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"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!!!

Keith

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RE: Random testing

by DugaDugDug In reply to "Random" Drug Testing of ...

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?

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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.

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RANDOM???

by mjd420nova In reply to "Random" Drug Testing of ...

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.

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Let me Guess.....

by jkaras In reply to "Random" Drug Testing of ...

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.

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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.

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well

by jkaras In reply to I hate the no smoking thi ...

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.

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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.

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Yes and No....

by jkaras In reply to Drugs increase instances ...

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.

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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.

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How does your employer pick a 'random' person ?

by wojnar In reply to "Random" Drug Testing of ...

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 !

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