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Drug and alcohol testing of employees and privacy rights

Term Paper 2003 12 Pages

Business economics - Law

Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter I. INTRODUCTION
Purpose and Importance of the study
Statement of the problem
Alternatives and Criteria
Limitations

Chapter II. THEORETICAL OR PRACTICAL FOUNDATION
Introduction
Theoretical or practical basis
Chapter III. RESOLUTION PROCESS
Introduction
Data
Location of the data

Chapter IV. ANALYSIS
Introduction
Analysis of the alternatives

Chapter V. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

Chapter VI. REFERENCES

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION

Purpose and Importance of the study

Employee privacy is increasingly becoming an issue for employers, unions, employees and lawyers. Employer requirements to conduct tests and acquire additional information from employees, such as drug and alcohol use and testing has become a privacy concern. While increasingly employers have to ensure that their employees are fit for duty, the use of drug and alcohol testing is still controversial. With respect to drug and alcohol testing, some states prohibit such tests but state law varies dramatically.

Statement of the problem

A study shows that America’s drug problem is big. America, with 5% of the entire world’s population buys and consumes fully 60% of the entire world’s supply of illegal drugs and 77% of all illegal drug users are employed. Ostensibly, prospective employers and employees want the same thing: to match the best person with the most fitting job. Many employers are quick to welcome outside evaluations of an individual’s mental and physical fitness and integrity, and to believe in their results – often at the risk of sacrificing individual privacy rights. The issue here is, should employers require their employees to be alcohol and drug tested and how does it affect privacy rights. In general, under human rights law, drug and alcohol testing are only allowed in certain circumstances. It is discriminatory to test potential or existing employees for drug and alcohol use if there is not a valid reason to test.

Alternatives and Criteria

The alternatives employers have are either drug test job applicants and existing employees or do not drug test them. There are pros and cons regarding alcohol and drug testing that need to be considered before deciding which alternative to chose. Criteria that is used in this research paper are basically violation of privacy rights and security and safety concerns.

Limitations

Drug and alcohol testing laws vary tremendously and are changing rapidly. A number of state courts have set out rulings defining when and why drug tests may be given. Considering all states and their particular laws regarding this issue can’t be undertaken in this research paper. Therefore, the considerations are of general character and are not distinguished between different states. Another limitation of this research paper is that it concentrates on drug testing, even though alcohol remains the number one drug of abuse in America and it hurts more employees and their families than all other drugs combined. The reason for this limitation is the limited size of the paper and the fact that drug use is still illegal in comparison to alcohol.

CHAPTER II. Theoretical or Practical Foundation

Introduction

The right to privacy is the right to be left alone. It is highly valued in the U.S. society that employees have privacy rights at work, subject to some limitations. The U.S. and state constitutions give employees a right to privacy, but it doesn’t apply in the employee’s relationship with his employer unless the employee is a public employee. Therefore, private-sector employees are generally unable to rely on the constitution for privacy rights at work. Public employees` constitutional right to privacy at work will be balanced against their employer’s need to supervise and maintain an efficient workplace. Work-related drug tests take a number of forms. Analyzing urine samples is the method most commonly used, but there are also other methods like blood, hair and breath tests. Typically, state laws set out the testing methods that must be used.

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Details

Pages
12
Year
2003
ISBN (eBook)
9783638241557
ISBN (Book)
9783638747318
File size
476 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v20213
Institution / College
Hawai'i Pacific University
Grade
1.0 (A)
Tags
Drug MBA-Program

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Title: Drug and alcohol testing of employees and privacy rights