For my white paper I wan’t to examine the policies surrounding pre-employment drug screening. I have been drug tested prior to full acceptance into an internship program for a construction company where I was going to be doing accounting related tasks. My view on drug testing is that it is used as a way to weed out potentially unqualified employees but in doing so potentially prevents the best employees from having a chance of even being given an interview. It is a very arbitrary system which does penalizes those who use substances that are prescribed medically to relieve stress and anxiety, common symptoms of workplaces, and yet has very little reach over users of drugs like cocaine and heroine which are undetectable by urine tests after only a few days (3 to 5).

For my societal source I am using Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed book which “investigates many of the difficulties low wage workers face, including the hidden costs involved in such necessities as shelter (the poor often have to spend much more on daily hotel costs than they would pay to rent an apartment if they could afford the security deposit and first-and-last month fees) and food (e.g., the poor have to buy food that is both more expensive and less healthy than they would if they had access to refrigeration and appliances needed to cook).” Ehrenreich is a social scientist who placed herself in the lives of low-wage workers for around 2 years and attempted to live off of minimum wage jobs. In her book “Ehrenreich decries personality tests, questionnaires designed to weed out incompatible potential employees, and urine drug tests, increasingly common in the low wage market, arguing that they deter potential applicants and violate liberties while having little tangible positive effect on work performance.”

I think this resource will support what I believe and help me to back up some of the claims that I mentioned in the first paragraph. As a social scientist Enrenreich is committed to the truth and examining how and why society functions. I’ve read excerpts from her book in a previous class and her ideas hold a lot of weight in the academic world.


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