General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2193782

    “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel


    by kaptkos ·

    I work for a small private company (IT shop
    consists of myself, analyst/programmer and 1
    network administrator) in which all employees
    are subjected to “random” drug/alcohol testing.

    Well Weds was my birthday, and low and behold the
    day after I get “Randomly” selected. I came up
    positive on their B.S. strip for alcohol so they
    drove me to the clinic in which I blew into the
    machine and came up .000 (ZERO)

    I feel that this so called “Random” was B.S.

    If all persons of an organization were subjected
    to this “Random” tesing, why are there some here
    that tell me that they have NEVER been selected?

    It’s not like I’m in the military anymore, but
    this is getting to the point of harrassment
    because I’ve been “Randomly” selected 4 months in
    a row now.

    I need to get out of this place!!!


All Comments

  • Author
    • #3100108

      if you’re not an alcoholic

      by tink! ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      then yes, it definitely sounds a bit fishy. Random drug testing seems to have become a necessary “evil” but 4 months in a row, when there are people who have not been selected ever, it does make you wonder who’s doing the selecting?

      • #3100062

        maybe they noticed your TR logo

        by dr dij ·

        In reply to if you’re not an alcoholic

        while watching your PC via various remote control pgms or website loggers.

        and decided it was to ‘rock & roll’, and you know those all those rock & roll: guys, sex, drugs & .. 🙂

      • #3099882

        It’s an unnecessary evil

        by tracy_anne ·

        In reply to if you’re not an alcoholic

        It’s none of you employers business what you do in private, unless it affects your work. But then they can fire you for poor work.

        • #3099852


          by tink! ·

          In reply to It’s an unnecessary evil

          very true. I think we have unfortunately allowed employers to overstep their bounds. But now that it has been around for a while, there is probably too much evidence of how it has helped employers for the government to abolish these policies.

          We just need to be careful of what we allow in the future (like the making you quit smoking thing)

        • #3135154


          by jesc ·

          In reply to It’s an unnecessary evil

          We would all like to live in a world where there is no accountability if employees can drag themselves into work and do an “adaquate” job. The truth of the matter is that many of us work in environments where we deal with confidential information and expensive resources. While a person may feel that they have every right to do what they want there is the factor of trust and reliability. I do not want anyone on my staff that is using illegal drugs to have any access to confidential consumer information like social security numbers. The rights of our customers supercede the rights of employees to do what ever they want after hours. You want to do drugs, get an gambling habit, or whatever that is up to you. Just don’t ask me to trust you with confidential data.

          If you don’t like it get a job that does put other people at risk. Otherwise buck up and act responsibly.

    • #3100103

      Red Flag

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      Four months in a row, you’d have to say statistically thats not random – someone is out to get you.

      I don’t like the idea of random drug testing in the first place. If you want to fire someone do it because of the quality and quantity of their work.


      • #3100091

        Do you

        by dr dij ·

        In reply to Red Flag

        wear nose rings, have long hair, come in late, or talk about weekend raves at work? Are you slacking off?

        (or appear to be slacking for some reason? – people who come in late are often singled out for this, even if they stay late, as the people who see this don’t stay late to see they are working late). A study even shows that people who come in early get more raises than those who stay late.

        I’d say someone is out to get you.

        I had a room mate who was a raver tho they didn’t bother him at my place, he did his job. (and we’re pretty mellow here)

        And he was often too poor to buy drugs other than alcohol.

        • #3099920


          by noyoki ·

          In reply to Do you

          you don’t mention your age… Perhaps you are a young 20-something in the midst of older 40-50-somethings?

        • #3098807

          Well generalised!

          by siliconwombat ·

          In reply to Do you

          However those things you describe have no bearing on the quality of work someone can produce. I like drinking, I do quite a lot of it. I hjave been able in the past to go out till 2 am and then be at work at 5am. I wasnt sober however i was able to complete my work to the normal standard right through the hangover into cold hard sobriety. Im not proud of it. I dont do it anymore. But it was none of my employers business then and it wouldnt be now until my work was adversely affected.

          Hell in some jobs getting stoned may well help their productivity ie R&D(said in jest. I dont condone illegal drug use).

          Anyways soapbox done next time they ‘randomly’ select tell em to stick it

    • #3100092


      by jaqui ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      makes me glad I’m in Canada, where drug testing for anything other than Aircraft Controller or military / Police positions is illegal.

      • #3100090

        and in canada

        by dr dij ·

        In reply to this

        they grow fields of … 🙂

        • #3100066

          yup, even

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to and in canada

          though it is illegal to cultivate, buy or sell it.

          it’s not illegal to grow a plant and smoke the crop yourself.

