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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 155861 Find in a Library
Title: Random Drug Testing in the Public Sector: The Legal Parameters
Journal: Employee Relations Law Journal  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:(Winter 1991-92)  Pages:459-471
Author(s): M A Zigarelli
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 13
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In considering the implementation of a drug screening program, many public sector employees may encounter complex legal questions regarding the decision to test and uncertainty about appropriate components of an effective drug testing plan; a survey of applicable case law suggests that this confusion is warranted.
Abstract: Several drug testing programs have been subjected to scrutiny under various constitutional amendments, and a recent circuit court ruling (Bluestein v. Skinner) demonstrates consistency in appellate-level treatment of random drug testing programs. Programs addressing a compelling government need to test safety-sensitive personnel should withstand constitutional challenges, provided that such programs ensure the integrity and reasonableness of collection, chain of custody, and analysis procedures. Public sector employers, however, must carefully consider the scope, method, and motive of any drug testing program before implementation. Case law suggests that, absent assurances of government need, procedural integrity, test accuracy, prosecutorial bans, and a nexus between employee duties and feared repercussions of a drug-related mishap, all drug testing programs may not be constitutional. The government's need to safeguard public health and welfare is discussed in the context of individual liberties and privacy considerations. 36 footnotes
Main Term(s): Employee drug testing
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Drug Policy; Drug regulation; Drug testing; Policy analysis; Right of privacy; Substance abuse in the workplace
Note: DCC
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