university database


Week 4 Assignment – University Database

Week 4 Assignment – University Database
A prestigious university has recently implemented a consolidation strategy that will require it to centralize their student records. In order to move forward, the local university will need to develop a data model that will retain student records and perform various data extract transform and load (ETL) processes. Imagine that you have been hired as a database consultant to assist in the development of a data design strategy for the student records. You met with various university subject matter experts and have determined the following after performing various business analysis processes:

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
university database
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

Faculty groups are divided by core competencies that the university offers. For example, there are groups such as the art faculty, computer technology faculty, language faculty, and science faculty. Each faculty member has an assigned dean and is designated to teach at one particular campus and school. They are able to teach as many courses as required.
Courses are categorized by course code and title. Certain courses have prerequisites and the university has asked for this to be cataloged as well.
There are various schools within each campus. For example, the Los Angeles campus holds the following schools: School of Science, School of Law, and School of Computer Technology. Additionally, each school offers different professional study programs, such as Forensic Computer Science, Marine Biology, Business Management, and Civil Engineering, to name a few.
The study path for students requires that they be enrolled in a specific professional study program. The professional study program requires the students to complete a specific set of core courses. The university also requires that an online grade book be available. The online grade book should show grades awarded to students for specific courses and the term they completed the course.
The university identifies each student by their name, date of birth, social, and professional study program.

Using these findings, write a 34 page paper in which you:

Analyze the university’s requirements and provide a proposal to organize all the required data elements. The proposal should include the following:

Provide an entity relationship model (ERM) that will describe the data structure that will store all data elements. Note: The graphically depicted solution is not included in the required page length.
Describe any assumptions or limitations for each relationship. For example, professors are able to teach more than one course, or students can only be enrolled in one program.

Create the primary key and foreign keys using a UML class diagram for each table.
Suggest at least four types of business intelligence reports that could help the university in course management, student enrollment, or historical tracking. Support your answer by providing specific business functions that these reports could be used for to assist executives of the university.
Consider outsourcing the functions above as an alternative for development of the database. Research the Internet and other media sources for vendors who develop registrar and school management database systems.

Suggest three vendors that developed and are employing efficient registrar and school management database systems and support your reasons to choose from one of these three vendors.
Compare and contrast the key aspects that each system offers. Examples of system aspects include but are not limited to cloud based, pricing model, open source, et cetera.

Go to the Strayer Library to locate at least three quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar websites do not qualify as quality resources.
The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length. Include charts or diagrams created in any chart or drawing tool with which you are familiar. The completed diagrams or charts must be imported into the Word document before the paper is submitted.

This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. For assistance and information, please refer to the Strayer Writing Standards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with your professor for any additional instructions. The specific course learning outcome associated with this assignment is:

Propose a database design.


Unit IV Article Review

Select one article that examines a contemporary issue on moral or employee rights in business.
Below are possible topics to search for an article:

The article review should address the following points:

Summarize the article, and discuss the authors main point.

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the article.

Explain the ethical issue presented in the article.

Determine if the practice is relevant and therefore ethically justified.

Was the article appealing? If so, why? If not, why not?

The article review must include at least two double-spaced pages, not counting the title and reference pages. You are required to use at least one outside source. Adhere to APA Style when constructing this assignment, including in-text citations, introduction, and references for all sources that are used. Please note that no abstract is needed.

Drug Testing and the Right
to Privacy: Arguing the Ethics
of Workplace Drug Testing Michael Cranford

ABSTRAGT. As drug testing has become increasingly
used to maximize corporate profits by minimizing the
economic impact of employee substance abuse,
numerous arguments have been advanced which draw
the ethical justification for such testing into question,
including the position that testing amounts to a
violation of employee privacy by attempting to
regulate an employee’s behavior in her own home,
outside the employer’s legitimate sphere of control.
This article first proposes that an employee’s right to
privacy is violated when personal information is
collected or used by the employer in a way which is
irrelevant to the terms of employment. This article
then argues that drug testing is relevant and there-
fore ethically justified within the terms of the employ-
ment agreement, and therefore does not amount to a
violation of an employee’s right to privacy. Arguments
to the contrary, including the aforementioned appeal
to the employer’s limited sphere of control, do not
account for reasonable constraints on employee
privacy which are intrinsic to the demands of the
workplace and implicit in the terms of the employ-
ment contract.

