Can They Really Ask For Your Urine?

Essay by GIgirlmel October 2004

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There is a great debate about whether or not companies should be allowed to test its employees for drugs. Individuals using the utilitarian form of ethics would likely feel that arbitrarily testing employees is a direct violation of an employee's right to privacy. Unless an employee is showing signs of drug and alcohol abuse, employers do not have the right to violate an employee's privacy. On the other hand, individuals that subscribe to the deontological form of ethics would argue that the safety of customers and other employees outweighs the rights of employees. This belief is more prevalent in business sectors that deal with potentially dangerous equipment that could result in the loss of life to a fellow employee or customer. I believe that companies should be allowed to test its employees for drugs before hiring them and if there is reasonable suspicion or cause during their employment.

Pre-employment drug tests are done before someone actually gets hired and is offered employment only after a negative drug test result.

This decreases the chance of hiring someone who is currently using or abusing drugs. Once they are hired, employees should be tested when there is reasonable suspicion or cause. This is when an employee shows obvious signs of being unfit for duty or have documented patterns of unsafe work behavior ("Drug Testing in the Workplace").

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution was designed to protect from unreasonable searches and seizures conducted by the federal government. It was intended to protect the personal privacy and dignity of every citizen. It is well settled by American courts that requiring an individual to provide a urine sample for the purpose of drug testing constitutes a search and seizure which implicates an individual's fourth amendment right. Depending upon the facts and circumstances...