If you are on Facebook I am sure you have seen this post on one of your friends' timelines recently:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.Drug testing would be classified as an unreasonable search. The reason your employer can make you take a drug test is because they are not the government and they are not bound by the Fourth Amendment. Don't like being drug tested by your employer? Form a union and put it in the union contract that your employer cannot drug test you without probable cause. To simplify this, the government cannot search your person (peeing in a cup is searching your person) without probable cause. Being poor is not probable cause. Your employer has a fairly wide latitude of things that it can require as a condition of employment.
It's still true that, as I wrote in October, 2011, Drug testing welfare applicants is a waste of money. Research has shown that (sadly the AP has taken down the original article that has the research in it),
[A]bout 2.5 percent of up to 2,000 applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families have tested positive since the law went into effect in July. Another 2 percent declined to take the test, Department of Children and Families officials say.The result:
So 50 people out of 2,000 tested positive. Even if you add the 2% that refused to be tested, you are still under 100 people and still below the national average. The cost of one of these tests is between $10 and $25 so it cost the State of Florida between $20,000 on the low end to $70,000 on the high end.Drug testing welfare applicants is a waste of time and money and only lines the pockets of drug testing companies. This idea of testing welfare applicants for drug use plays off of stereotypes and assumes that the system is rife with freeloaders living off the taxpayer's dime. Let's stop looking at stereotypes and start looking at facts. Fact one, drug testing by the government without probable cause is in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Fact two, in the studies done so far, there is no benefit to performing these drug tests. Fact three, your employer is not the government and is not bound by the Fourth Amendment. Fact four, drug abuse is not just restricted to the poor. It goes across all social classes, and just because the poor have no voice does not mean that they can be made into scapegoats.