It is common practice these days for employers to try and implement workplace drug testing
on their employees. The federal government encourages this indirectly, while many states give employers the right to do so. However, nothing is ever easy when it comes to workplace drug testing and there will always be employees who are bound to resist or make an issue about it.
For that matter, it is important for employers to obtain legal advice
before they launch a workplace drug testing program for their employees. In this way, they will be able to prevent hassles such as lawsuits from coming their way. That being said, it should be noted that this article is meant to be informative and in no way qualifies as legal advice.
As mentioned above, employees are likely to raise issues about drug testing in the workplace. Most of these issues are matters that employers seriously need to look at before implementing any drug testing program. Among these issues, the three most common ones involve privacy, humiliation, and notions of inaccuracies of drug tests.The Issue of Privacy
Most employees resist drug testing in the workplace because to them it is a form of invasion of privacy
. That is because the specimens used in drug testing can reveal more than just whether or not the employee has been taking drugs and illegal substances. It can show whether the subject of the test has been taking medication for an undisclosed illness, drinks alcohol on a regular basis, or is pregnant. Details of their lives outside the workplace are things that employees may not want their employers to know about.The Issue of Humiliation
A lot of employees do not like to be singled out for drug tests simply because they think it is humiliating. This especially applies when the sampling is random and if the subjects have not been suspected of drug abuse previously in the first place. Most people do care about hearing their workmates talk behind their backs about getting tested for drugs. Also, a lot of people recount how embarrassing it can be to produce a urine drug test
sample in a bathroom where there is no water and where there is laboratory personnel watching them undress and actually urinate in the cup.The Issue of Inaccuracy
Many employees also believe that some forms of drug testing are inaccurate and are prone to false positives
. They do not want to go through the testing because they do not wish to go through the stress and the embarrassment of being tested positive for drugs and the results turning out to be false positive. This can lower the morale of employees in general.Dealing with Obstacles to Workplace Drug Testing
Employers can implement their workplace drug testing programs
in whatever way they see fit, but they should be aware of how tricky this can get. As such, they should be careful in formulating such programs and to be open in communicating these matters with their employees. Lastly, they should obtain proper legal advice when they do so.