·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


Do Mandatory Workplace Drug Tests Invade Our Privacy?

— June 15, 2021

Drug tests benefit both employers and employees in terms of safety and productivity. However, the rights and privacy of the employers shouldn’t be violated.

There is no doubt about drug tests being a sensitive issue. Although drug use might not pose any significant risk, its abuse can cause a lot of danger. Drug abuse can raise business risks to an unreasonably high level.

Many large- and small-scale businesses around the world lose millions of dollars to drug abuse each year. Most losses are due to injuries, property damage, employee inefficiency, and deaths on jobs in extreme cases. This significant loss makes most employers and business owners feel the need for drug tests of employees.

On the reverse side, drug tests raise questions about the invasion of privacy on employees. So, there are severe concerns about balancing safety, business goals, and the legal right to privacy of workers.

Pros of Mandatory Workplace Drug Test 

A mandatory workplace drug test might be one of the best ways to maintain sanity in a work environment. It is particularly essential among high-rated professionals like lawyers and life dealing professions like doctors.

If you want to know why avoiding drug use is essential, think about;

  • A midwife, nurse, or doctor working under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • A truck driver navigating highway under the influence of drugs and alcohol
  • A pilot flying plane under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • An office secretary preparing an official report under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • A construction worker building under the influence of drugs and alcohol

Making a deep consideration of the above scenario will help you to understand the need to keep workers free from the influence of alcohol. Other advantages of taking mandatory drug test include:

  • It helps to encourage responsibility and a healthy lifestyle among professionals and employees
  • It gives tips on the prevention of workers to cause harm to themselves and workers in a workplace
  • Mandatory workplace drug test enables employers to help workers on drug use
  • Drug tests also aid self-reporting because individuals suffering from drug abuse tend to be highly secretive and deceitful
  • Mandatory workplace drug tesst when done correctly can help to serve as a deterrent to individuals that might want to start or experiment with drug or alcohol
  • It mitigates drug abuse that might lead to ill health, thereby reducing the possibility of accidents and injuries related to working under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Cons of Mandatory Workplace Drug Test

Image credit Julie Oreo on Wunderstock (license).
Image credit Julie Oreo on Wunderstock (license).

Although the benefits of mandatory drug tests are juicy and attractive, they also have loads of limitations. Imagine having to undergo a drug test or lose your job? It is seemingly compulsive and can be detrimental to the mentality and mindset of workers.

Here are some cons of mandatory workplace drug tests:

  • The cost of running a mandatory drug test on all workers can be too much on the side of the employees
  • It can place employees under undue pressure in their workplace
  • It can damage the mindset and commitment of most workers by feeling compulsive and manipulated
  • The mandatory workplace drug test can escalate existing unhealthy bullying and hierarchy in the workplace
  • Lack of support or inadequate help for those suffering from drug use and abuse
  • Most drug tests, particularly mandatory ones in workplaces, often fail to take the mental health of the workers into consideration
  • People with positive drug test results are at the risk of stigmatization, firing without compensation, and other ineligibilities
  • It can pose a serious problem to marginalized or underclass citizens who won’t get enough support to quit their addiction
  • A lot of different factors like pop-smoking, roommate smoking, and over-the-counter drugs, which might not be taken into consideration
  • Employers might not consider the private life of workers in a positive drug test result


Evaluating both sides of the argument, it is difficult to say if it is right or wrong to carry out mandatory workplace drug tests. Employers have the right to maximize productivity and ensure the safety of their workers. Employees also have the right to their private life.

Nevertheless, it is safer to say an ethical drug test at the workplace is a safer way to go. It can be done without violation of workers’ private life and rights. Ethical drug tests at a workplace must take the factors below into consideration.

  • Confidentiality
  • Consent and prior information
  • Reasonable expectations
  • Protection, support, and defense for those with positive test results
  • Justification and a fair hearing for those with a positive test result
  • Full compliance to all federal laws and local laws that regulates drug tests

If you feel the need to detoxify your body to avoid a false-positive result, you can consider using natural cleansers like cranberry juice cleanse. Do you wish to know about natural body cleansers and how they work? Find out here.

Final Thought 

Mandatory drug tests at the workplace, when done in good light, have many advantages. It benefits both employers and employees in terms of safety and productivity. However, the rights and privacy of the employers shouldn’t be violated. Also, adequate support and protection for those with positive results should be in place.

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