The Unfairness Of Drug Testing In Low Wage Jobs

1313 words - 5 pages

Drug Testing has progressively become very popular in today's low wage jobs. Jobs like Wal-Mart, Sav-on, Block Buster and many burger establishments; where the starting salary is seven dollars and twenty cents an hour requires its applicants to be drug tested before they are hired. Drug testing is based on a blue collar, white collar division.

If we don't have an academic degree our privacy gets raped, but if we are able to get a degree America doesn't set up boundaries for us. Although drug testing is an excellent tool to maintain a healthy and safe workplace, it is unfair and unjust to the low wage working class because it targets them. For instance; doctors, surgeons, and even teachers are not required to be drug tested as often as low wage workers.

Two sources that prove that drug testing in the U.S is unfair and unjust are Nickel and

Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich and Drug Abuse, Opposing Viewpoints by Tamara L. Roleff. For example, Barbara Ehrenreich gives us an appropriate quote when she states that, "if you want to stack Cheerios boxes or vacuum hotel rooms in chemically fascist America, you have to be willing to squat down and pee in front of a health worker,"

(Ehrenreich 14). She cleverly uses the word fascism in her quote as a way to imply that low wage workers are oppressed by the higher authoritarian power; that is the owner and (Girarte 2) employer of these jobs. Roleff also points this out when he states that "drug tests are discriminatory because the majority of ... who were tested were low-income ..." (Roleff 119). Drug tests are in fact discriminatory, and like Roleff said the majority of those who get drug tested are low-income workers. He did not mention upper class citizens getting drug tested. We would assume that companies that drug test their employees would pay a good amount of money. The case is that they do not. The most employees get paid in these jobs are seven dollars and twenty cents and hour and some times even less.

Drug tests are not only unfair, but they are also unreliable. Ehrenreich points this out when she argues that "If [she] had used cocaine or heroin there would be no problem [because] these are water-soluble and wash out of [the] body in a couple of days. (LSD isn't even tested for)" (Ehrenreich 125). This quote suggests that someone with an addiction to other drugs besides marijuana can pass the urinalysis with out a problem because urine tests are mainly designed to detect marijuana. In other words someone can
be high on methamphetamines, LSD and other illicit drugs and would not be detected. Sometimes urinalysis confuses chemicals, and we can see this when Roleff states ." . . codeine and Vicks formula 44-M have been known to produce positive results for heroin, Advil for Marijuana, and Nyquil for amphetamines" (Roleff 141). We can see how urinalysis is not as reliable as employers think they are. This is a bad thing because if an employee is accused of taking...

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