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NCJ Number: 119445 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Testing Programs by Public Employers: Suggested Guidelines
Corporate Author: American Bar Assoc
Section of Urban, State and Local Government Law
Cmtte on Individual Rights, Health, and Human Reso
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc
Chicago, IL 60611
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These suggested guidelines for use by public employers in establishing drug testing programs are accompanied by a discussion urging employers to pay close attention to potential legal issues so that they can have a safer and more productive work force while avoiding costly litigation.
Abstract: Drug testing policies may include pre-employment, for-cause, schedules, and random urine testing. In each case, the taking of a urine sample is likely to be treated by the courts as a search and seizure within the purview of the Fourth Amendment and thus must be reasonable. A series of recent judicial decisions suggests that establishing probable cause and securing a search warrant are not necessary in the case of drug testing. Instead, the testing must simply be reasonable, based on consideration of all the circumstances. Thus, the employer's need to conduct the urine test must be balanced against the employee's legitimate expectation of privacy in the act of urination. The risks of Fourth Amendment liability increase as the group of employees broadens. Due process issues are also important, because positive test results may affect an employee's reputation or job status. The recommended guidelines were prepared by a committee of the American Bar Association and cover the initiation of a program, Fourth Amendment limitations, and due process requirements. Notes and 31 references.
Main Term(s): Employee drug testing
Index Term(s): Employer-employee relations; Policy; Substance abuse in the workplace
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