Instructions: Discuss your views, opinions, and supporting arguments
on the issue of mandatory corporate drug testing. Support your comments with your experiences,
values and supporting arguments from readings and research. Post at least
three messages to your group discussion each week (from Tuesday to following Tuesday), and try to reply to other's
comments and questions. After you've discussed a range of viewpoints, compare,
contrast & evaluate views and arguments to establish a
common ground & understanding.
here to read about the different ways you can contribute to a group discussion.
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2 Threads / test prior to Hire vs. aftrer hire by Jeff Hodgdon
I think there are two distinct issues with drug testing that have been touched upon in these discussions, but not explicitly separated.
1) Drug testing as a condition of pre-hire. I am definitely in favor of this one. HOWEVER, there must be a second test for failures to mitigate the possibility of false positives
2) Random (or for cause) drug testing after hire. This one I am a little fuzzy on, as I have not experienced it. I am in favor of drug testing for documented performance issues with reasonable suspicion of drug use. I am not particularly in favor of random testing, except perhaps in some of the high safety jobs we've mentioned (pilots, etc.)
I have experienced manditory drug testing at my last job and I not only found it humiliating, I also found it to be degrading. It communicated to me a lack of trust from my managers.
I believe manditory drug testing to be against personal rights. Even though I do not do drugs and will never do them I believe it is not the corporation's business to know what I choose to do outside of work. If they test for that what rights will they feel inclined to infringe upon next? I do not need 'big brother' accusingly looking over my shoulder. We are all grown adults and are be able to make rational decisions without having to rely on the corporation to tell us what we can and cannot do outside of work.
I think every employer has the right to perform mandatory drug testing since our performance might be affected if we are on drugs. After all, the reason we get hired and paid is to get results and definitely being on drugs can affect your performance at work.
I can agree that what you do during your spare time is not the business of your employer, however, anything that affects your work negatively does matter. And as it happens drugs are usually not a one time thing but they will rather have serious long-term adverse effects on everything you do. Thus it is something that your employer should be aware of!! Especially with regards to jobs where you have a responsibility of other people.
For instance would you like to work on a construction site where the guy in charge of the explosives is doing cocain?
I do agree that if performance is being affected that something should be done. However, this is the case for anything that may be affecting performance. If someone is having family problems which are affecting performance perhaps he or she should have counseling. If someone is an alcoholic he or she should recieve help for that too. If someone has a performance problem it is the manager's job to get to the root of it and help that person out. This is my point: This takes place AFTER you learn that the person has a problem, NOT before as in the case of drug testing. Let's take the case of having family problems... say a manager for some unlucky reason has the misfortune of having had several employees with family problems that affected performance. Then with your line of reasoning shouldn't he be able to do a background check on you and your relationships?? Performance may be affected! He has the right! No he doesn't. Drug testing is not a manager's right. Rather, it infringes upon our own rights.
I understand your point, but let's say you start your own business after graduation: a restaurant.
You hire a cashier who will work for you full time, you are going to pay him x dollars. You know that x is not enough money for a person to live AND consume drugs. Wouldn't you be concerned about the posibbility that your cashier could be cocaine adict? If he is but you don't know, how long will you wait before you do something? What would you do if you find he's an adict? Fire him or help him? Don't you think that it would be better to help him before you loose money?
Why should I worry that someone I'm hiring is a cocaine addict? If he showed signs of that during an interview I would not hire him. I should also not like to have someone working for me that beat his wife or cheated on his taxes but I cant exactly do an FBI check on him. I believe that you should give your employees a certain ammount of dignity and respect and if they show signs of problems to find some way to help them if they want it. If they dont, let them go.
But what would you do? If you tested someone and found out they were on drugs what would you do? I'll tell you what most companies do. FIRE THEM. Even if they are not on drugs but for whatever reason decide not to take the test they are fired.
Are you telling me that this test is out of the goodness of your own heart? You would "help him before you loose money"? I'm not so sure...
I tried to make you think about a real situation because I feel that for many Americans being politically correct is very important, and it seems that many people say things that they don’t feel. I don’t even know you, but it seems that you really believe in what you say. Good for you.
In my case I had to take a drug test the last time I accepted a job. It wasn’t a problem for me, and when I asked my boss about the test I understood his reason: “The bank can’t take the risk of hiring people that will manage our customer’s money and that consume drugs”. Now, answering your question I wouldn’t hire a drug addict, but if I found that one of my employees consumes drugs and he/she wanted to stop I would give him all the help that I could. If he doesn’t change after a reasonable time I would fire him/her.
I would completely worry about someone I hired who had a cocaine addiction or an addiction to some other uncontrolled substance because of personal safety issues, especially in manufacturing work. Not only do people on some drugs act violent occasionally when they are high (or when they CAN'T get their stuff), but strong stimulants or depressants also affect physical response and judgment, which could affect safety of the user, those around him, and with certain products, the end user.
Furthermore,I believe that American companies CANNOT fire someone on the spot for failing one drug test - I may need to be corrected on this one. I know for alcohol problems, the employer has to offer counseling, etc, and cannot do anything specifically unless there are performance issues.
Companies CAN refuse to hire someone based on a negative drug test prior to hire.
i agree with james in that if drug testing is a corporation's right, where does it stop? is not alcohol a drug? alcohol certainly affects work productivity, but because it is legal, many choose to ignore it as a problem in the workplace. i have gone out with coworkers and bosses after work many times and gone to work the following morning with a hangover and was not productive, but because my coworkers and bosses were out the night before, it was implied that those actions were tolerable, even encouraged to a certain extent.
however, i also agree with others in this discussion that certain professions, professions in which an employee is responsible for another's life and/or well-being, should require drug testing.
Doug, you have some good points. The issue of abusing the drug testing system (there's irony) is very possible.
While I feel drug testing is a company's right, there ought to be more explicit controls on it's use in the workplace. Along with those controls, certain companies such as those mentioned should be required to test.
Side point: I believe companies can also test somehow for "active" alcoholics". At least I was told that at a drug test I took - something about residual levels of alcohol and some funky protein...
I agree that alcohol should perhaps be treated as a drug. The big difference is though that it is much easier to spot prolonged alcohol mis-use than perhaps mis-use of drugs. And at least most studies that I have seen(no personal experience) say that you get hooked on drugs much more easily than you get hooked on alcohol. One of the reasons is probably the hangover that you feel and do not want to experience too often.
In favor of corporate drug testing by Alexander Ehrnrooth
I believe that drug testing should be mandatory especially in certain professions. This is especially crucial in professions where your actions have implications on other peoples safety etc. for instance truck drivers and airline pilots.
I also believe that it should be mandatory for public servants like teachers.
I agree with Alexander's comments. In these jobs, I feel it is especially important to drug test. I also feel that it is within the right of any employer to require employees pass drug test as a condition of hire.
Random testing after hire is a little more difficult...
I also agree. Anyway, it would be interesting to know why people doesn't... Maybe you think that it's obvious, but remember that not all of us have the same cultural backrounds. For example, privacy here in the States seems to be more important than in South America.