Drug Screening Option
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Drug Screening Opinion
A number of organizations have established a drug free workplace policy to control drug abuse in the workplace. Some employers only test as a pre-employment screening method and others adopt a random testing policy. Drug testing is done after an accident in some workplaces. An organizations substance abuse policy should reflect the states laws and be carefully written to be understood by employees and supervisors.
Ethical issues related to drug testing include the employer requiring employees to disclose all medications he or she is taking. Does the employee need to disclose medical information to the employer? Does this employees medical or mental diagnosis and the medication he or she is taking become an open book? This is where legal issues become apparent.
In a case in California, the court ruled that an employers requirement of disclosure of prescription drug use as a part of a medical exam for applicants and promotion candidates was illegal. The court said the policy violated the American with Disabilities Act and the individuals right to privacy under California constitution (Buddy, 2006).
I agree with the California judge and constitution. I think that an employee can provide his or her prescribed medications to the medical facility leaving the employee out of the loop. As long as the medication is assisting the employee to function on a daily basis and do his or her job effectively the employer does not need to know what medications the employee is taking. I have a friend that is a diabetic and she has not disclosed this information to her employer because she does not want her personal business exposed. She should have a right to privacy in the workplace.
Some types of drug testing include urine, hair, oral fluids, and sweat patches. Of course there are pros and cons to each type of testing. However, the question is which tests are appropriate in the workplace and who should be tested for what reasons? Urine testing is the highest reliable results and the least expensive type of testing. However, the specimen can be adulterated or diluted and is a biological hazard for specimen handling and shipping to the lab (Accu-Chem, 2006).
Hair testing has a greater window of diction, is easy to ship to the lab, and is more difficult to adulterate than urine. However, this type of testing is expensive and will not detect drug use as current as 1 to 7 days prior to testing. Oral fluids testing reflect recent drug use and have minimal risk of tampering. However, this type of testing is less efficient than other testing methods in detecting marijuana. Sweat patches are unable to substitute and has a longer window of diction than urine. However, a limited number of labs are able to process the results and people with excessive hair or skin eruptions are unable to wear patches (Accu-Chem, 2006).
Personally, I think the urine test is most suitable for testing in the workplace. I think that hair, oral fluids, and sweat patch testing are much to violating to a person. These types of testing seem to be more so for the court or prison systems use. I can understand why some employers drug test. Drug testing is understandable when an employee