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Thread: Random Drug Testing

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    Random Drug Testing

    Advice please. Our Company has sent out an email stating they will begin random drug testing to all staff - office and workshops. They say if an employee refuses they may face disciplinary action.

    The notice includes this section "Employee to be escorted to the toilet and witnessed urinating into the test cup. (Ensure that the urine sample is that of the employee and that it is not being tampered with). Some of the females especially are complaining about this.

    Any advice?

    regards
    James

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    Im not sure of what the regulations are about, but I do know that if I worked for a large corporation and they asked employees to have a drug test - I would not have a problem to do this. Almost all of the people that do have problems with this are people that might be on some drug.

    If you are clean - no problem
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    Thank you for the response. I have never taken illegal drugs in my life but I do have a problem with my right to privacy. More so this section "Employee to be escorted to the toilet and witnessed urinating into the test cup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Reid View Post
    Advice please. Our Company has sent out an email stating they will begin random drug testing to all staff - office and workshops. They say if an employee refuses they may face disciplinary action.

    The notice includes this section "Employee to be escorted to the toilet and witnessed urinating into the test cup. (Ensure that the urine sample is that of the employee and that it is not being tampered with). Some of the females especially are complaining about this.

    Any advice?

    regards
    James
    The legal guys may want to give you more detail to this, as far as i know it is a good time to get a union involved. I know when i signed my 3 month contract that i had to agree to random drug tests being done. I would start there... Now if i where you i would spend the money and go to a lawyer with a print out of that e-mail. She/he can help you... Also find out what the company policy is and how long it has been around.

    now according to the

    Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998)
    Chapter II : Prohibition of Unfair Discrimination
    7. Medical testing

    (1) Medical testing of an employee is prohibited, unless—

    (a) legislation permits or requires the testing; or
    (b) it is justifiable in the light of medical facts, employment conditions, social policy, the fair distribution of employee benefits or the inherent requirements of a job.


    (2) Testing of an employee to determine that employee's HIV status is prohibited unless such testing is determined to be justifiable by the Labour Court in terms of section 50(4) of this Act.
    peace is a state of mind
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    it is a good time to get a union involved.
    Why the heck would you do that ? ?
    That just causes more problems and bitterness.


    You must remember it is hard enough for companies to survive in todays climate. We need less of the unions and more actual work !!!
    If one of my employees wanted to get the union involved for something like this - it would tell me a whole story and I would know
    exactly where I am headed with that employee in the long run !
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    It may be the said company is having a problem with personnel taking drugs. If the company targets the specific individual, then the company is taken to court for victimizing.
    The only other manner to deal with this kind of situation, is to test every one in order to clean up the house.

    You may not even know a fellow employee is taking drugs, and in so doing is endangering the lives of fellow employees. Recently I had a spate of pilfering, then small robberies at the office, it then escalated to a larger theft, and damage to equipment. Upon investigation, one of other departments employees was identified and confessed, the reason for the theft then came down to financing his addiction to tick.

    Having another employee accompany the cup is to ensure that there is uniformity through out the test process. If only some members are requested to be accompanied, then the victimization is an issue.

    It may seem that the company is infringing on your rights, but it is probably trying to protect your from a worse experience at a latter stage.
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    Yep .... too many people get on the defensive and don't want to be tested or run to the union as tec said above, but they forget that they are at work, they are there to do a job, their bosses can see that there is a problem and as Just said the company cannot victimise one employee. So good for the company and Im sorry for them if the person taking drugs has cocked up their work somewhere along the line and possibly caused damage. I would go as far as to say give the person ONE chance only to clean up their act and then if they don't - fire them !
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    To be clear i am 100% behind drug testing, when i work contracts i insisted to be tested first, secondly i am 100% behind alcohol testing when you enter and when you exit the work place. Thirdly i am 100% behind any company that wants to clean house.

    That said the company is expected to do so lawfully and if they don't then that WILL open a door for unions, lawyers and other relevant parties.

    That said my friend "union rep" when he saw the above post he just said "typical" and said any company and business that doesn't welcome unions may have something to hide? Goes to show it cut's both ways.

    ***edit***

    I know a few unions started a progressive program to investigate businesses/companies "lack of union reps" See it is a employee's right to have representation. This followed after a few employees got hurt at the same company.

    I guess this is what you call a double edge sword.
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    Lol the reason why companies do not want unions has NOTHING to want to hide something - that is a typical Union persons opinion. More and more companies are talking to their staff and both parties are agreeing that unions cause more damage than actually helping their members.
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    I tend to agree with HR here. The reasons companies want to avoid unions does not necessarily mean we are hiding something. I have a small company that is not unionised. I would have no issue with them having access to a legal consultant should they feel they are being treated unfairly by the company. However, it must be an arrangement between them and their consultant (union), leave me out of it until a dispute is considered to be significant enough (requires management involvement).

    - Do not make me responsible for paying their union fees off my payroll, they are adults and can organise their own bills.
    - Do not make me provide company paid time and stop all production for them to hold meetings (until it reaches significant dispute level which requires the manager's personal involvement).
    - Do not make us get involved in the disputes of others (industry wide strikes).
    - Do not increase my already unnecessarily large load of unproductive admin. An exception would be where its pointed out that I am not following a legal requirement such as a safety feature. This information does not require a union though.
    - Do not make me become the employer and funder of a union employee (shop steward).

    A union is an extra level of painful and costly bureaucracy. That is the small employer's concern.

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