Workplace Drug Testing: Review of Psychological, Financial and Legal Implications

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Human resource practitioners and I/O psychologists have at their disposal a host of personnel assessment techniques. For example, traditional predictive measures used to screen job applicants have included the use of application blanks, job interviews and psychometric measures of personality and cognitive ability. For the most part these instruments attempt to predict an applicant's potential for success by estimating her current level of functioning on some psychological construct that is believed to be related to job performance. Recently, however, personnel professionals have added a unique assessment technique to their arsenal. Unlike traditional predictive measures of job performance- mental and motor functioning and…show more content…
Issues surrounding drug testing and current employees will be covered at length.

The impact of illegal drug use has had a profound impact on all aspects of our society, and the workplace is no exception. Clearly it is in the best interest of employers to keep drugs from becoming a part of organizational life. It has been shown that illicit drug use can have serious negative implications on indictors of organizational perform-ance. For example, Normand, Salyards and Mahoney (1990) found that employees who tested positive for drug use were more likely to be absent from work and were more likely be terminated from their jobs than their non-drug using counterparts. The economic impact of employee drug use can be profound.

In this review I will discuss the impact that drugs and drug testing policies have on organizations and the controversy and legal ramifications for adopting drug-free workplace initiatives. The focus of this review, however, will be on employee attitudes towards organizational drug testing policies and the attempts made by psychologists to develop a valid framework for investigating employee reactions to drug testing. Specifically, the theory of organizational justice will be discussed as a taxonomy for studying workplace drug testing. Results from a 1989 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicate that 32% for those between the ages of 18

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