Mental Health Department To Drug Test Employees

Mental Health Department To Drug Test Employees
Posted by CN Staff on April 13, 2005 at 17:17:09 PT
By David A. Lieb, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Jefferson City, Mo. -- The Department of Mental Health plans to begin random drug tests of its 9,800 employees next month in a policy apparently broader than that used by some other state agencies.Other large departments, such as Corrections and Transportation, apply random drug tests only to designated categories of employees - generally those in more dangerous positions such as prison guards or road maintenance workers.
Federal courts have determined that drug tests qualify as searches under the constitution and can be imposed randomly on public employees only if governments show a special need that outweighs privacy rights.For example, a 1999 Michigan policy upheld by a federal appeals court applied random drug and alcohol tests to employees with law enforcement powers, who carry guns, provide health care services, have unsupervised access to prisoners and parolees or have unsupervised access to drugs. Included were Michigan employees who provide services at state hospitals for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.In justifying a random test covering all employees, the Missouri Department of Mental Health contends its entire payroll could fall into similar categories."In any position that we look at, whether talking about a maintenance employee or someone at the central office ... there is a lot of client contact," said Mary Tansey, the department's general counsel.Tansey said the new policy will sample 10 percent of the employees annually, beginning May 1, from each facility and section within the Mental Health Department.A memo from department director Dorn Schuffman to all department employees said the random drug testing policy "is not designed to `catch' employees involved in illegal acts. It merely helps to ensure a safe and secure environment for employees and that we are providing the best care possible to those we serve."Columbia attorney Dan Viets said he had been contacted about the new policy by several department employees. He objected to targeting all employees."I feel pretty strongly that this is illegal, that it violates the constitutional rights of employees to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures," said Viets, a longtime lobbyist for decriminalizing marijuana and allowing its medical use statewide.The Department of Transportation, which has been doing random drug tests since late 1994, targets half of the people annually in "safety sensitive" positions - like road maintenance, survey and inspection crews, said Jean Endsley, the department's employee safety and health manager. The random testing covers about 5,000 of the agency's 6,000 workers, less than 1 percent of whom test positive for drugs, she said.The Department of Corrections began random drug tests in March 2004, said agency spokesman John Fougere. Its policy applies to about 7,150 of the 11,500 employees, randomly sampling one-quarter of the people in that group annually. Those subject to the random tests include anyone authorized to carry a weapon or who has unsupervised contact with prisoners and parolees - ranging from guards to certain administrators. About 1.5 percent of those tested show positive drug results, Fougere said.Complete Title: Mental Health Department To Randomly Test Employees for DrugsSource: Associated Press (Wire)Author: David A. Lieb, Associated PressPublished: April 13, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press CannabisNews Drug Testing Archives
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Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on April 14, 2005 at 06:41:23 PT
cultural war
I agree. Ever since those damm hippies, and as far back as the Mexicans in Texas. It's a form of control.
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Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on April 14, 2005 at 03:25:07 PT
Mentally Ill Health Department
Federal courts have determined that drug tests qualify as searches under the constitution and can be imposed randomly on public employees only if governments show a special need that outweighs privacy rights.How does 1% and 1.5% justify a "special need" that outweighs privacy rights? Isn't that a rather LOW number of "positives"? Mayan, you are right on target. I wonder how many will test positive for legal pharma-poisons prescribed for their Mental Illnesses? More than 1%?Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize! (medicine)(energy)(nutrition)
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Comment #2 posted by goneposthole on April 13, 2005 at 18:07:42 PT
looks like
some drug testing company is short on cash.
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on April 13, 2005 at 18:03:34 PT
Social Manipulation
Less than 1% of the Missouri Department of Transportation workers tested were positive for drugs.About 1.5% of the Missouri Department of Corrections workers tested were positive for drugs.How many of those who tested positive had issues with safety or security? This is not about safety or security. It is about controlling citizens. It's a cultural war. There will soon be very few jobs left in America. Those who partake in recreational substances on their own time will be terminated and weeded out of the job market. The only option for them will be to join the military. It's no coincidence that the military desperately needs soldiers for the coming invasions of Iran and Syria. Social manipulation of the masses is well underway. THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...C-Span to Cover 9/11 Truth Talk at UW-Madison Monday! Flint To Publish Major 9/11 Skeptic Article: Was an Inside Job - A Call to All True Patriots:
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