Drug testing is becoming an increasingly
accepted method for controlling the effects of
substance abuse in the workplace. Since drug
abuse has been correlated with a decline in
corporate profitability and an increase in the
occurrence of work-related accidents, employers
are justifying drug testing on both legal and

Michael Cranford is a Ph.D. candidate in Religion and
Social Ethics, whose research involves the philosophical
interrelationship between various emergent technologies
and their impact on both medical and business ethics,
and on social ethics more broadly. His publications have
appeared in such journals as Technology in Society.

ethical grounds. Recent estimates indicate that
the costs to employers of employee drug abuse
can run as high as $60 billion per year.’
Motorola, before implementing its drug testing
program in 1991, determined that the cost of
drug abuse to the company – in lost time,
impaired productivity, and health-care and
workers compensation claims – amounted to
$190 milhon in 1988, or approximately 40% of
the company’s net profit for that year.^ As these
effects on the workplace are viewed in light of a
much larger social problem – one which impacts
health care and the criminal justice system, and
incites drug-related acts of violence – advocates
of drug testing argue that the workplace is an
effective arena for engaging these broader
concerns. The drug-free workplace is viewed as
causally antecedent and even sufficient to the
development of drug-free communities.

The possibility of using workplace drug
interventions to effect social change may obscure
the more fundamental question of whether or
not drug testing is an ethical means of deter-
mining employee drug abuse. While admitting
that drug testing could mitigate potential harms,
some CEOs have elected not to follow the trend
set by Motorola and an estimated 67% of large
companies,^ and instead argue that drug testing
surpasses the employer’s legitimate sphere of
control by dictating the behavior of employees
on their own time and in the privacy of their
own homes.”* Recent arguments in favor of a
more psychologically-sensitive definition of
employee privacy place employer intrusions into
this intimate sphere of self-disclosure on even less
certain ethical grounds.’ The ethical status of
workplace drug testing can be expressed as a
question of competing interests, between the

Journal of Business Ethics 17: 1805-1815, 1998.
1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

1806 Michael Cranford

employer’s right to use testing to reduce drug-
related harms and maximize profits, over against
the employee’s right to privacy, particularly with
regard to drug use which occurs outside the

In this paper I will attempt to bring clarity to
this debate and set the practice of workplace drug
testing on more certain ethical grounds by
advancing an argument which justifies workplace
drug testing. I will begin by showing that an
employee’s right to privacy is violated when
personal information is collected or used by the
employer in away which is irrelevant to the
contractual relationship which exists between
employer and employee. I will then demonstrate
that drug testing is justified within the terms of
the employment contract, and therefore does not
amount to a violation of an employee’s right to
privacy. After responding to a battery of argu-
ments to the contrary, I will propose that while
drug testing can be ethically justified under the
terms of an employment contract, it still amounts
to treating employees as a means to an economic
end, and is therefore fundamentally inconsistent
with a substantive valuation of human worth and

Privacy and performance of contract

Legal definitions of privacy inevitably rely on the
1890 Harvard Law Review article “The Right to
Privacy” by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis.
This article offered an understanding of privacy
for which a constitutional basis was not recog-
nized until the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut
(381 U.S. 479). In both instances, privacy was
understood as an individual’s right “to be let
alone,” with the Griswold decision according
citizens a “zone of privacy” around their persons
which cannot be violated by governmental
intrusion. This definition, utilized by the Court
in numerous decisions since the 1965 ruling, w ill
not be adequate for describing the employee’s
claim to privacy in an essentially social and
cooperative setting like the workplace. In such a
condition an absolute right “to be let alone”
cannot be sustained, and it may well prove
impossible for an employee to maintain a “zone

of privacy” when the terms of employment entail
certain physical demands. This is not to argue
that a right to privacy does not exist in this
setting; rather, we must conclude that the afore-
mentioned conditions are not necessary compo-
nents in such a right.^

