A discussion about the legality of drug testing in the workplace

These relaxed attitudes toward marijuana use come at a time when the drug is more potent than ever. Saux, Chef du service de l'inspection mdicale du travail et de la main-d'oeuvre, Ministre du travail, de.

Finally, in a pair of cases decided inSkinner v. Geers, a professor at Limburg University Social Law who had been engaged to advise the works council at the subsidiary, noted that the problem was not with the policy of banning alcohol in the workplace, but with the manner in which the company wanted to enforce its rules.

Employers not covered by these federal laws still need to provide employees with a safe workplace and do not need to compromise safety or productivity standards because of state marijuana laws.

In the Netherlands, however, as in Great Britain, pre -employment medical tests that contain lifestyle questions about alcohol and drugs are common. Given the national policy against drug use, employees to date have had little success in claiming that discharges based on positive drug tests violate public policy, but one court did indicate that a firing in contravention of a state statute regulating workplace drug testing would be against public policy Johnson v.

There must be an attempt to develop a greater appreciation of the unique approaches by which different societies respond to the issue of drug and alcohol testing. Following is a discussion of what employers need to know about the legal minefield of marijuana testing in the workplace, such as conducting preemployment screening, complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act ADAand enforcing workplace policies.

Confidentiality The other aspect of pre-employment testing relates to confidentiality. In this regard, courts have used the fairness doctrine to ensure that persons subject to a drug treatment programme are treated properly. Legal Constraints Any program of workplace drug testing must operate within legal constraints—not all testing programs are legally permissible.

Factors to Be Considered In striking the balance mandated by Skinner and Von Raab, there appears to be an emerging consensus among federal courts reviewing drug testing by public employers about what makes a governmentally mandated program reasonable within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

In the Netherlands, workers can use the courts to complain of infringements of privacy.

Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace: moral, ethical and legal issues

Department of Justice employees challenging that agency's drug-testing program, the D. A survey from the National Institutes of Health found that past-year use more than doubled between andfrom 4.

But drug and alcohol-testing issues are dealt with indirectly via several statutes. The federal government's stance also makes an impact. Drug testing services report more positive tests for marijuana, both in pre-employment drug screens and drug tests conducted for other reasons.

While some studies suggest that marijuana use may be reasonably safe in some controlled environments, its association with workplace accidents and injuries raises concern. The same informant expressed the view that testing was a reasonable policy option, particularly in sectors where the work entailed a risk component, especially to third parties, although the organization had "not as yet elaborated a formal policy".

Despite the safety and productivity risks associated with marijuana use, however, the drug is increasingly seen as socially acceptable and its dangers may be marginalized. Pursuant to the bona fide occupation requirement of the legislation, the Canadian Human Rights Commission drug-testing policy stipulates that testing must be based on the employer's ability to demonstrate objectively that a "positive" result to the drug being screened indicates a decreased ability to perform the job safely, efficiently and reliably, that the assessment is individualized and that employees found "positive" must be reasonably Accommodated by such measures as rehabilitation or by employee assistance programmes, or be provided benefits similar to those of employees with other types of disabilities [ 15 ]pp.

Court of Appeals, in evaluating the U. At the same time, the lack of a job-related nexus does not necessarily mean that a drug-testing program is ethically wrong. Fearing that a patchwork of restrictive laws would deter employers, especially multistate employers, proponents of drug testing have sought to create national standards for drug testing through federal laws that preempt state and local legislation.

Drug testing done by a government agency or by a private business in compliance with a government mandate will face legal constraints that will not bind a private firm that chooses to test for drugs at its own initiative.

However, workers should be aware that marijuana laws do not diminish the need for a safe, productive workplace, and that employers can expect all employees to work to the standards required for the job.

The dissenters argued that the approach that led the Court to accept postaccident drug testing in this case would likely lead to a broad acceptance of drug testing in many contexts.Further, because safety incentive and drug-testing programs have been established by employers for purposes of improving health and safety, discovering the causes of accidents, and discouraging drug use in the workplace, it will be very difficult for OSHA to prove the final element of its case.

A discussion about the legality of drug testing in the workplace

The drug testing policy should specify the type of drug testing used, the frequency of the drug testing, and the names of the substances for which the employee will be tested. The drug testing policy should provide fair and consistent methods for employee selection for drug testing.

discussion was limited to the specific facts of that case, the procedural protections that are drug testing of employees in “safety-sensitive” performance in the workplace. possibility that death or serious physical harm could result from the accident. A person using marijuana where it is legal won’t face criminal charges if the drug is used in compliance with state statutes, but its use can still have consequences in the workplace.

in the area of drug testing, of limited effectiveness as an indicator of impairment. Drug and alcohol testing are of particular concern in the workplace, notably for those Ontario employers that have safety sensitive operations, and/or that are Policy on drug and alcohol testing.

the. rights. the. ]. B The Legal Environment of Drug Testing This appendix is based on a paper commissioned by the Committee on Drug Use in the Workplace from David Wasserman of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Maryland, and James Jacobs of the School of Law, New York University.

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A discussion about the legality of drug testing in the workplace
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