Drug Testing in the Federal Workplace Essay example

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In September 1986, President Reagan issued Executive Order 12564. This was done in an effort to make the Federal Government a drug free work place. He believed that persons who used illegal drugs were not suitable for Federal employment. The order required the heads of governmental agencies to establish both a voluntary and mandatory testing program to determine the use of illegal drugs by employees in sensitive positions.

Sensitive position employees were defined to include employees granted access to classified information and individuals serving under presidential appointment. It further included Law enforcement officers and other positions that the agency head determined involve law enforcement, national security, the protection of
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The Supreme Court found these personal rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. This was found in the "liberty" section of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Claimed violations of the right to privacy are usually argued citing the Fourth Amendment. Courts uniformly now appear to have determined that the taking of body fluids, particularly for drug screening, constitutes a search and seizure within the meaning of the fourth Amendment. The courts found the Fourth Amendment protections only bans unreasonable searches and seizures. While a search and seizure usually involves a reasonable suspicion.

Recent Supreme Court decisions support the argument that certain occupations are so important to public safety and national security that a warrant or individualized suspicion is not necessary to make testing reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.

In Railway Labor Executives' Association v. Skinner, the Supreme Court held that regulations of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which required certain operating employees to submit to alcohol and drug testing in the event of a rail accident, were reasonable even though such testing was not based on suspicion of the individual, being a drug or alcohol abuser. The court found the interest of providing safety to the public outweighed individual rights of privacy.

In National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, the Supreme Court in 1989 upheld regulations of the Customs Service which conditioned
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