A more useful definition begins with the idea
of a person’s right to control information about
herself and the situations over which such a right
may be legitimately extended. For example,
information to the effect that an individual
possesses a rare and debilitating disease is gener-
ally considered private, but a physician’s coming
to know that a patient has such a disease is not
an invasion of privacy. One might also note that
while eavesdropping on a conversation would
normally constitute an invasion of privacy,
coming to know the same information because
the individual inadvertently let it slip in a casual
conversation would not. These and other
examples demonstrate that the right to privacy
is not violated by the mere act of coming to
know something private, but is instead contin-
gent on the relationship between the knower and
the person about whom the information is

George Brenkert formulates this understanding
as follows: Privacy involves a relationship
between a person A, some information X, and
another individual Z. A’s right of privacy is
violated only when Z comes to possess infor-
mation X and no relationship exists between A
and Z that would justify Z’s coming to know X.^
Brenkert notes that what would justify Z coming
to know X is a condition in which knowing X
and having a certain access to A will enable Z
to execute its role in the particular relationship
with A. In such a case, Z is entitled to informa-
tion X, and A’s privacy is in no way violated
by the fact that Z knows. Thus, a physician is
justified in coming to know of a patient’s disease
(say, by running certain diagnostic tests), since
knowing of the disease w ill enable her to give
the patient medical treatment. One cannot be a
physician to another unless one is entitled to
certain information and access to that person.
Conversely, one can yield one’s right to privacy
by disclosing information to another that the
relationship would not normally mandate. To

Drug Testing and the Right to Privacy 1807

maintain a right to privacy in a situation where
another would normally be entitled to the
information to enable them to fulfill the terms
of the relationship is, quite simply, to violate the
terms of the relationship and make fulfillment of
such terms impossible. In the case of our earlier
example, to refuse a physician access to the
relevant points of one’s health status is to make
a physician-patient relationship impossible.
Similarly, to refuse an employer access to infor-
mation regarding one’s capability of fulfilling the
terms of an employment contract is to violate
an employer-employee relationship.

The argument advanced at this point is that
drug testing involves access to and information
about an employee that are justified under the
terms of the implicit contractual agreement
between employer and employee. An employer
is therefore entitled to test employees for drug
use. This statement relies on at least two impor-
tant assumptions. First, a contractual model of
employer-employee relations is assumed over
against a common law, agent-principal model. It
is not the case that employees relinquish all
privacy rights in return for employment, as the
common law relationship may imply, but rather
that the terms of the contract, if it is valid, set
reasonable boundaries for employee privacy
rights consistent with the terms and expectations
of employment. The argument offered here is
that drug testing does not violate those bound-
aries. I am also assuming that drug abuse has a
measurable and significant impact on an
employee’s ability to honor the terms of the
employment contract. Employers are entitled to
know about employee drug abuse on the grounds
that such knowledge is relevant to assessing an
employee’s capability to perform according to the
terms ofthe agreement. Without arguing for the
connection between drug abuse and employee
performance at length, the reader’s attention is
directed to studies which, if not absolutely incon-
testable in their methodology, are nonetheless
reasonably set forth.

In support of this argument, I would first
direct attention to other types of information
about an employee that an employer is entitled
to know, and in coming to know such informa-
tion does not violate the employee’s privacy.

Employers are entitled to information about a
current or prospective employee’s work experi-
ence, education, and job skills – in short,
information relevant for determining whether or
not the employee is capable of fulfilling her part
of the contract. More criticaUy, the employer is
not only entitled to such information, but is
entitled to obtain such information through an
investigatory process, both to confirm informa-
tion the employee has voluntarily yielded about
her qualifications, as well as to obtain such
relevant information as may be lacking (i.e.,
inadvertently omitted or, perhaps, intentionally

Brenkert further adds that an employer is
entitled to information which relates to elements
of one’s social and moral character:

A person must be able not simply to perform a
certain activity, or provide a service, but he must
also be able to do it in an acceptable manner – i.e.,
in a manner which is approximately as efficient as
others, in an honest manner, and in a manner com-
patible with others who seek to provide the
services for which they were hired.’

