Employers conduct drug testing on employees in the bid to ensure a drug-free workplace.
The policy was first introduced in the US by Ronald Reagan in 1988 requiring all federal
employees and contractors in specific departments to undertake the tests. The testing has since been taken over by private employers citing the need for a drug-free workplace. As of 2015, 40 percent of employees in the US undertake drug testing in the workplace. According to employers, drug abuse leads to absent and low productivity which can be avoided
by conducting the tests.
Some employers may require Pre-employment testing. However, the US constitution
does not legalize such testing especially when the employee views the testing as an invasion of privacy. Additionally, the pre-employment testing cannot be justified as ensuring a drug-free workplace since the candidate has not been accepted in the company. On the other hand, testing on employment may be conducted at the discretion of the employer. However, the testing is legal if it based on safety including the safety of others and the employee when undertaking tasks that are risky if one is under the influence of alcohol. The testing may be illegal if it invades the privacy of the employee based on the reason for the test and based on discrimination. Additionally, employees with a history of medical marijuana should be considered and not discriminated based on positive results on the same.
I believe that drug testing at the workplace is pointless unless the employee shows signs
of being dangerous to him and others. A majority of the time, the test is misused and an
infringement on the privacy of employees. Some employees can use the test to discriminate against employees. Additionally, the test includes drugs that are often used such as painkillers.
Therefore, many people may test positive even when they have sued drugs such as painkillers.