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Keeping the Unfit Out

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 32 Issue: 3 Dated: (March 1988) Pages: 65-68
M T Lastowka
Date Published
4 pages
This article focuses on the legal aspects of employee drug testing and points to the abuse of drugs and alcohol in the construction industry as a severe threat to nuclear security.
The clash between social attitudes and the law concerning employee testing has led to legal attacks on the tests. These challenges generally have centered on the right to privacy, the right to be free from unreasonable searches, the right to due process, negligence law, and contract law. In one case, a union claimed that an employee was not given adequate notice of the existence of a testing program (Capital Area Transit Authority, 69 Lab. Arb. (BNA) 811 (Ellman, 1977)). In September 1987, the National Labor Relations Board issued a memorandum on testing employees for drug and alcohol use. It points out that drug testing is plainly a term of employment. Thus, where the employees have selected a collective bargaining representative, implementation of a drug-testing program without consulting this representative violates the employer's duty to bargain as stated in the National Labor Relations Act. However, to date, courts and arbitrators have generally sustained drug policies in the interest of public safety. Some States have recently enacted laws regulating the use of drug tests by employers.


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