        • #3100064

          grow rope

          by dr dij ·

          In reply to yup, even

          I thought it was legal to grow hemp for rope. And if a few of the other variety just happened to grow among the fields, who would know?

        • #3100000


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to grow rope

          license for the hemp for rope, seeds only from one source [ the government ] and they will inspect every single plant in the fields, if even one female plant [ the ones that will get you stoned ] is in it, they take the entire crop down and burn it, then and there.
          now you are out..
          1 grand per acre for licence
          about 500 per acre for seeds.

          no commercial hemp crop is under 160 acrea.

      • #3259681


        by highlander718 ·

        In reply to this

        they do alcohol&drug testing in the transporation/commuting business too in Canada. I worked for a bus service company, all of us (drivers or not) were sent to drug testing.

        • #3260077


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to &transportation

          I can understand why those who monitor or maintain nuclear reactors or drive busses or work with heavy machinery need to take drug tests. Its a safety thing, and the company owes it to its employees to ensure that their fellow employees don’t kill them because they are stoned(through negligence).

          I don’t drink much and I don’t do drugs. But I can’t really impact the safety of the rest of the business(or the safety of the customers/public). I’d prefer my soldiers and police officers not to be under the influence(on the job) either.

          It was common 20 years ago to have a drink or two at lunch. I don’t do that any more because it impacted productivity.


        • #3109220

          Yabbut…I disagree.

          by psifiscout ·

          In reply to Yabbut….

          The job you do is not all that important when it comes to drug testing, I don’t object to it because, while I drink occasionally, I do not use any illegal drugs. The effect is also less important that what using says about your character. If you are willing to violate a law against drug use, what other rules do you have no problem violating, are you stealing from the company? It is not so much a measure of how well you perform but a measure of character. As a supervisor, I would be willing to overlook the occasional hangover on the job if it did not impede performance, but hitting a positive for cocain or other illegal drugs forces me to question the honesty and trustworthyness of the employee who violates the drug law. As for the drink at lunch…a beer or two to wash down your steak or burger is not even worth mentioning, but falling asleep at ones desk after a night out pounding down a couple dozen screwdrivers is quite a different story.

    • #3100042

      I would discuss this with HR/Owner

      by faradhi ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      I am rather direct. I would approach it as if I did not object and express my concerns about getting randomly tested 4 months in a row. Also, I would ask for a copy of the policies and procedures for random drug testing. That way if you are being singled out you will give them pause before testing you the fifth time because you have the policy in hand. Even in “Right to Work” states where you can fire someone for looking funny, companies cannot violate their own policies.

      This is a problem with any random tests. There is always someone who is never tested and others who seem to be always tested. This is espcially true when the sample size is small. Most of the algorithums used are designed for large corporations. Most companies compenstate by writing in their policy that an employee that is selected a set number of times in a given period gets excluded.

      • #3100007

        Random may mean

        by dr dij ·

        In reply to I would discuss this with HR/Owner

        that whoever they are suspicious of gets tested. it may not be really random. they consider themselves covered because ‘random’ means anyone can get tested anytime. they just decide to test only certain people for some reason.

        • #3099961

          Your right. It could mean that.

          by faradhi ·

          In reply to Random may mean

          That is why I confront the situation head on and ask for policy and procedures concerning the random drug testing. That way by the end of the interaction I will know if they are gunning for me.

          I would ask “Do you think I am using drugs.” Just to see the reaction. Anything other then No, quickly, I would start to look for another job.

    • #3100002

      RE: Random testing

      by dugadugdug ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      Holy militant! Alcohol was found so they made you take a breathalizer at a clinic? I fail to see the point of that really. Was it to check that you weren’t impaired at that moment? What if a random test was given to people or yourself after lunch in which you were entertaining clients and had a beer or glass of wine with your meal? Have they fired anyone for not quitting smoking yet?

      • #3099814

        Yes a company in Michigan has.

        by wojnar ·

        In reply to RE: Random testing

        I don’t remember the details but employees were given a time period to quit (due to increasing healthcare premiums). The company paid for all kinds of counseling and stop smoking programs. After a period of around 1 year, anybody who still smoked was let go.

        At least the company tried to help everybody quit.

    • #3099977


      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      I once worked for a service center for printers
      and other electronic equipment that had 30
      employees. The corporate decided that random
      drug tests would be administered monthly.
      Managers were to select those to be tested.
      announcement of the policy was all anyone
      heard for five years, then a new manager was
      hired. I departed shortly thereafter and
      retired. I still had many contacts within this
      center, and heard about this later. All those
      employed were tested over three weeks. The
      result was the overturn of management, turns
      out they were into heroin, coke, meth and LSD.
      They blessed the alcoholics and fired the
      offenders and shortly thereafter sold their
      customer list and closed the doors.

