RE: the OTHER test

Subject: RE: the OTHER test
From: "Sarah Bane" <Sarah -dot- Bane -at- spectrumretail -dot- com>
To: <Brent -dot- Jones -at- Level3 -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 13:56:30 -0500

I've been required to take a drug test twice. Was it intrusive? Of
course. An infringement on my civil liberties? Absolutely. Did I pass?
Well, yes. Would the requirement to take such a test affect my
acceptance of a job? That would depend on the circumstances.

The first time I was tested was for my first technical-writing job,
writing procedures in a chemical plant. (This was in May 1995.) Frankly,
it did not bother me that people handling such lovely substances as
sarin and hydrofluoric acid were screened for drug use, and in the
interest of fairness it did not bother me that everyone working at the
location had to be tested.

The second time was earlier this year. I was working on a temporary job
at the corporate headquarters of a nursing-home company. The company
instituted drug screenings of all employees (not just those working in
its nursing homes). Taking the test was a condition of continued
employment, including temporary-agency assignments. I found this
requirement objectionable, but being between jobs did not feel I could
afford to quit at that time.

That company also instituted criminal background checks of all
employees, so I also had to sign a consent form for that. Fortunately I
had nothing to hide on that score either. Has anyone else encountered
criminal background checks as a requirement?

I have heard of credit checks being conducted by potential employers,
but have not (to my knowledge) experienced this.

I would *like* to be in a position where I could say "thanks, but no
thanks" to an employer who had such requirements.

Sarah Bane
Technical Writer, ProphetLine, Inc.
and Associate Instructor, Westark College
sarah -dot- bane -at- spectrumretail -dot- com
sbane -at- systema -dot- westark -dot- edu

Opinions expressed are my own and not endorsed by ProphetLine or by

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