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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 113330 Find in a Library
Title: Employee Drug Testing: Issues for Public Employers and Labor Organizations
Journal: Journal of Collective Negotiations  Volume:16  Issue:4  Dated:(1987)  Pages:295-309
Author(s): W A Nowlin
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 15
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the accuracy of drug tests and the legality of drug testing of public employees, providing recommendations for public employers and labor organizations to consider in assessing drug-testing programs.
Abstract: EMIT is the most commonly used drug-screening test, but its error rates are high, rendering it unsuitable for testing when adverse personnel decisions are contemplated. Accurate tests are more expensive than EMIT, but should be required before an adverse decision is made against an employee based on the EMIT test. Under the U.S. Constitution, public employees are protected from unreasonable government intrusions. This includes protection from unreasonable searches and guarantees of due process and privacy. Drug tests must also avoid self-incrimination. Relevant court decisions suggest that employers must ensure employees' rights under any drug-testing regime unless there is a compelling state interest. Testing should be done only for cause, and a reliable laboratory should conduct the testing. Drug testing can be included in the pre-employment physical. Confidentiality is most important, and treatment rather than discipline is less likely to lead to litigation. 44 references.
Main Term(s): Employee drug testing
Index Term(s): Labor relations; Right of privacy; Right to Due Process; Search and seizure laws
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