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Old 28-05-2011, 01:27
sir david sir david is offline
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pre-employment drug tests

Hello forum, I've been a regular reader of this website for quite a few years now, I recently signed up however never got the opportunity to get involved until now. I live in New York with my girlfriend, she is from Spain and I from London. She has just been offered a new job, and is due to start in a couple of weeks, however they have just informed her that she will be required to take a drug test.

Apart from the worry of failing the test (which will happen for certain without tampering), I am horrified and disgusted by this level of violation, that I'm pretty certain doesn't happen in Europe (correct me if I'm wrong)

I have spent the last 30 minutes reading up about it and it really seems like there are no rights to protect employees from this act of blatant Orwellian fascism.

I'd like to know what the general opinion in here is on this matter!

Is there a way to protect our privacy without being turned down by the employee?

Is there an entity somewhere where we can join in voicing our opinions to about this?

sir david added 4 Minutes and 15 Seconds later...

Originally Posted by sir david View Post
Is there a way to protect our privacy without being turned down by the employee?
..I mean "empoyer" not employee.. can't find the edit button!

Post Quality Evaluations:
good first post on a critical human rights issue

Last edited by sir david; 28-05-2011 at 01:27. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Old 28-05-2011, 01:51
Leonurus Leonurus is offline
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Re: pre-employment drug tests

My dog had to give up a job opportunity because of drug testing. He was unaware that this job would do a preemployment screening so he indulged in a variety of substances in the days before he went in for the job.

My dog believes that these tests are an invasion of one's privacy and causes one to incriminate themselves. However, it is big business like everything involved in the "War on Drugs." In America big business typically triumphs. Therefore, those who choose to alter their consciousness (like my dog) have less rights than their drug free counterparts. It may be wrong, but it doesn't look like this practice of drug testing will end in the foreseeable future.

An employee has no right to privacy in certain employment fields. For example, my dog had no idea that this business took government contracts and by law he had to take/pass a drug test. Other places it may be a policy to drug test potential employees. If that potential hire refuses there will be someone else to take that job who may be drug free especially during this current economic period.

The way I see it is: Stay clean while looking for employment or cheat the test somehow.

My dog wishes he would have been the alcoholic he was because that wouldn't have limited his employment opportunities.
Old 10-12-2011, 01:19
Mindless Mindless is offline
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Re: pre-employment drug tests

Originally Posted by Leonurus View Post
The way I see it is: Stay clean while looking for employment or cheat the test somehow.

My dog wishes he would have been the alcoholic he was because that wouldn't have limited his employment opportunities.
Drug testing fills me with horror as well, it is indeed like some dystopian Orwellian nightmare. It's another example of how both attitudes and policies exclude drug users from economic opportunity. Policies like this have a disproportionate effect on the poor, who are more likely to have trouble finding work. I fear this could lead to a growing underclass of unemployable drug users. I perceive a growing trend for pre-employment drug tests in the US, and would fear this happening in Europe and the UK. It probably will, given the increasing power of the employer and the relative weakness of the employee.

But we are not utterly powerless. I found this by Steve G of The Last Free Voice. The context is US law, but the comment at the end is applicable globally:

Ninth Circuit finds pre-employment drug testing unconstitutional

"Pre-employment drug testing has become commonplace. As a result, many job seekers are forced to undergo pre-employment drug testing for even the most mundane and poorly paid positions, such as service positions in grocery stores, convenience store, and the like. Yet, there can be no valid concern that an inebriated store clerk or bag boy poses a real danger to the public safety

However, increasingly, the appellate courts are determining that drug testing as a condition of employment violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, except under certain circumstances. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The most recent case involves a job seeker who was offered a job as a library page, but refused to submit to the pre-employment drug test and as a result of that refusal, the offer was withdrawn. The court in that case, Lanier v Woodburn (9th Circuit) found that the requirement violated the job seeker’s Fourth Amendment rights, since it cannot reasonably be argued that the position is safety sensitive, and noted:
Jobs are considered safety-sensitive if they involve work that may pose a great danger to the public, such as the operation of railway cars, Ry. Labor, 489 U.S. at 628-29; the armed interdiction of illegal drugs, Nat’l Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, 489 U.S. 656, 677-78 (1989); work in a nuclear power facility, IBEW, Local 1245 v. United States NRC, 966 F.2d 521, 525-26 (9th Cir. 1992); work involving matters of national security, AFGE Local 1533 v. Cheney, 944 F.2d 503, 506 (9th Cir. 1991); work involving the operation of natural gas and liquified natural gas pipelines, IBEW, Local 1245 v. Skinner, 913 F.2d 1454, 1461-63 (9th Cir. 1990); work in the aviation industry, Bluestein v. Skinner, 908 F.2d 451, 456 (9th Cir.1990); and work involving the operation of dangerous instrumentalities, such as trucks that weigh more than 26,000 pounds, that are used to transport hazardous materials, or that carry more than fourteen passengers at a time, Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters, 932 F.2d at 1295.
Other positions for which the court cited drug testing as reasonable included teachers, and similar positions wherein the employee would work with children in a capacity which would require they act in loco parentis. In general, the courts have determined that suspicionless drug testing can only be done in light of a special need, and not simply by virtue of drug abuse being a general societal problem, which is the reason given by most employers.

