Re: Background Checks, YPP & Freedom
James Hermann (jhermann@INTERACCESS.COM)
Sat, 29 Oct 1994 10:00:08 -0500
L>Why this youth volunteer registration has got my attention is for the same
>problems with drug testing. What happens if my tests were accidently (or
>mixed up with someone elses and I get a positive hit.
We had the same concerns when my company started does drug testing as
part of annual physicals. Since we are a bunch of chemists, the
Personnel Manager was not able to answer our (sometimes detailed) questions.
So they bought in the QA Manager and PhD Group Leader from the testing
company! In the end, I was impressed with their attention to details
such as making sure that samples were not mislabeled or mis-analyzed.
You might want to have the same conversation with the lab that
does the drug test for your company.
L>Where does this information go? A doctor will tell you that you can tell a
>great deal about a person's health by looking at his urine.
I think that employee physicals are confidential personnel information.
Also, the drug tests by themselves don't look for anything other
than drugs and drug metobolites. They can tell how often you eat
poppy seeds, though!
My main problem with drug testing is the definition of significant
levels. The government decided that a drug level was significant
as long as the chemist were almost absolutely sure that it was
_present_. So these levels are much much lower than level that
would impair your ability to do a job. So, in fact, the tests were
designed to determine if one had violated the law recently, rather
than identify safety problems.
Although I don't have anything reason to worry about myself, I don't
like the precedent that drug tests involve. If this precedent was
applied to other safety-related problems, then all of us could
have serious problems. For example, if a test could show whether
one exceeded a speed limit in the past month, then would the
government want to test some or all drivers? If a test could
show my employer whether I wore my gloves when handling certain
chemicals in the past, then would they want to test me to confirm
that I complied with company safety rules? If scientists find
a "clumsy" gene, then would the public want tests to forbid people
with this gene from _any_ safety-related job, or driving, or
access to property?
Drug testing (an probably background checks too) do two things:
(1) They allow people who are concerned with whether one violated
a law _in the past_ to identify the offenders and take action.
(i.e. they allow Big Brother to get stronger and violate the
privacy of individuals)
(2) They substitute for _basic_ good management practices. Good
managers don't have any problem identifying people who are too
impaired to do their job, _for any reason_. Poor managers cannot,
or don't have the guts to take any actions based on their own
observations. Good management practices will prevent more
child molestation of scouts than all the background tests. Poor
scouting managers just don't want to believe that "good old Bob"
did anything wrong or meant any harm when he is observed
touching a scout in a sexual manner.
- OLX 3.10 30-4912
- If I learn by mistakes, I'm getting a FABULOUS education
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City