While many employers may fear that random drug and alcohol testing in the workplace will be seen as a violation of privacy by the employees, the opposite is true. Employees respect and feel safe in the environments of employers who provide adequate Human Resource management, such as equal pay, standard procedural reactions to workplace disagreements, accommodations for the disabled, and drug and alcohol testing.
In a report by Teresa Daniel, conflict between employees and employers are typically an emotional reaction which has escalated, not only into a lawsuit or claims report filed against the company, but also inclusion of specific employers and members of management as part of the legal complaint. Obviously, the relationship between management and lower staff needs to be dealt with in a professional and safe manner. According to Daniel, much of the original problem began as a result of employees feeling that they are receiving unequal, disrespectful or unsafe treatment. The question of safety, at the very least, can be addressed to some degree through proper and complete drug and alcohol testing procedures.
Furthermore, the issue of the “right to privacy” by employees may have more to do with confidentiality with regard to the reporting of test results, rather than limitations in drug testing itself. Societal restrictions and unreasonable public reaction are reasons to keep this information largely, if not entirely, confidential for the sake of the employee. However, the question of employment, job promotion or status change within the company can be valid reasons for random drug and alcohol testing and record keeping. Your business has a right to demand quality from its staff, both long-term and short-term.
The benefits of drug testing in the workplace can even be two-fold. In a study conducted by Osterloh and Becker, it was determined that fear of consequences when receiving tests not only prevents heavy or dangerous drug usage, but also strongly encourages workers to exercise more caution in general when administering their duties. The return to care and caution by the employees actually doubles the effect of safe environment building within the workplace.
The results are that drug and alcohol testing in the workplace not only contributes to the safety of your staff, but also helps to build positive employer-employee trust and long-term relationships. The resulting atmosphere of safety and security also encourages employees to exercise more caution when performing regular tasks.
CMM Technology offers both saliva and urine-based drug testing products and an assortment of high quality alcohol breathalysers. We offer training and information on implementing these devices and standardized legal procedures within your business.
1. Daniel, Teresa. “Tools for building a positive employee relations environment – Daniel – 2003 – Employment Relations Today – Wiley Online Library.” Wiley Online Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2010. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ert.10086/abstract.
2. “ScienceDirect – Journal of Applied Psychology : Perceived Fairness of Employee Drug Testing as a Predictor of Employee Attitudes and Job Performance.” ScienceDirect – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2010. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WY3-46VV9JR-B&_user=10&_coverDate=10%2F31%2F1991&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1553075893&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_vers.
3. “Chemical Dependency and Drug Testing in the Workplace.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2010. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1002403/pdf/westjmed00117-0044.pdf.