Statement on the use of chemical drug screens

On a few occasions, I have been presented with job opportunities that would require me to submit to pre-employment drug screens. I have declined these opportunities, and will continue to do so as long as I practically can.

I am a strong advocate of privacy rights; and I believe that chemical drugs screens, conducted without cause or suspicion, are among the worst invasions of privacy, turing employers into "lifestyle police". (Impairment tests - which check if a person is actually under the influence - or chemical screens conducted with probable cause are much more acceptable.)

As a skilled computer professional, I have much more choice in what jobs to accept than many other people. And I feel that it is incumbent upon me to use that choice wisely; by declining to accept jobs requiring chemical drugs screens, I hope to exert some small pressure against their use. It's not much, but so long as I have the option I am ethically compelled to do what I can.

-Tom Swiss

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