Companies adopting drug testing programs experience significantly lower productivity than those that do not, according to a new study by the Le Moyne College Institute of Industrial Relations. The study found that pre-employment and random testing procedures result in nearly a 20 percent lower level of productivity.
"Based on standards of increased workplace productivity, drug testing flunks big time," said NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre.
The Le Moyne study examined 63 "high tech" firms using an economic model to estimate the effect of drug testing programs on productivity. Authors found that "drug testing programs do not succeed in improving productivity," and speculated that such procedures may create "a negative work environment, or cause substitutions of more dangerous drugs or alcohol."
The authors contend that their study is the first to examine the quantified potential productivity effects of workplace drug testing.
NORML's St. Pierre praised the research study. "Despite it's popularity, drug testing is a bad investment for employers," he said. He noted that The NORML Foundation opposes suspicionless drug testing, particularly urinalysis, because such procedures are intrusive searches that lack the ability to determine job impairment. The Foundation further maintains that urine testing unfairly targets marijuana smokers who may test positive for weeks after the drug's euphoric effects have worn off.
The release of the Le Moyne study comes less than one month after Congress approved legislation providing for federal incentives to encourage small businesses to adopt workplace drug testing.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858.