Australian company told "no urine drug tests"

arguing it has a right to determine whether its staff are chronic drug-users.

Should urine drug tests be allowed?

During arbitration last month, Fair Work Australia determined it would be ”unjust and unreasonable” for Endeavour Energy to conduct urine tests because the tests could show a positive result from drug use days earlier. The senior deputy president of FWA, Jonathan Hamberger, ruled the company should instead use oral swabs, which generally detected drugs taken only in the preceding hours. In its notice of appeal, Endeavour Energy argued urine testing had value as a ”deterrent” to drug use and was more accurate than oral swab testing. ”We have an overriding legal and social responsibility to protect the safety of our staff at work from foreseeable risks associated with chronic drug use,” the company said. ”It is urine testing, not oral swab testing, that best mitigates those foreseeable risks.” But one of the five unions representing Endeavour Energy’s workforce said its management was out of step with the state’s other energy distributors, who had moved to swab testing. ”The organisation is now, in my view, wasting taxpayers’ money for a vendetta against its workforce,” Scott McNamara, energy manager at the United Services Union, said. ”Urine testing is something that is done to basically socially monitor people, and has no effect in identifying fitness for work.” The dispute is being watched by other unions, who believe it will set an important precedent for other workforces. Drug testing is increasingly common and the issue of swab versus urine testing is hotly contested. Source: The Sydney Morning Herald  ]]>

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