Workplace Privacy and Drug Testing

Topic: Business Ethics
Words: 670 Pages: 2


Drug testing is only in compliance with an employee’s right to privacy if the information it seeks is pertinent to the employment contract. Desjardins and Duska then evaluate the claim that knowledge of drug usage is information that is relevant to the job (1987). Being shielded from specific evils or receiving particular goods in the place of labor is a way that someone intrudes on one’s workplace privacy. This produces a “prima facie” case. Responsibility of the employer to supply the alternatively, as in this instance, desist from the corrosive relevant treatment. Drug testing intrudes upon the privacy of workers in workplaces, from the discussion we argue that employees have the right to privacy but these rights can go beyond due to competing ideas on both employer and customer out there. Justification of these rights of privacy has been reiterated in the discussion where all interest has been touched.

Performance on the Job and Drug Knowledge

Performance on the job and drug knowledge, use according to the first argument, drug usage reduces productivity, and as a result, an employer’s ability to maintain or improve production will be dependent on their knowledge of drug use as determined by drug testing. Most people believe that consuming specific drugs will hurt their performance therefore any drug use that lowers productivity is therefore important to their job. Such knowledge is relevant to the job if it enables the employer to stop production losses caused by such drug usage. This argument seems reasonable at first glance, certain drug use can reduce productivity by lowering performance levels. Given that the employer has a right to a specific standard of performance and that drug use hurts performance, knowledge of this usage seems to be work-related.

Harm Drug Use Knowledge to Reduce Harm

Harm and the use of drug use knowledge to reduce harm, although the performance argument is weak, there is another one that seems to be more persuasive. This argument considers the reality that drug usage frequently results in harm. We could make the case that drug testing may be acceptable if it revealed information that would allow an employer to stop harm using a variation of the Willian argument, which permits interference with someone’s rights to prevent harm. There is no doubt that drug usage can hurt others (William, 2016). Therefore, knowing whether or not an employee uses drugs may be a valid concern of an employer in some situations if knowledge of such drug usage helps avert harm.

Consent does not come about simply by including drug testing in the employment contract. A final problem, which we are also leaving unaddressed, concerns the voluntary nature of employee consent. For most employees, facing the choice of taking a drug test or risking their job by declining an employer’s application is not a big decision at all. We believe that such decisions are anything but voluntary, and here we believe that employers cannot escape our criticism simply by including a drug testing clause in the employment contract.

Analogous Drug Testing

Drug testing is analogous to other forms of testing, as we have various tests such as ability, and personality, this argument tries to state that drug testing is just one form of these tests. (Cranford, 1998), the employment process should not be based solely on drug testing, we can consider all of them as a means of identifying employee personality, and moreover, drug testing is not an endorsement that employees have low productivity.


The privacy of an employee should not be intruded on much since it has less impacts on the performance of the employee in the workplace. The drug testing process is quite important because it gives the employer to know the personality of the employee well. Workplace privacy is related to numerous methods of getting access to, regulating, and keeping an eye on employees’ information. While at work, employees often have to give up part of their privacy, but the exact amount can be a point of contention.


Cranford, M. Drug Testing and the Right to Privacy: Arguing the Ethics of Workplace Drug Testing. Journal of Business Ethics 17, 1805–1815 (1998). Web.

DesJardins, J., & Duska, R. (1987). Drug testing in employment. Business & professional Ethics Journal, 6(3), 3–21. Web.

Des Jardins, J.R., McCall, J.J. A defense of employee rights. J Bus Ethics 4, 367–376 (1985). Web.

William H. Shaw; Vincent Barry, 2016, 13th Edition,” Moral Issues in Business”

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