The tide of the court decisions regarding pre-employment drug testing appears to be turning toward protecting the applicant from an invasive search, except when the employer can show a special need for such testing.

While it is not yet generally accepted that pre-employment drug testing is, in and of itself, a violation of the right against unreasonable search and seizure, the courts are increasingly determining much of the pre-employment drug testing we see today to be unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, as with most challenges of a constitutional nature, the change will not take place overnight, but rather one case at a time, until either laws are passed against the practice, or until employers realize that a challenge to that practice would prove far too costly to render unnecessary drug testing practicable in the long run.

Hopefully there will soon be a more complete understanding that, minus the ability to demonstrate a legitimate need, pre-employment drug testing is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, and thus unconstitutional in most cases.

A libertarian, unless they are in a position where public safety is a concern, should always refuse to undergo pre-employment drug testing, even when they are not drug users and thus sure to pass. It is only when employers begin to realize that the most valuable potential employees are refusing to undergo such testing upon constitutional grounds, will they begin to rethink whether it is profitable to their bottom line to continue this ludicrous practice." (March 22 2008).
The last paragraph speaks loudest. So at least there's some hope, as long as such cases continue. But if we all agree to refuse tests where there are not legitimate or reasonable grounds, things might change a bit faster. Can this be done? Is it realistic to think that individuals who badly need a job would be willing to risk poverty? I don't know; but this is the only way forward that I can see.

Post Quality Evaluations:
Excellent, informative post. I did not know these legal precedents.
Surely this is a clarion call for civil disobedience. A remarkable post that instills hope for a more enlightened, and just future.

Last edited by Mindless; 26-01-2013 at 20:53. Reason: format
Old 17-07-2012, 22:44
Danielmorgan Danielmorgan is offline
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Re: pre-employment drug tests

Hello, New to the forum. I am a libertarian for the most part and am grappling with a job opportunity that has presented itself to me. It is with a big company. The pay and benefits are much better then I currently earn. I am a hard worker and have been an asset for every company that I have ever worked for. However, this company is going to test me for drugs. I am morally opposed to it and don't want to, however, I won't get the job if I do not. I am not in a great financial position to take a moral stand, but I can't help but feel my principles being rattled at the moment. It is extremely painful for me to deal with in my brain. My friends and family think I am crazy...but I do not know what to do.
Old 18-07-2012, 00:06
Jash2o2 Jash2o2 is offline
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Re: pre-employment drug tests

I am a Libertarian as well but I do feel sort of split here. On the one hand I feel that it is indeed a violation of our rights and serves to incriminate oneself. On the other hand I feel that to deny a corporation of the ability to use drug testing in order to determine if they wish to hire someone would be a violation of the free market system.

To me it seems reasonable for a company to deny employment based on drug testing results only IF such use would directly interfere with their ability to do the job. For example I wouldn't want a commercial airline pilot to be under the influence of any substance while flying a plane. There are obviously many companies that drug test where drug use would not interfere with their performance but when it comes to politics, that decision has to be made by the company for the sake of the free market system.
Old 18-07-2012, 11:56
monkeyspanker monkeyspanker is offline
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Re: pre-employment drug tests

sir david, welcome to DF! Congrat's on a most excellent first post, the USA is not the greatest place like it used to be. we have all kinds of crazy MoFo's in power, help me Jesus if Romney and the Mormons ascend to the White House

However, you and the girlfriend are living here now, it's a different set of rules now, I have done the following being born here:

1, get sober when looking for work

2, accept what you can not change as a true reality.

3, realize some of these measures are in place for very good reasons.

#2 is up for grabs, I don't think a change is coming anytime soon, there are some interesting threads here about the subject, I'll use the 'Should meth be legal' as an example. I use meth occasionally but, not at work. Not to chastise my fellow friends who use at work but, you really aren't firing on all cylinders, tho you may think you are as mentioned in #3.

I used mushrooms one night at work as a waiter in a very nice restaurant and had the best time with my customers, they loved me, and I loved them, I made a huge amount of money, much more than I would have on a regular shift. I also knew I was not in my right mind to be capable of doing my best work and may have been able to injure myself in the process (don't do flambe' at tableside on 'shrooms ).

sir david, I hope the GF gets the job!

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