Disagree with drug testing in the workplace? Regardless of if you use or do not use drugs you may be against drug testing in the workplace. Individuals have the right to hide their private lives. The “right to be left alone” in the words of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis is “the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.” Why should workers be forced to prove their innocence even if they are not suspected of using illegal drugs, such as marijuana? The analysis of a person’s urine from a drug test can reveal much more information than simply if they use or do not use illegal drugs like marijuana. Private information, including whether an applicant is being treated for diabetes, depression, heart conditions, pregnancy, etc.may be revealed to employers from the results of their drug test. Drug tests violate a person’s right to their privacy and also submits them to a degrading test that is not entirely accurate.
Why are drug tests even important? If an employee performs their job in a satisfactory manner, does their potential use of drugs outside of the workplace really concern the employer. Urine tests can not determine when a drug was used; they simply detect the leftover traces or metabolites of the previously used drug substances. For instance, a worker may smoke marijuana on a Friday night, may test positive the following Tuesday, but the effects from this drug will likely not affect their job performance the following week. Drug tests do not measure job performance; they merely indicate whether an employee may have used drugs at some point in the past.
Drug testing is not even highly reliable at this point in time. Drug tests yield false positive at least 10% of the time and possibly up to 30% of the time. Unfortunately these unreliable tests are the ones used by many companies because they are cheaper. More accurate tests do exist, but they are more expensive and error can still occur. The tendency to confuse drugs that are of similar chemical compounds can lead to false positives in drug tests. For example, some drugs that may lead to false positive include: codeine for heroin, Nyquil for amphetamines, and Advil for marijuana. If drug tests that are widely used by companies are not truly reliable, then why should employees be subjected to such tests.
Even if a person has nothing to hide, drug tests in the workplace violate an inidividuals right to their privacy. False positives for the use of illegal drugs could potentially ruin someone’s career. Even if employees do use drugs, these drugs may not have a negative adverse affect on their performance while at work. What someone does in their private life does not need to be disclosed to the company that they work for. Employees have the right to their privacy and drug test in the workplace violate these rights and also infringe upon many other areas.