Drug testing in companies has become a bigger issue than most realize. According to a survey taken in DesJardins and Duska article, nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies were planning to administer drug tests to employees and prospective employees by the end of 1987. Americans have been told that drug use in the workforce is common and that workers who use drugs will harm their businesses through increased accidents and absence, or through more faint effects of decreased efficiency and productivity. .
Before we break down drug testing in the workplace, we must make clear that workplace drug testing is different from drug testing in other settings. DesJardins and Duska state that, "we view the employer-employee relationship as essentially contractual." Meaning that unlike a relationship between siblings and their parents, this relationship is voluntary. In a relationship such as this, there are certain areas where the employee can keep private and the employer cannot touch. DesJardins and Duska say that, "the employee has a right to privacy.".
Now to say that drug use in the work place will harm a companies business through increased accidents and absence is a strong argument. However, DesJardins and Duska stated that not all jobs have a severe enough danger to validate an employer coming to know of an employees drug use. Certain guidelines should be followed such that these dangers should be "clear and present" according to DesJardins and Duska. Of course one could argue that all jobs in the long run or even short run can cause harm. But the jobs that have "clear and present" potential for harm would be such occupations in transportation and hospitals where the risk or harm is greater than that of a secretary. If even to say that those jobs should be drug tested, then DesJardins and Duska make the argument that not everyone should be tested. Some pilots and surgeons have been working for ten, fifteen, even twenty years with outstanding results in service.