the laws of the land? I don’t think so, which is why I’m in favor of them drug testing only when it is necessary for the work they are doing. Do I care if my surgeon is on drugs? Yes, I do. But do I care if my pizza guy is on them? No, not really.

        1. I understand what you are saying Trey, but using your Pizza guy as an example, what if he came to work under the influence of whatever drug he was taking and then on the way to delivering your pizza his lack of judgement caused him to kill a child crossing the road? It is because of the fact that drugs can impair your ability to drive that our police treat it the same as DUI!

          Personally I don’t think that people who choose to take social drugs like coke and ecstasy pills isn’t a good person, just bloody stupid. Especially when they take it at a social gathering and it ends up killing them.

          As an employer you are not just protecting your profit margins, you also have a duty of care to your customers and your other employees

      2. Hi Mark, the worst thing about Big Brother is having to watch it on TV :wink_ee:

        As long as they don’t come into my home or bug the local shit house, I don’t really care where they place their cameras. Like you said, we already know they can be almost anywhere, and as long as they’re not in your face I’m not at all fussed.

    27. I really can’t see the problem if an employer wants to test potential employees for illegal drugs.

      The problem is, what tests would you do for which type of illegal drug? There are so many it woud be impossible to test for all of them.

      1. Interest question Peter, and I’m sure they would have a particular drug in mind.

    28. One of the more controversial employment practices is the testing of job applicants and employees for the presence of illegal drugs. Federal and state laws try to balance employee privacy against the employer’s right to maintain a drug-free workplace. Because of concerns for privacy and accuracy, the laws regulating employment drug testing vary considerably between states. Despite the concerns, there is one steadfast rule; drug testing will continue.

      1. And so it should, thanks for your contribution Elena

    29. Not only is drug testing prospective employees right, it should be mandatory, and on-going during their employment, say once a month or so. It should also be mandatory to pass a drug test to get a driver’s licence as well.

      1. Hi Steve, I think this is especially true if you work at a job where your actions, or lack of, may affect others. I also think the ones that are up in arms about this are the ones taking the drugs.
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        1. The ones selling them wouldn’t be too happy either, I’d imagine :-)

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