button Vol. 5
No. 4
Spring 2000

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More on Workplace Romance -
Dating, Harassment, Court Rulings
and More!
line Allergies and Asthma in the Workplace
- Deserve Attention
line Drug Testing of Workers
Is Not Cost Effective Says ACLU
line New Concerns About Union Organizing and E-mail
line Some Employers Crack Down on Personal Online Time
line Briefs


Braun Consulting News
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button Drug Testing of Workers Is Not Cost Effective Says ACLU

According to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union workplace drug testing is actually not cost-effective for companies and may even be a drain on workplace productivity. The ACLU said the report is based on analysis of 10 years of research on the impact of drug use among workers and whether drug testing is an effective tool for identifying them.

The report cited a study of the federal government's drug testing program that estimated costs of $77,000 to find one drug user.

In its report, the ACLU challenges employers to reconsider drug testing and look to alternatives that are more cost-effective and do not raise the same privacy and fairness concerns.

The ACLU's solutions include:

  • Impairment testing of workers in safety-sensitive positions;
  • Wider use of employee assistance programs that can make appropriate referrals to substance abuse programs;
  • Supervisor training to identify, confront, and refer impaired workers to EAPs; and
  • More stringent reference checking before hiring.

The latest data from the federal government shows that drug testing at the workplace has increased from 44 percent of employers in 1994 to 49 percent in 1997.

According to the most recent SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index, the number of workers who test positive for drugs continues to decline. In 1997, only 5 percent of employee drug test results were positive, down from 18.1 percent 10 years earlier.

The ACLU report is available on the web at

New Concerns About Union Organizing and E-mail Next Page

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