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Drug Testing in the Workplace

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The drug testing laws for employments have an effect on just about everyone, the employers, the employees, and those who are applying for a position with the particular company. It is important that people, especially those who are applying for a position, know and understand their rights when it comes to the drug testing laws. It is quite normal for employers to make applicants take a drug test before allowing them to take on the position. People often wonder whether or not it is legal and if once they get the job, their employer would legally be able to ask them to take a drug test at any given time.

There are many legal issues that surround drug testing. For starters, people will often complain about the lack of privacy since they are being asked to take such a test. When applicants are turned down for a position for failing a drug test, there is always the possibility that they will argue that there was a lack of their own constitutional rights and claim that the drug testing was unlawful. Along with the surrounding legal issues, the drug testing also costs employers tons of money. What makes it even worse is that smaller businesses can often suffer, especially if a customer or co-worker is injured or hurt due to another employee that was currently on drugs or drinking alcohol. In this instance, the employer may be held accountable, as the question would generally be why the employer did not bother to give their employees drug tests.

Drug testing in the workplace started several decades ago, back in 1986 when Reagan was still the President of the United States. The drug testing was ordered as a way of prohibiting employees from being able to use illegal drugs, whether they were currently at work or not. Two years after drug testing first started, the Congress followed up with the Drug-Free Workplace Act, in which guidelines were created and then applied to employers and employees. Back in 1988, this type of law only applied to the federal employees but ever since then, there have been a lot of different governments that have taken their own stance against drugs and have created laws that are very similar. Within most states, drug testing is allowed but it is not necessarily mandated. It is usually mandatory for jobs in which people would be working in a medical or health environment, along with operating heavy machinery, as well as handling and preparing food.

For some employers, the only way to officially perform a drug test is to actually offer the individual employment first. There are also certain set rules when it comes to drug testing and the privacy of the individuals who are applying for a particular job with a company.

Drug Testing in the Workplace by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes