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NCJ Number: 157382 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Testing in the Federal Workplace: An Instrumental and Symbolic Assessment
Author(s): F J Thompson; N M Riccucci; C Ban
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: State University of New York at Albany
Albany, NY 12203
Sale Source: State University of New York at Albany
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12203
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This assessment of drug testing in the Federal workplace focuses on both the instrumental and symbolic rationales for the program.
Abstract: Data for this exploratory study were obtained from an extensive literature review, including government documents, and 25 semistructured interviews with knowledgeable Federal officials. The assessment found little evidence to support the contentions that drug testing improves workplace efficiency, promotes public health, or reduces crime. Symbolically, Federal drug testing apparently cuts both ways. Supporters of the symbolic value of drug testing can argue that the values of constitutional democracy are enhanced through these programs, but detractors argue that drug testing undermines respect for individual rights. Supporters can further argue that communal values and administrative integrity are strengthened through employee drug testing, but the values of trust between employer and employee as well as employee morale may be undermined by drug testing. The authors advise that for strong proponents of individual or employee rights, universal and random drug testing is indefensible; however, for those more willing to balance these rights against values of workplace efficiency, public health, and law enforcement, drug testing becomes more credible. Still, any drug testing program should go to great lengths to reduce the risk of errors, provide treatment for those who test positive, derive from reasonable suspicion of particular individuals, target positions where drug abuse has a direct and immediate effect on job performance, and focus on positions where available evidence suggests that a large percentage of job applicants and employees take drugs. 4 tables, 21 notes, and 56 references
Main Term(s): Employee drug testing
Index Term(s): Drug prevention programs; Federal government; Substance abuse in the workplace
Note: DCC
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