Employee Privacy to Drug Testing

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Drug testing is regulated almost exclusively by state law. As employees we do have a right to privacy. Employer’s drug testing programs adhere to the nature of the test for particular procedures which are used in the respect of employee’s rights. For many employees, drug testing can seem unnecessary, disruptive, and a violation of privacy.

Drug testing policies may differ per state, if there is a policy in place at all. An employee may expect drug testing to occur in some of the following circumstances: prior to an employment offer, random testing, reasonable suspicion, periodic, or post-accident testing when a job-related accident occurs. When you are hired by your employer; there should be a clear policy stating when, how, and if any drug testing will be administered upon your time of employment with that company.

Employees may show a violation of the right to privacy if they have reasonable expectation of privacy under the circumstances, as well as the employer’s testing that violated that expectation. An Employees’ rights are strongest if there has been no stated process prior to being hired, and the employer “attacks” under suspicion and conducts a drug test. (Privacy International) Even if the employee shows there is reasonable expectation of their right to privacy; drug testing is still lawful if the employer can demonstrate there is a legitimate business need for the drug testing. The drug testing policy for any employer should not go any further than necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate interests. (Workplace and employee relations law update - November 2004)

On the other hand, if a circumstance arises between employee and employer it may lead more toward the employer if the employee is under the influence in any job atmosphere closely related to safety or security of others. But, if any testing within the job atmosphere is out of that work related realm and administered without notice; the employee will most likely be the one if...
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