    • #3099829

      Let me Guess…..

      by jkaras ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      your department has two people? Just kidding… no really how many people? Four times is really hard to believe. If you want to express concern demand the totals of each employees testing frequency. If they have multiple times to then it will show no harrassment.
      I have worked with people who drank on the job when in retail and have noticed certain people high. I have never seen anyone escorted to the clinic for a test unless there was suspicion of theft. I have never seen someone take a breatalizer. The only reaction I have is wow! Nothing like trust.

      I always fail to understand the benefit a company gets out of these rediculous policies other than increasing turnover to control payroll costs. The problem with that is no loyalty and incompetant workforce. I actually saw on 60 Minutes last month a company owner that bans smoking from employees, not just on his property, but period. If you fail a test and refuse to quit, you’re gone baby! When exactly does an employer own you? If you come into work and do a good job, then that is all that should matter. The president of the company is a recovered smoker who not only wants to avoid temptation, but claims it would reduce the medical coverage cost significantly. Hmmmm….. no people get sick regardless of smoking. You gotta love bs and self righteous egos.

      After the boss comes back from his power lunch I would suggest he be party to the test to show equality amongst the team.

      • #3098884

        I hate the no smoking thing as well

        by faradhi ·

        In reply to Let me Guess…..

        I do agree with drug testing. The risks to the company increase signaficantly when drugs are used by employees.

        However, In this case, it is very fishy.

        I did not see the episode so I can not comment on the story directly. The smoking thing has been started by medical insurance companies. They are offering employers large discounts if they implement a policy where they only hire nonsmokers. But take this with a grain of salt. My objectiveness is non existent. I hate insurance companies.

        • #3260104


          by jkaras ·

          In reply to I hate the no smoking thing as well

          I dont agree with those policies. Only because there is no benefit to the company in regards to safety unless operation of heavy equipment. An employer isnt the police, let the police clean up society. I dont choose to do business with a company due to any pr mantra, only over service and worth of dollar.

          Drugs are everywhere in every business whether its over the counter or the illegal stuff. Drug testing only serves one purpose to increase turnover, not for liability reasons. The insurance premiums dont fluctuate over the possibility of drug addicts, its package deals that are negotiated with major companies and kick backs.

          I too hate insurance companies. To me they are the only business that gets to break the laws to their contracts and get away with it on a frequent basis. The excuse is the massive loss of the job market since a majority of our workforce is directly related to that industry.

          The bottom line is this, if you want to screw up your life, that’s your business and your fault. If you do a poor job or cannot make it into work, it takes care of itself, not a silly test. It appears to have started on drug tests, now sobriety, soon regular cigarettes. When will it end? What if you got injured and are taking prescribed pain killers? Have to take the test and it shows up? At what point does the company decide you dont need them when the doctor says so? What about doctor client privledge? The amount of control a company has on it’s employers are superceeding any decent normalcy with silly excuses. I understand the whole if you dont like it find another job, but sooner than later all will be the same intrusive pr mantra. I wish companies were so concerned about the well being of their employees. I seem to notice many boards getting raises after forcing people into early retirement, bankrupcy, liquidation of pension, and mass layoffs. Yeah they really care.

        • #3259366

          Drugs increase instances of mental illness and violent behavior.

          by faradhi ·

          In reply to well

          Additionally, most of the theft in a company is internal. A drug user is far more likely to steal from their employer than a non drug user. Along with the loss of productivity when the ill effects of drugs continue into the work week.

          As for your argument about drug tests on increase turnover. I have faith that businesses can be counted on doing what is best for business. Turnover is very expensive. Companies do not look for ways to increase turnover.

          Finally, you do not need to prove why a drug is medically necessary. Only that it is medically necessary. Doctor patient confidentially can be maintained just by having the doctor right a letter that it is medically necessary without giving any specific medical details.

          I will not try and have not tried to make an arguement that companies care.

        • #3259211

          Yes and No….

          by jkaras ·

          In reply to Drugs increase instances of mental illness and violent behavior.

          Yes you are correct that most theft is done through internal employees vs. customers etc… However drug users are not stealing to get money for drugs. Most theft is due to a right of entitlement over disgruntled employees, not for a fix. They desire to “get back” at their employer for a certain transgretion/passed up for promotion. Some people due it to make ends meet. Blaming internal theft over drugs is a generalization. What theft is going to happen in a white collar job that will land the user a fix? Maybe in a blue collar retail position but we are not talking about those kind of jobs here.

