As former President Reagan stated in Executive Order No. 12,564, "[d]rug use is having serious adverse effects upon a significant pro- portion of the national work force .... " One survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that between ten and twenty-three percent of all employees use drugs at work. The costs to industry in lost productivity due to drugs are equally staggering. Employee drug and alcohol abuse resulted in an estimated $100 billion in lost productivity in 1986. Furthermore, employees with drug or alcohol abuse problems have an absentee rate sixteen times greater than the average employee, and an accident rate which is four times greater. Even when impaired workers are not absent from work, their work potential is only sixty-seven percent of the work potential of unimpaired workers. To combat the drug problem, former President Reagan issued Executive Order 12,564 calling for a "drug-free federal workplace."' This order authorized the implementation of drug testing in the public sector. Society should encourage both public and private employers to implement drug-testing programs. Such programs can be used to detect employees with drug abuse problems, thus avoiding the potential threat that such employees pose to themselves, their coworkers, and the public at large. Furthermore, if drug abuse on the job can be reduced, employee productivity will be strengthened. Any drug-testing policy, however, should seek to balance the interests of employers in having a safe workplace and maximum productivity and the interests of employees in protecting their individual rights. Those opposing the implementation of drug testing in the workplace have raised a number of constitutional challenges." This Comment focuses specifically on the fourth amendment and the procedural due process provisions of the fifth and fourteenth amendments as they are implicated in drug-testing programs."
Shawn K. Bell,
Drug Testing in the Nonunionized Workplace: Search and Seizure, Procedural Due Process, and Maine's Drug-Testing Statute,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol43/iss1/8