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Six Reasons Why Companies Don't Drug Test

Six Reasons Why Companies Don't Drug Test

May 19, 2008

Earlier this week, we presented six reasons why companies do drug testing in the workplace. Today, we offer an opposing viewpoint. We suggest that you read both articles, should you be considering a drug testing program.

Although there are very good reasons to incorporate drug testing in a drug abuse prevention program, there are also good reasons to not include drug testing. Here are six reasons why companies and organizations have decided not to implement a drug testing program:

1. To avoid morale problems: Drug testing can upset even those employees most opposed to illegal drug use. Unless handled fairly and with full explanations, drug testing can create resentment in the workforce.

2. To avoid union grievances or union organizing: Most unions actively oppose drug testing in the workplace. An attempt to implement drug testing may defeat or detract from other collective bargaining goals. In a non-union shop, it can provide union organizers with a major issue to be used against the employer.

3. To avoid an “overreaction”: Based on a thorough analysis, employers may conclude that the best response is no response, or that a prevention program without testing is sufficient.

4. To avoid additional expenses: Drug testing, if done correctly, is expensive. Rehabilitation is also. Some companies decide that a full, comprehensive drug abuse prevention program that includes drug testing is non-affordable.

5. To avoid legal claims: Some employers see the implementation of a drug testing program as an invitation to legal challenges, and avoid testing to avoid litigation. While it is agreed that an employer must be aware of the laws covering drug abuse, if drug testing is clearly needed, the bigger question is should an employer avoid it merely to minimize the risk of litigation?

To observe privacy interests of employees: An employer may feel that the legitimate individual rights and privacy interests of employees outweigh a company or societal interest in preventing drug abuse. If you are interested in reading more about drug testing in the workplace, we suggest you read an excellent article by Jonathan Cracknell.

In a final, follow-up article to be written sometime in the future, we will present to any employer considering drug testing, some options as to when to conduct such tests.

Information courtesy of Labor and Employment Law Blog


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