The nature of its products requires employees to follow all its safety procedures to the latter. Violation of these procedures could lead to loss of lives and the company’s property. According to the company, most industrial accidents in the United States result from employees with drug-related problems. As a result, it implemented a drug-testing program late in 1994. The aim of the program was to identify and take the necessary action against employees on drugs.
According to Chemico’s drug-testing policy, testing would be performed under the following conditions. Firstly, a new job candidate would be tested as part of pre-employment physical inspection. Secondly, testing would be carried out on any employee with abrupt, inexplicable, and persistent deterioration in job performance. Thirdly, testing would be performed on employees involved in an accident or found to have overstepped a publicized safety measure. Finally, periodic, random company-wide employee testing would be performed under the company’s physical inspection exercise.
Job applicants were informed about the drug-testing procedures through a written notice in the application form and verbally during the initial job interview. Employees were informed three months before the drug-testing requirement was implemented. Job applicants, who tested positive, were not considered for employment. Workers with positive test results were put on a six-week leave of absence before being retested, after which those, who tested positive, were fired. The drug-testing was carried out on urine samples using the Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) process. To ensure credibility, the samples were collected in the presence of either a lab technician or a nurse.
II. Cases against Chemico’s Drug-Testing Policy
Chemico’s Female employee case. The periodic, random testing procedure was mandatory for all employees within the organization. Their names were randomly selected using a computer, and testing performed under the company’s physical inspection exercise. According to the company, the random selection process is undoubtedly fair to all its employees. However, there are many arguments that come up from the process. The female employee complained that the process selects employees without any suspicion that they are drug users, and thus, may select those who are not users. Testing an employee without realistic suspicion that he or she is a drug user can do him or her psychological damage if the results turn out to be negative. Moreover, the random testing procedure may leave out those who are drug users. The process would be fair if all the workers would be tested at the same time as this would not subject any of them to psychological disturbance. Therefore, the random testing procedure is unethical.
The female employee also complained that the process of collecting urine samples in the presence of a witness was inappropriate. However, the process is subjected to all employees, and thus, it is ethical. Moreover, collecting urine samples in the presence of a witness is justified. Individuals on drugs might tamper with the urine samples if they would be allowed to collect them on their own.
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