This paper intends to make assertions against drug testing in the workplace especially where the activities of others could be disturbed. No worker wants that his private life is invaded and suspected. You do not want your life to be your boss’s business. Individual and civil rights are the ones that are most respected, giving every citizen the right to keep his life private and not scrutinized. However, with the advent of efficient technological tools, it is difficult for a worker to hide his off-duty activities from the scrutinizers.
Pre-employment testing (urinalysis testing) is conducted when a person applies for a job. While this standard procedure may deter habitual users and create an impression of the company being a “clean” workforce, it is a costly procedure (most often for the company), eliminates alcohol usage, which is the biggest problem, and can be discrediting to an applicant who legitimately does have a prescription regime.
Random drug testing occurs within the workplace after hiring. This type of drug testing proves to be unfair as it encourages cheating, may create contentious relationships with workers if non-reciprocal as well as fails to differentiate between casual usage and abuse. No worker on any position will want that he is being observed or that whatever he does while off-the-clock is counted as having an effect on his performance on-duty (Hansson and Palm).
Courts and judges have also been not very protective regarding privacy issues that arise in drug testing, nor have any laws or policies been designed regarding when to conduct drug testing and what to do after a person shows positive (European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction). Also, the process of drug testing itself is privacy-invasive since a person is required to give his urine sample in the presence of other persons. This makes the process uncomfortable and disrespectful for the employee.
Moreover, when a person shows positive on a drug test, he is not given any medical treatment but he is very likely to be fired. If this continues, then the society will have an increasing number of jobless drug addicts especially those who are not motivated to leave the addiction. This will result in deterioration of the society on the whole. If a person is competent enough to perform in fields where emergency situations occur like in hospitals, traffic, airport, and police, and he shows positive on drug test, then firing him off will result in big performance loss for the workplace or the company.
Firing off on drug testing means that a company judges and selects its employees based upon what they do in their private hours and not on their competencies. Another major disadvantage of workplace drug testing is that since employers like to conduct it so much because it gives them control and employees do not like to undergo testing since they regard it as privacy-invasive, this whole process makes the overall environment of the workplace stressful.
The employees become less responsive to the employer’s instructions and the latter becomes less popular. This is likely to bring bad name to the company as well since employees talk it out outside the company with their friends. In fields of emergency like in police, transportation, and hospitals, the less responsiveness of employees to instructions because of their irritation to privacy-invasion can result in great disasters. Hence, we see that workplace drug testing is not very fruitful with regard to employees’ performance and integrity.
When employees feel that they are not being trusted by the employers, they experience job dissatisfaction and undergo workplace stress. This results in reduced performance and affected productivity. Especially for employees whose work is not field related or those who work in emergency fields as described above, an affected employer-employee relationship weighs heavily on the reputation of the company and also on the lives of other people.