00000 Verizon "5‘ 1:51 AM ‘1 0‘ 34% [Ifn blackboard.indianatech.edu 1. Did you tell the complete truth on the employment application? ’“. Have you ever used any form of illegal drug or narcotic on the job?2 f 4 Has the use of alcohol frequently impaired your ability to perform on the job? 0 Are you concealing any information about subversive, revolutionary, orcommunistic activity? 5. Are you applying for a job with this company so you can do it or any of itsemployees harm?Are you presently wanted by the authorities for a felony?Have you ever stolen any kind of merchandise, material, or money from anemployer?5 99‘ Coors assured each applicant that these were the only questions that he or she had toanswer. The polygraph agency was to adhere to the questionnaire. Although the wildcat strike ran out of steam and was abandoned, new problems forcedCoors managers to reconsider its use of polygraphs. In 1985 and again in 1986 Congressbegan to consider bills preventing employers from requiring workers and job applicantsto take polygraphs. The House passed a bill in March 1986 preventing the use ofpolygraphs except in unusual circumstances, but these efforts came to nothing when asimilar bill did not make it through the Senate. Eighteen states, however, alreadyprohibited or limited the use of polygraphs in business. Fearing that the tests would beoutlawed, Coors managers decided to change their applicant tests. In August 1986 thecompany announced that it would no longer require polygraph tests of its job applicants.In place of the polygraph it would now require applicants to submit to a drug test, to atwelve-page psychological test called the Stanton Survey, which inquired into theapplicant’s attitude toward theft and dishonesty, and to a background check by EquifaxServices, a national audit and loss-control company.6 Coof’s decision to use a drug test came on the heels of a report of the President’sCommission on Organized Crime issued on March 3, 1986, that highlighted the use ofillegal drugs in the United States and that recommended that government and private businesses begin programs of testing their employees and job applicants for the use ofdrugs. On September 15 President Reagan signed an executive order requiring thosefederal employees who held "sensitive“ posts to be tested for the use of illegal drugs. Itwas estimated that between 5 and 13 percent of American workers abused illegal drugs(marijuana was estimated to account for 95 percent of this abuse). In June 1984, a reportof the Research Triangle Institute had estimated that the abuse of illegal drugs cost theUS. $60 billion in 1983 alone; lost worker productivity accounted for $33 billion of thesecosts.7 Employers felt that the use of drugs by employees affected their job performance,their judgment, and their skills, and that it therefore lowered productivity and increasedaccidents. The drug test used by Coors would be conducted at a private medical laboratory at a costof $20 per test. Critics of the test were concerned because of the high error rate that thecommonly used drug tests had exhibited. In 1985 the Center for Disease Control hadfound that of thirteen testing laboratories examined, only one correctly identiﬁed tracesof cocaine at least 80 percent of the time, that tests for ﬁve other drugs were wrong morethan half of the time, and that tests for certain drugs were wrong 100 percent of the time.8A Northwestern University study found that the most commonly used drug test, theEMIT urinalysis test developed by Syva, was wrong 25 percent of the times that itindicated drugs were present in a urine sample.9 Over-the-counter drugs such as “Contac’Iand "Sudafed" showed up as amphetamines; cough medicine containingdextromethorphan would show up as morphine; poppy seeds on pastries showed up asmorphine; and the prescription drug Amoxicillin showed up as cocaine. Critics were also concerned that the commonly used drug tests were invasions of privacy.The drug tests, they pointed out, did not show whether an employee was under theinﬂuence of drugs at the time of testing since drugs such as marijuana showed up in urinesamples as long as one month after the drug was used. Nor did the tests show whether theemployee’s performance was in any way affected by drugs. Employers, critics argued, donot have a right to inquire into what the employee does during his or her private time;employers have a right to place requirements on employees only during their workinghours and only such requirements as are directly related to job performancew
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