he function of morals in society is more or less to distinguish between what is best for society as a whole, generally speaking, the way for the most people to be happy. Drugs in society are looked down upon, though widely used throughout civilization. More importantly, drugs are given a negative outlook especially when they put other innocent lives in danger. Drugs in the workplace create hazard upon hazard no matter what the job may be, however, people have the right to do whatever they want on their own free time, as long as it does not cause harm to others.
This is where a moral dilemma is developed. Are the rights of others to have a safe working environment greater than the right to privacy? The morality of drug-testing is more than just a matter of drug-abuse in the workplace, as it presses the issue of an employees basic right to privacy as well as an employers right to getting the most out of each of their employees. Employers have the right to getting the most out of each worker and employees have the duty to protect society from any harm, financial, physical, or emotional.
Therefore if employees must take drug tests to prove their ability, than drug testing should be morally and ethically acceptable. The 4th amendment guarantees citizens the right to privacy as long as what they do in their private lives does not harm other people. It has been argued time and time again that drug testing steals this right from people, and maybe in some ways it does. People do have the right to treat themselves how they want, and also have the right to enjoy life however they choose to enjoy it.
As long as these measures go to an extent at which they violate no moral or ethical codes, privacy is surely acceptable. The idea of drugs entering the workplace is a threat to not only the user, but also employers themselves, the co-workers around them, and the innocent citizens of society. Employers give opportunity to employees. This is called the “Employment at Will” principle. Employers hire based on who will make their business run on all cylinders, at the best possible production rate.
The more productive the business, the more financially secure the business may become. So when an employee is not pulling his or her weight, the company must fix the problem or release the worker in order to find someone better prepared for the criteria the job entails. It is pure common sense that doing anything while under the influence of drugs or alcohol that the production is significantly diminished. The Santa Clara University Ethics Committee stated, “Employer’s have a moral right to a fair day’s work in exchange for a fair day’s pay” (SCU 1998).
They claim that employers have the “right to inquire into anything that seriously interferes with an employee rendering a fair day’s work” (SCU 1998). Drugs and alcohol on the workplace only hurt the employer. That means the chance they took with the user failed them and that their business is not running as solid and smoothly as it should. Even more reason for employers to be pro-drug testing is some startling facts concerning drugs at work. First and foremost, the fact that approximately forty-four percent of young adults admit to having used drugs in the past year.
These are all people entering the workforce. With this statistic in mind, it is only common sense for employers to fear that they are not getting the most out of each of their employees. If nearly one in every two workers is not performing the way they ought to be, then the business is probably not producing as well as it could be. The second figure that brings about major consideration is that drug and alcohol abuse cost employers nearly $100 billion in lost productivity per year.
The number itself hurts the credibility of any worker, but more importantly, forces the employer to believe that their business may fall into that lost $100 billion somewhere. Why should an employer fear losing a great deal of money because their employees, who are given the opportunity to work and make money, are coming to work under the influence of drugs and alcohol? Philosopher Hugh LaFollette stated, “Employers can make extensive demands on their employees, simply because it is their pleasure. ” The employer is giving the employee a chance to make a living.
If the employee wants to retain a job, they need to show respect to their employer by not working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The employer owns the business; therefore the employer sets the standards. Society as a whole is expected morally to protect each of their citizens, and if drugs are being brought into the workplace, a major moral dilemma is brought to attention. It is a fact that drugs and alcohol, while used on the job, can only cause harm. One survey reported that employees who are drug users have three times the accident rate as non-users.