Date of Award

5-1989

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name

M.P.H.

Department

Public Administration

Abstract

The primary goal of this degree paper is to critically examine arguments advanced by both the proponents and opponents of mandatory drug testing in the workplace. This study is very significant because it not only addresses a very important issue in the U. S. government and private employer's attempt to solve the drug abuse problem in the workplace, but also helps to highlight the importance of the United States Constitution which protects people from prosecution until they are proven guilty. The U. s. Constitution guarantees the right to "due process" and protects people from illegal search and seizure. Proponents of mandatory drug testing in the workplace argue that the practice helps them to identify and eliminate drug users from the workplace. Above all, mandatory drug testing helps the employer to safe guard and protect the work force which is generally jeopardized by drug users. They assert that no one employee has the right to endanger the lives of other employees. On the other hand, opponents of mandatory drug testing argue that subjecting employees and job applicants to a urinalysis test violates their right to privacy.They claim that the U. s. Constitution protects Americans from illegal search (e.g., urinalysis) and seizure. It is, therefore, not constitutional for employers to keep subjecting their employees to a mandatory drug test. The study revealed that mandatory drug testing has been upheld by various judges in cases where there were "reasonable suspicion" or probable cause to believe that an employee was abusing drugs. Random testing of employees as part of the requirement of an annual examination, as a condition for continued employment and without probable cause, has been declared by most judges as unconstitutional. The study utilized a descriptive approach in its analysis. Information in the study was gathered through interviews, library research (secondary sources) of government documents, reports, books, journals and studies conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Management Association.

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