Drug test employees is not a violation the Constitution.
The below is a clear example of the level of ignorance and misinformation on this topic.
City Attorney Fred Fischer should have done a bit of research improperly stating that employee drug testing is a violation of the 4th Amendment. The last time I checked America was a country of law, and our courts have already ruled on the subject.
- The U.S. Supreme Court has made several rulings on the matter upholding drug testing in the workplace and in schools.
- Random drug testing, the most effective means, has been upheld for any safety sensitive position, as well as in schools.
- It is important that a company (and school) has a well written, and well communicated drug a & alcohol policy, and that the policy be followed in a consistent and unbiased manner.
The reasons for America’s drug problem being worse than ever are clear:
1.Drugs are cheaper, more potent, and more widely available than ever.
2.Prescription drug abuse is now prevalent. Prescription pain relievers lead the list and their are both addictive and deadly.
3. Effective drug free workplace programs, inclusive of random drug testing, education, and employee assistance are not being deployed on a comprehensive basis.
In the meantime, over 50% of all workplace accidents are linked to substance abuse, and over 20,000 people die annually due to drug overdose alone, not counting accident related deaths.
Source: Wave3 TV, Jefferson, KY 11 September 2008
Jeffersontown council told drug testing plan may violate law
JEFFERSONTOWN, KY (WAVE) – There were once again some heated exchanges during a special meeting of the Jeffersontown City Council. The council wants to implement drug screening for all city employees after Jeffersontown’s Public Works Director, Joseph McMillan, was arrested on drug charges late last week. Some council members are upset because that say McMillan was hired by the Mayor without any background checks or a drug screening. WAVE 3’s Scott Harvey investigates.
City Council members were ready to vote on a policy change Thursday night, but they didn’t. According to Jeffersontown’s City Attorney, if it’s not done right the taxpayers’ money could be used to settle lawsuits instead of hiring qualified people.
After Public Works Director Joseph McMillan was arrested and fired, council members learned he had a long history of drug charges. Now some say the city has change their hiring practices now.
“We have a piss poor example of a Public Works Director here and he has men under him,” said Councilwoman Carol Pike. “We do not want this to happen again.”
But City Attorney Fred Fischer says implementing mandatory drug testing for all city employees would be a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.
“I cannot emphasize to you enough that this city council is undertaking to violate the constitutional rights of 110 people,” Fischer told the council.
“We’ve got a big problem and we’ve got to correct it,” said Councilman David Quinlan. “You are telling me basically that we can’t change what we are already doing?”
Under the current policy, only employees like police officers, firefighters, and EMTs are subject to testing.
The council did pass a motion to hire a human resources specialist that can help them make some legal changes, like a one-time, pre-employment drug test and a background check for new hires.
“We want a comprehensive plan to test all employees,” Quinlan said. “I definitely don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy, but I do want to show the citizens of this great city that we don’t run a drug abuse workplace here.”
Mayor Clay Foreman has received criticism for hiring McMillan. He raced out of Thursday’s meeting without talking to the media, but did release this statement:
“I have taken responsibility for the hiring that resulted in the events of last week, and acknowledge that, in hindsight, a background check would have been prudent. However, one should not overlook the fact that the policy manual adopted by this city council does not provide background checks.”
- Mayor Clay Forman, Jeffersontown.
Foreman did agree Thursday to hold off on hiring a new Public Works Director until the city’s policy does change. All council members as well as the Mayor agreed that they will undergo voluntary drug testing after next Wednesday’s council meeting.