          The loss of productivity is the result of poor management. A manager is paid to make sure his/her employees are productive and needs to take steps to curb poor performance. If a manager gets active on their employees, counciling them, monitoring their performance, training them, then the employee will either be better in their job or get fired. Plain and simple. If you cant come in to work on time, do the job, or have erratic behavior, hello pink slip!

          Yes employers use every tactic to increase turnover to reduce payroll. It is the easiest way to cut costs to increase profit.How do they get rid of the office fixture, the person who has been there for years with massive amounts of vacation time. You cannot inspire them to do a better job since they are topped out monitarily for their position? Documentation is how. It is a tool to increase turnover. Documentation is never positive, only negative. It is used to line their ducks up in a row. Yes it great to get rid of problem employees like you describe but it also is used to rid of expensive employees. They are looking after the businesses’ bottom line not the employee. They are not concerned about the employees health.

          Drug tests are the number one use to rid companies of workman’s comp cases by inferring the accident was due to other influences not just a mistake. I agree that the person shouldn’t use said drugs, but there is no proof that the accident was directly caused by it. My point is that the policy is in place to remove financial liability, not for a safer workplace.

          I am sure you would be quite suprised to know just how many employees engage in drug use/alcoholism. They can function quite well on a daily basis staying out of trouble and under any raydar. Trust me when I say you have plenty of people under some influence.

          Are all employers bad or out to get you? No not really but there is a fair amount that dont care about you or anybody. That’s sad, but that is reality.

        • #3257592

          Turnover is not a cost savings.

          by faradhi ·

          In reply to Yes and No….

          Turnover means you will be hiring another person to fill the position. Turnover is VERY expensive. Companies do not look for a way to increase turnover. The cost of recrutment and the hiring process far exceeds the cost to keep a senior employee.

          In most states the employer does not need a reason to fire an employee, unless you are unionized, as long as it is done within the companies policies. The 22 states with “Right to Work” laws actually state companies can fire and individual for any reason at any time even if it violates their own policies. In short, companies do not need drug testing. There are cheaper ways to find cause even if it is needed. There is plenty of subjective criteria that can be documented.

          Drug users are a risk. They have higher instances of non-drug crimes than the general population. They have higher instances of violence than the general population. They have higher instances of severe mental illness than the general population. They have higher instances of on the job accidents than the general population.

          I would not be surprised to know how many use drugs where I work. Statically it is a probably. I am not arguing the effectiveness of the policies in general. Most companies do not properly administer the policy. Like the company for which the person who started this thread works. I am stating that the policy is valid and effective if properly administered.

          You may disagree. That is fine. However, When I start my own company. I will implement drug testing for hire and random (truely random) testing after hire. Prospective employees will have the option to work at my company. If they object to the policy they shouldn’t apply.

    • #3099824

      How does your employer pick a ‘random’ person ?

      by wojnar ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      It is possible that you just happen to get picked since the sample is so small (just 3 employees in the department).

      I still maintain the employer should have to show cause before requesting a drug test. As much as I detest the use of controlled substances outside of a medical reason, the employer has no right to demand testing of employees who cannot physically cause harm due to their imparement.

      If the illegal products impair the employee, there should be a clear indication of use. If the employee is not impared in the workplace then no one is in danger and the employer should not be able to test the employee.

      I wish all illegal drug use could be eliminated but I don’t see why an employer couldn’t only test those employees who display symptoms of use. Oh yeah, then the manager has to actually PAY ATTENTION to the employees !

    • #3099816

      random unconstitutional

      by jodym1 ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      Random drug testing is considered unconstitutional in the Federal Prison system. They test when you begin work but not after that. In the State Prison’s in Colorado they drug test randomly and frequently. They have begun to fire those who get DUI’s as well. Yes, we’re owned by our employers.

      • #3099810

        And how much is this costing them…?

        by leee ·

        In reply to random unconstitutional

        Drug tests aren’t cheap – that’s why they’re usually only administered AFTER a person is offered a job, with employment “pending results.”

        If they’re such a small company, I’d think they were watching their bottom line very closely, and spend money on drug testing only when there was serious reason to believe it was needed. Being chosen so often over others does sound awful strange to me. To blow it all on one person makes it sound like they’re trying to catch you doing SOMEthing, figuring that if they test you enough they’ll get you one of those times.

        See how long before they start cutting corners elsewhere.

