Drug Testing History

Drug Testing History

The American Civil Liberties Union recommends Impairment Testing as a reasonable alternative to urinalysis and hair testing.

Realizing that an impairment-free standard must be maintained for certain professions involving public safety, the American Civil Liberties Union suggests an alternative to urinalysis and hair testing is impairment testing. The ACLU recommends Factor 1000, a muscular, motor-coordination test first developed by NASA for astronauts that is commercvially available from Performance Factors Inc. of Alameda, CA. The test resembles a video game where the subject tries to control a moving cursor using a joystick. The results are compared to a baseline score of the test-taker. The complete test takes abolut one minute and the results are immediately available. Similar tests that measure cognitive or mental impairment are also available and may be more appropriate for certain types of jobs. Companies which use Factor 2000 are finding that drug and alcohol use are not the most common reasons for failure; rather, severe fatigue and illness are more common.

Congress requires random drug testing for any U.S. Worker in safety sensitive positions

Congress requires random drug testing for any U.S. Worker in safety sensitive positions

Ninety-eight percent of the Fortune 200 companies have implemented some form of drug testing

Corporate drug testing has burgeoned. Ninety-eight percent of the Fortune 200 companies have implemented some form of drug testing. However, a positive drug test still does not indicate whether an employee is impaired or intoxicated on the job, nor does it indicate whether an employee has a drug problem or how often the employee uses drugs. Thus most tests do not provide information relevant to job performance.

In a landmark case, a Federal Judge Jack Weinstein ruled that hair testing was “effective and accurate.”

In a landmark case, Judge Jack Weinstein, who participated in the SOFT conference earlier that year delared in U.S. v. Medina (1990) 749 F.Supp.59 (E.D N.Y.) that the Society’s expressed scientific cautions – centering around the biochemical mechanisms of absorption and quality control in the laboratory – were not based upon a challenge to the scientific principles which formed the foundation of hair testing technology. Judge Weinstein, citing the support of other evidence, concluded that “These accepted principles establish that [hair testing] is an effective and accurate method of detecting the presence of various compounds including narcotics,” and ruled against the defendant Anthony Medina.

The Society of Forensic Toxicology [SOFT] does not endorse the stand-alone use of hair analysis.

The Society of Forensic Toxicology [SOFT] conference produces a “consensus statement” which did not endorse the stand-alone use of hair analysis and concludes that hair analysis was not sufficiently developed for use in forensic circumstances unless confirmed by use of another type of test.

Pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-la Roche launches “Corporate Initiatives for a Drug-Free Workplace”

Pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-la Roche launches a nationwide program called “Corporate Initiatives for a Drug-Free Workplace” to motivate corporate leaders to implement practical drug abuse policies and programs in their companies. Roche is also represented on the Board of Directors of The Institute For a Drug-Free Workplace.

The U.S. Supreme Court, citing the administrative search exception, finds a limited application of suspicionless government drug testing constitutional for the first time.

The United States Supreme Court, citing the administrative search exception, finds constitutional a Custom Service program requiring all Custom Service employees seeking promotions to certain “sensitive positions ” to submit to urinalysis regardless of whether thereexisted probable cause or individualized suspicion of drug use. The testing policy had the potential to infringe upon the Fourth Amendment rights of over 120,000 Federal employees despite statements from the Commissioner for the Customs Service maintaining that the workplace was “largely drug-free” to begin with. Affirming the state’s interest in maintaining a drug-free workplace and the protection of “truly sensitive information” over the individual interests of its employees, the Court reasoned that those individual seeking employment in sensitive positions must assume diminished expectations of privacy. With this decision the Court demonstrated that urinalysis would now be upheld even when there is no suspicion of drug use at all.

Blockbuster Entertainment mandates pre-employment hair testing for all job applicants in their stores nationwide

Blockbuster Entertainment mandates pre-employment hair testing for all job applicants in their stores nationwide. Blockbuster maintains has of 3000 stores and nearly 15000 employees.

The U.S. Court of Appeals, citing the administrative search exception, finds urine testing of nuclear power plant employees to be constitutional

The United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, citing the administrative search exception, finds urine testing of nuclear power plant employees to be constitutional [Rushton v. Nebraska Public Power District, 844 F. 2D 562]

Pychemedics begins to market hair testing commercially

Pychemedics begins to market hair testing commercially. Pychemedics Board of Directors includes hair-testing pioneer Werner Baumgartner [Chairman, owing 7.2 % of stock in the company] as well as H. Wayne Huizenga [lead investor, owning 12.9 % of stock in Pychemedics and chairman and CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment Corp.], A. Clinton Allen III [a Blockbuster director and Pychemedics vice chairman and director, owing 9.6 % of Pychemedics stock], Donald F. Flynn [a director of both Blockbuster and Pychemedics, owing 12.2 % stock in Pychemedics] and John J. Melk [also a director of both Blockbuster and Pychemedics, owing 12.2 % stock in Pychemedics]. The Blockbuster Directors own a total of 47% in Pychemedics.

The U.S. Court of Appeals, citing the administrative search exception, approve mass urinalysis procedures in the public workplace

The United State’s Third Circuit Court of Appeals, citing the administrative search exception, approved, for the first time, mass urinalysis procedures in the public workplace. In Shoemaker v Handel [795 F. 2d. 1136 [3rd cir. 1986] five well-known jockeys brought action challenging New Jersey Racing Commission regulations requiring all official jockeys, trainers or grooms to submit to breathalyzers and urine testing. The jockeys argued that such testing was unreasonable and thus unconstitutional, absent of individualized suspicion. The Third Circuit Court disagreed stating that “warrantless searches or seizures by voluntary participants in [a] highly [state] regulated industry… are reasonable” and that “The states’s interest in the revenue generated by wagering and the vulnerability of the industry to untoward influences” overrides the individual’s constitutional right to privacy

President Reagan requires federal agencies to institute urine testing programs

President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12564 requiring federal agencies to institute urine testing programs for the purpose of creating ‘drug-free federal workplaces.’

By 1985 urine-testing was a $100 million business

Although the Fourth Amendment protects the privacy rights of citizens from government intrusion, the private sector has traditionally had much less restriction. By 1985 urine-testing was a $100 million business. Twenty-five percent of the Fortune 500 corporations had some kind of urine-testing program in place. Companies like Federal Express fired employees on the basis of a single positive drug test despite a federal survey that found such testing procedures to be in error at least twenty percent of the time. According to government figures the percentage of false-positive results at many labs was much higher.

Corporate Drug Testing is in its Infancy

Only 3% of the Fortune 200 companies are testing job applicants or employees.

President Ronald Reagan declares War on Drugs

Urine trouble now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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