Through the years the legal profession has had more and more influence on our society. Today it seems that people take less and less responsibility for their actions and would rather take their chances in court with a lawyer at their side. All businesses are so careful to avoid a law suit that employees are treated less and less like people. A few years ago if an employer would suspect an employee of using drugs they would offer assistance and hold their job until they were able to straighten out their lives. Today if someone is suspected of drug use all the employees may be subjected to drug tests so as not to single out the person with the problem.
This situation has occurred in the office that I work in. One of the supervisors, who happens to be incompetent, is a recovering alcoholic. Over the past eight years she has hired five other recovering alcoholics that are roughly her age. Three of the people are very diligent about their recovery. They are very cut and dry about their feelings towards drinking. You either are recovering or you have a problem. One of these individuals has been promoted to a lead worker position. She has taken it upon herself to confront another worker about her drinking habits on the weekends. This employee became so angry that she went to the union and complained. Once the talks between the management team and the union ended it was announced that all employees would need to submit to drug tests at the employer’s request. There is a very vague criterion that constitutes the reasons behind the request. Basically if they want you to take drug tests you need to do it. Refusal to take part in the drug tests is an assumption that you have been using or drinking.
Not only is it embarrassing to be asked to take drug tests, but all employees had to fill out a form that lists all prescription drugs that they are taking, so they can be ruled out in the toxicology screens. I feel this is a huge invasion of the individual’s privacy. This is the same as revealing everyone’s medical records to the employer. The drug tests have disrupted the relationships between employees and management. The union is trying to fight for the rights of the employees, but in the mean time we all need to report our prescription drugs and take the drug tests upon request.
If you have never had to have a drug test, you should know that you might have to in the future. Many jobs today are asking new employees to take a test, and you may not be able to get your new job unless you have done so. It is becoming more and more common, and you should be prepared to take one at any time when you are employed. Companies do this to protect themselves, and you can certainly understand why this may be. An employee on drugs are not only dangerous, they are a huge liability.
I have had to take one drug test in my life, and the procedure was pretty simple. Most drug tests are like the one I took. I had to give a urine sample, but I had to give it in the office. Too many people try to take other people’s urine in with them, and if you think they don’t know this trick, you will be sadly mistaken. I had to use the restroom with someone in there with me, though there was a small partition to save some dignity. I didn’t have anything to hide, but those who administer drug tests every day know that there are plenty of people who do.
If you are asked to take drug tests, don’t take it personally. If you do, they may think you have something to hide. It’s something that you should just expect when you start a new job, and you can expect random drug tests for the duration of your employment with some companies. This information should be included in your employee policy handbook that you get when you start your new job. The person who offers you a job should also let you know about drug tests and what you can expect.
Remember to let the person administering your drug tests if you are on any prescription medications. At times, these meds can show up as an illegal drug in your system, and if you tell them ahead of time, they may take this into consideration when testing. However, if this is the case, they will want to verify your information with your doctor. You can’t just walk into drug tests and claim to be on something you don’t take just to get away with a positive test. That simply won’t work. Know that taking drugs in going to limit your job prospects now and even more so in the future. Just say no.