Drug testing has quickly became a vital part of Human Resource management when it comes to staffing, safety, theft, dependability and accident investigations. Currently many employers, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Sony, McDonalds, and countless other employers drug test or reserve the right to test in order to cover their legal obligation to customers and other employees. Like most processes that occur in the business environment employer drug testing has its share of pro’s and con’s. This paper is an attempt to illustrate the highlights concerning the pros and cons of employer drug testing.
Before 1990 drug testing by employers was not a common occurrence, in fact, drug screening ...view middle of the document...
According to the Department of Labor up to 20 percent of workers involved in fatal on the job accidents tested positive for illegal drugs and/or alcohol (Department of Labor, 2014). The 20 only represents the number of drug and alcohol users detected in fatal accidents, not those involved in non-life threating injuries, or those that use on a daily basis in the work place.
Drug use in the workplace has been related to profession and type of drug use, according to the article Drug Testing in the Workplace: The Challenge to Employment Relations and Employment Law -The Kenneth M. Piper Lecture, different occupations tend to each have a drug of choice, for instance, marijuana is used most frequently in the entertainment/recreation, construction, and durable goods manufacturing industries (Rothstein, 2013). However, recently news articles have portrayed several instances involving entertainers in the workplace using more powerful than marijuana, such as cocaine, methamphetamines, and prescription narcotics.
Pros of Employer Drug Testing
Corporations have a single purpose, which is to make a profit for its investors. The incorporation of drug testing has countless times protected those profits sought after by the many individuals that have a vested interest in the success of a business. In the following paragraphs the six categories of positive aspects of drug testing as defined by Rothstein will be examined.
When an employee is impaired from alcohol or drugs its only reasonable to assume their production will be less than what is expected from their sober state. Some studies using physiological, verbal, written, and physical testing have determined an employee under the influence of drugs only performs at fifty to seventy five percent of their sober potential. While other sources give us a break down of the cost of drug abuse in the labor market by attempting to place a dollar value on the cost to organizations by abusers. One such organization, The National Drug Intelligence Center gives us a breakdown of the billions lost by age and sex in their Labor Participation chart provided in the article The Economic Impact of Illicit Drug Use on American Society (Center, 2011). From the numbers suggested one can understand the reasons drug testing is a positive when it comes to the lack of production and losses in profit incurred by such lack of production.
Under history we touched on drug related workplace accidents, unfortunately an attempt to determine the number of drug related workplace accidents in the United States and the state of Oklahoma failed due to OSHA not breaking statistics down categorically into various causes.
The third category of pro drug testing is insurance, and its costs to organizations and society. As stated earlier investors invest to earn a profit, insurance is a means for investors to keep profits high by offsetting costs of medical, accident, and drug related reasons. Many...