The public policy issues of whether society should permit the business sector to test for the presence of illegal drug use by the employees is one in which seemingly convincing arguments can be advanced to support self-policing in this area as well as equally cogent arguments erected against the concept of empowering the corporate sector, to investigate the presumably enact sanctions against employee illegal drug usage.
In this paper the authors will attempt to explore the controversy from several different scholarly perspectives, analyzing the most important arguments both for and against permitting the corporate sector to engage in employee drug testing. In criticizing each argument we will attempt to explicate the salient public policy implications, business effects and unique ethical issues that will have profound ramifications upon the larger society. In addition, we will analyze the current legal status of this controversy, citing the applicable controlling cases at the Federal level. Finally, the authors will give their policy recommendations based upon their analysis of the discussion in this paper.
The authors believe it would be most advantageous to facilitate this discussion by first considering the arguments for permitting the corporate sector to engage in drug-testing employees for illegal substances, and then consider the arguments against permitting corporate drug-testing.