Physical Privacy Right in the Workplace Basic right to privacy as being a measure to protect the society from unacceptable treatment from the side of employers is very important issue. Many international conferences and discussions held by social workers, politicians, government and non-government organizations, psychologists and researchers were dedicated to the problem of right to privacy. It is very important to examine whether the legislation currently in force is able to provide people with adequate protection for their right to privacy in the workplaces. Right to privacy is traditionally considered to be a core value for the majority of American people. However, the very meaning of right to privacy can be interpreted in different ways, so it no longer embraces one unique coherent concept or definition. The right to privacy is partially protected by our Constitution, state and federal authorities, tort law judicial decisions and federal laws. Privacy is mainly defined by the Supreme Court as the right of an individual to control the information about oneself.
There are cases when the employees rights for privacy are violated. Some basic rights are not protected at our workplace. For example, such practices like drug testing and others can be considered as lifestyle discrimination. In fact, workplace drug testing is up 277 percent from 1987 – despite the fact that random drug testing is unfair, often inaccurate and unproven as a means of stopping drug use (Privacy in America: Workplace Drug Testing, n.p.) Such abuses take place when the employer insists on a drug testing to have more information about the workers. However, there are cases when employees take drugs for their medical prescriptions and do not want to share this fact with their employers. One of such privacy issues concerning drug testing occurred several months ago.
... privacy, physical privacy, territorial privacy and communications privacy. As it was determined, employer drug testing violates two of them: personal data privacy and physical privacy ... Drug testing is a form of inspection, although a technological one." Bibliography Hartwell, T; Steele, PD; Rodman, N."Workplace alcohol-testing ... each person has the space protected by the law from any encroachments ...
The employer fired one of the workers, Margaret Driscoll, because she had to use drugs due to her medical prescriptions in result of PTSD. Margaret Driscoll filed a petition with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a long-term disability claim with the companys insurance carrier to resolve a dispute regarding her employment. EEOC has jurisdiction over the cases of employment discrimination in the U.S. Margarets petition with EEOC was filed within required time frames in accordance with employment discriminating issue under the Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, (42 U.S.C. 12101) (PUBLIC LAW 101-336 JULY 26, 1990 104 STAT. 327).
Margaret Driscoll most likely will be able to prove each of the elements of her prima facie case under the theory of liability governing her charge because long-term disability claim presents adequate and objective medical evidence established by medically acceptable diagnostic techniques to support that Margaret was disabled as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
According to the Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, DSM-IV is relevant for identifying [these] disorders (incl. post-traumatic stress disorder) and has been recognized as an important reference by courts (EEOC Enforcement Guidance, p.3).
EEO Guidelines also foresee firing of employees because of related medical conditions to be in prima facie violation of the title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Section 1604.10).
Approximately 54 million non-institutionalized Americans have physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities (Hernandez, 2000)... The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination based upon their disability (Bennett-Alexander, 2001). The protection extends to discrimination in a broad range of activities, including public services, public ...
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112) (Rehab. Act), (namely sections 501 and 505) also prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (Pub.
L. 88-38) (EPA) as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (Pub. L. 90-202) (ADEA) cannot be applied to this particular case. Yet, as for the companys decision to make drug testing and to fire Margaret without obtaining further insight in her explanation concerning taking drugs (a request prompted by the side effects of medication), and the companys denial to negotiate a settlement, if Margaret pursues her case in federal court, the denial of Margarets claim will not be sustainable. In such a way, the court will not be able to exclude Margarets claim due to the lack of adequate and objective medical evidence and the company will have to take Margaret back at her working place.
EEOC Enforcement Guidance: the Americans with Disabilities Act and Psychiatric Disabilities.915.002.
3-25-97 PUBLIC LAW 101-336 JULY 26, 1990 104 STAT. 327 The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112) (Rehab. Act) The title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Section 1604.10) Privacy in America: Workplace Drug Testing. Retrieved May 10, 2006. http://www.aclu.org/workplacerights/drugtesting/13 394rehtml.