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Crime File: Drugs - Workplace Testing

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Following a description of the employee drug testing program of BE and K, a large international engineering and construction company headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., this video presents a panel discussion of the methodology, effectiveness, and ethics of such testing.
BE and K conducts pre-employment testing, random testing for all employees, and testing after accidents. Some of the employees interviewed in the initial video segment favored the testing to improve safety, but others viewed it as an intrusion into their privacy. In the panel discussion, Ted Kennedy, chief executive officer of BE and K, elaborates upon his company's testing procedures and the effects it has had on the percentage of employees testing positive and on job accidents. Bryan Finkle, professor of toxicology at the University of Utah, affirms the reliability of drug testing and explains the system for regulating drug testing laboratories. Cliff Palefsky, an employment attorney in San Francisco, opposes drug testing as being unnecessarily intrusive. He favors direct testing for impairment (hand/eye coordination) among only those employees working in hazardous tasks.

Date Published: January 1, 1990