      • #3107450

        makes sense

        by dr dij ·

        In reply to random unconstitutional

        why should prison guards be allowed to break the law and keep their jobs? do you think they should keep them if they DUI? how about if they molest children or smuggle drugs to prisoners?

        some large% of prison guards are involved in smuggling contraband and drugs to prisoners. chances are it is the ones who test positive also.

    • #3098886

      I’d quit

      by garydw ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      and then sue them for infriging my right to privacy.

      I’d also insist they provide a written report as to why I singled out in this ‘random’ testing.

    • #3098883

      Slippery Slope

      by rss technologies ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      I would have to concur that you are being targeted at your workplace, not only because you were ?randomly? selected for testing the past four consecutive months but consider the fact you were tested the day following your birthday. This is no coincidence. You would be wise to heed the advice posted by ?faradhi?. Confront management and indicate your concerns (in a professional and none confrontational manner). Ask management to verbally explain their drug testing procedures, policies and the ?random? process. Get written copies of your company?s policies and review the contents, if you find discrepancies with your situation and the company policies bring them to the attention of management. You may want to contact your state Labor Bureau, explain your situation and determine if your company is operating within the current laws. Also, it may be wise for you to keep written documentation of all these events and any others you may deem pertinent.

      One thing I find disturbing, and it may be a violation of your companies policy, is that you state they tested your sample immediately using a ?strip?. Who tested it? Was the tester qualified or certified? Is that required? Is it legal? In any event, welcome to the new face of indentured servitude. Out of ignorance, apathy or fear we have allowed ourselves to venture down this slippery slope.

    • #3098874

      Depends on where you are

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      Heavy industry this sort of thing is necesary, in fact there they make no pretense of randomness. If you look a bit worse for wear your handing out samples of bodily fluids like there’s no tomorrow.

      In your place I’d be asking management what exactly the problem is, four times in row means ‘random’ is complete twaddle. Given you keep passing they are walking into a potential constructive dismissal claim. One thing you should do is make sure all the tests you have passed are documented, and your objection to being chosen randomly four times in a row is also.

    • #3098790

      Annual Randoms

      by antuck ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      I worked for a trucking company and every year I was selected for the “yearly random” I had mentioned something about it to the owner and was told that they use a formula and I just so happen to be picked every year. One year the DOT came in to audit and when they looked at the names on the random drug test mine always came up. They wrote a violation to the company for selecting one driver all the time. The company was told that even if they had this formula, the manager should have noticed only one employee was being selected.

      I did have an argument with this manager once and knew the reason for my yearly selection. I left the company but I did get a good laugh after I found out about the violation.

    • #3259782

      You need to get out of that place!!!

      by thx-1138 ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      Drug testing, random or not, is just plain wrong. There has never been drug testing at any place I’ve ever worked. I wouldn’t work at at company that does it. The kicker is that I don’t even drink or do drugs (and never) will but I still won’t work for a company that does drug testing.

      It is a sign that they hire from the bottom of the barrel and don’t trust their employees (or themselves to measure productivity or accidents). Distrust creates a culture of “us against them” thus increasing the problem. Bad management practices.

      It is much better to work for a company that you can *be a part of* and *belong to* instead.

    • #3259072

      Find a different employer–you’re being abused

      by cmb from omaha ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      For a job affecting public safety, I suppose drug testing is a necessary evil. But the nanosecond I got out of the military, I promised myself I would never be subjected to that intrusive, degrading, dehumanizing, and in my view, unconstitutional practice again. Now I’m reading about employers who are “cigarette-testing”. What’s next? Checking overweight workers for donut breath??? As for me, I don’t smoke, don’t “drug”, and rarely drink alcohol. But any employer wanting to test me for ANYTHING without probable cause will have to test my cold, dead body!

      • #3260035

        That’s what employer wants

        by dr dij ·

        In reply to Find a different employer–you’re being abused

        that’s what they’re trying to do by harassing him with these tests. either find traces or tick him off into quitting. someone has it out for him for some reason, possibly something as stupid as his looks: haircut, clothes, tattoo, tongue stud, attitude or other expression of individuality.

    • #3258482

      If you can’t quit,

      by jkameleon ·

      In reply to “Random” Drug Testing of IT Personel

      try to convince coworkers to collectively eat sunflower seeds every morning. You’ll ALL test positive. That should discourage further testing.

      • #3259247


        by dr dij ·

        In reply to If you can’t quit,

        I know if you eat poppy seeds, such as a poppy seed bagel or bread with it, you’ll test positive for opiates. Never heard about sunflowers. What do they make you test positive for?

        • #3108480

          Whoops, correction!

          by jkameleon ·

          In reply to Sunflowers?

          It’s pumpkin, not sunflower.

Viewing 15 reply threads