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On-the-job drug testing a bust

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Sat., 1/1/00
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One detestable dividend of America's $50-billion-a- year "war on drugs" boondoggle is the surge in on-the-job drug testing. The Pentagon was the original trend setter, citing the need to protect national security. Then came bus drivers, heavy- machine operators, and others whose firms said tests were needed for safety reasons. Okay, fine, but now, more than 80% of U.S. corporations send employees on the humiliating trek down the hallway to pee in a cup for the boss. We're talking clerks, accountants, desk jockeys, and others where national security or safety issues aren't involved.

Surveys and studies have demonstrated that this massive intrusion into employee privacy has been ineffective in reducing drug use, has not reduced absenteeism, and has hurt productivity.

So why do companies continue such a failed policy? PR. CEOs privately concede that testing doesn't do any good and annoys workers, but that it makes stockholders think the company is doing something about drug use.



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Filed Under: Civil rights