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Mandatory Job Drug Test Should Be Allowed

Statistics show that close to ten percent of employees in all organizations are drug users. Drugs pose a great threat to the professional productivity of addicted workers. Drug addiction leads to improper performance of the duties for which the employee is hired. By introducing drug tests before and during employment, employers seek to protect the organization from drug-related malpractices. Drug testing for jobs in the US started in earnest in 1986 with the enactment of an executive order that required all federal employees to keep off illegal drugs. Special considerations are made to ensure strict testing is done in sensitive industries like health, security, food service, machinery operation, among others. Due to the negative effects of drug use among workers mandatory on-the-job drug tests should be allowed.

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Companies may screen new employees for addiction and check the existing workers by random examinations. Drug checks help to create the ideal working environment. It also helps to stop new drug use within the members of the organization since drug use is a habit that is easily passed from one person to another. Drug use causes wasteful absenteeism from work as addicts often fall ill out of their addiction (Cadrain, 3). Many accidents that happen due to the influence of drugs on the workers can be eliminated through proper screening. Drug screening also helps organizations to avoid violence, health benefit costs, and high insurance premiums. Drug users often cause conflicts in the organization, disrupting functions and at times demeaning the image of the institution to clients and customers. Studies done on drug use indicate that consumption of alcohol increases the amounts of errors committed and reduces the ability to handle crises (Streufert quoted by Miner and Capps, 14).

Drug testing reduces workplace expenditure related to drug use. US Department of Labor Statistics states that the country loses $100 billion dollars annually due to drug-related costs (Landers, nd). Drug testing can help companies to save on money that is usually used in screening new workers since drug addicts will be put off by the prospect of being tested and hence fail to apply for the posts.

Drug testing is viewed in a negative light by some people who argue that it interferes with the privacy of employees. Still, the results of the screening are said not to be effective since different drugs remain detectable for longer periods than others. For instance, marijuana can remain for three weeks while cocaine lasts for only hours. Moreover, prescription drugs can make one test positive for drug abuse. However, these objections to drug testing are not reasonable enough to make employers abandon the exercise. In testing procedures, the privacy of workers is guaranteed since they produce the test samples in private or as only one person of the same sex is present. Failure of a single drug test can be reversed in subsequent on job tests. Again, job hunters using prescription drugs are protected from discrimination under the people with disabilities act. The employees and job seekers are protected under the law from selective and covert testing (Repa, 175).

Since drug testing started the rates of drug usage among employees have dropped substantially (Warden, nd). The use of drugs among workers in the United States has been on the decline since the institution of drug tests in the 1980s. For instance, positive tests of drugs in urine have declined from 13.6% in 1988 to 3.6% in 2008 (Wang, 2). However, these statistics underrepresent the real problem of drug use among employees as the rates of drug use are not strictly adhered to. At times when the demand for workers is high such as when workers needed for reconstruction after the hurricanes, employers may be forced to suspend drug testing so as to attract workers.

Drug testing ensures the ideal working environment for the workers and sets the company on the right path to productivity. Drug tests help avoid unnecessary conflicts that drug users may initiate, avoid frequent absenteeism, and avoid workplace accidents. The cost of workers addicted to drugs warrants strict measures of testing before and after employment. The objections to drug testing have been addressed by proper testing schedules and laws. Testing has helped lower the number of workers involved in drug abuse and it is expected that further testing will yield better results.

References

Cadrain, Diane. ‘Drug testing falls out of employers favor,’ HR Magazine. 2006. Web.

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Landers, John. Employee Drug Testing Laws. Web.

Miner, John and Capps, Michael. How honesty testing works. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group. 1996.

Repa, Barbara. Your Rights in the Workplace. Berkeley: Nolo. 2007.

Wang, Shirley. ‘Job-Related Drug Tests Show Progress, Mostly,’ The Wall Street Journal.

Warden, James. Drug Testing: A Workforce in Dilemma. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 19). Mandatory Job Drug Test Should Be Allowed. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/mandatory-job-drug-test-should-be-allowed/

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