In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan launched a drug free workplace campaign in the government that meant to ensure that the workplace code of conduct remains valuable and respectable. He had noted that people do not perform adequately when they work under the influence of drugs and other substances. This campaign changed the code of conduct in the workplace especially in the government offices. This paper looks at the ways that the drug testing has impacted employees in the hiring process and in the workplace, the time and condition for testing and the attitudes of employees towards drug testing.
The testing campaign that President Reagan introduced in the 1980s significantly impacted employees in the hiring process and in the workplace. His campaign intended to help people preserve hygiene, health and dignity of all workers. In the hiring process, employees applied measures to ensure that the people they chose as potential employees did not abuse drugs at the time of employment. They tested the incoming employees for drug use and required that people who get employed do not take any drug. This means that employees mandated with employing other staff did not employ those people who tested positive in the drug tests. Proper drug screening became part of the interview process and new employees had to pass through the test before getting employed. This happened specifically in government offices (Kleiman, 2011).
In the workplaces, employees could not come to work drunk or under the influence of drugs and substances. In case, an employee was found to have abused drugs and came to the office, the employee would risk his or her job. The government required that all government offices carry out regular drug testing on their employees to ensure that no employee abuses drugs. The workplace became a strict place where drug abuse could not be tolerated. High ranking employees including managers ensured that their employees followed the regulation in a proper manner. The regular checks happened to ensure that all employees obeyed workplace regulations concerning drug abuse and testing (Dasgupta, 2009).
Most workplaces including the public and private sector implemented the drug free campaign in their programs and encouraged employees to practice sanity and avoid drug abuse especially in the workplace. Most workplaces did not set a specific time for drug testing. Instead, they conducted drug tests at irregular times and intervals. Workplaces did this to ensure that their employees do not cover up so that they do not test for drug abuse. The test was carried out at irregular time intervals so that employees could test in their normal working conditions and show the actual fact.
Drug testing in workplaces included several conditions. People tested based on the necessity, the areas that would be included in the testing, disciplinary measures that would result from violations, allowance of rehabilitation and the confidentiality of the results of the test.
Employees had different attitudes towards drug testing in the workplace. Some felt that drug testing in the workplace would help a lot of employees by ensuring that they do not engage in drug abuse and offer other employees a chance to seek rehabilitation services. Others felt that testing would help reduce problems that come with drug abuse in the workplace. Other employees felt that drug testing would interfere with their privacy and thus did not support it. They looked at it as a violation of personal rights and decision. The workers union supported the idea as long as it meant not to harass employees in the workplace (Kleiman, 2011).
Drug free campaign as introduced by President Reagan helped restore sanity and order in workplaces. People changed completely, and the workplace became a drug-free environment for many organisations in the United States of America.