Again, the employer is entitled to know, in the
case of potential employees, if they are capable
of fulfilling their part ofthe contract, and, in the
case of existing employees, if they are adhering
to the terms and expectations implicit in the
contract. While this latter case can often be con-
firmed by direct observation of the employee’s
actions at the work site, on occasion the
employer is entitled to information regarding
behavior which can be observed at the workplace
but originates from outside of it (such as arriving
at work late, or consuming large quantities of
alcohol prior to arriving). As all of these actions
may be in violation of the term of employment,
the employer is entitled to know of them, and
in coming to know of them does not violate the
employee’s privacy.

My point in offering these examples is to
suggest that drug testing is a method of coming
to know about an employee’s ability to fulfill the
terms of contract which is analogous to those
listed. An exploratory process, in seeking to
verify an employee’s ability to do a certain job
in connection with reasonable expectations for

1808 Michael Cranford

what that job entails, may also validly discover
characteristics or tendencies that would keep the
employee from performing to reasonable expec-
tations. Drug testing is precisely this sort of
process. As a part of the process of reviewing
employee performance to determine whether or
not they are fulfilling the terms and expectations
of employment satisfactorily, drug testing may be
validly included among other types of investiga-
tory methods, including interviews with co-
workers, skills and proficiency testing, and (in
some professions) medical examinations. The fact
that an employee may not want to submit to a
drug test is entirely beside the point; the
employee may just as likely prefer not to include
a complete list of personal references, or prefer
that the employer not review her relations with
other employees. In all these cases, the employer
is entitled to know the relevant information, and
in coming to know these things does not violate
the employee’s privacy. The employee may
withhold this information from the employer, but
this action is tantamount to ending the employer-
employee relationship. Such a relationship, under
the terms of employment, includes not only each
party’s commitment to benefit the other in the
specific way indicated, but also entitles each to
determine if the other is capable of performance
according to the terms of contract. In this way,
each retains the free ability to terminate the rela-
tionship on the grounds of the other’s nonper-

Of course, not just any purpose of obtaining
information relevant to evaluating performance
under the terms of contract can automatically be
considered reasonable. For instance, an employer
cannot spy on a prospective employee in her own
home to determine if she will be a capable
employee. I offer the following criteria as setting
reasonable and ethical limits on obtaining
relevant information (though note that the
requirement of relevancy is in each case already

1. The process whereby an employer comes to know
something ahout an employee (existing or
prospective) must not be unnecessarily harmful or

The information may not result from investiga-
tory processes v^hich are themselves degrading or
humiliating by virtue of their intrusiveness (e.g.,
strip searches, spying on an employee while they
use the bathroom, interviewing a divorced
spouse, or searching an employee’s locker) or
which may prove unhealthy (e.g., excessive use
of x-rays, or torture). (Note: Degrading processes
of securing information must be distinguished
from processes of securing information which is
itself degrading. The latter is not necessarily in
violation of this or successive criteria.)

2. The process whereby an employer comes to know
something about an employee must he efficient
and specific

The information must result from an efficient and
specific process – i.e., a process which is the most
direct of competing methods (though without
compromising point 1 above), and should result
in information which corresponds to questions
of performance under the terms of the employ-
ment contract, and should not result in infor-
mation that does not so correspond. For example,
detailed credit checks may help a bank decide
whether a prospective employee is a capable
manager of finances, but not directly (only
inferentially), and it would also provide a great
deal of information that the employer is not
entitled to see. Consulting the employee’s
previous employer, on the other hand, may
provide the relevant information directly and

3. The process whereby an employer comes to know
something ahout an employee must be accurate,
or if not itself precise, then capable of
confirmation through further investigation

The information must result from a dependable
source; if a source is not dependable and is

Drug Testing and the Right to Privacy 1809

incapable of being verified for accuracy, the
employer is not justified in pursuing this avenue
of discovery. Thus, the polygraph must be
excluded, since it is occasionally inaccurate and
may in such cases result in information that
cannot be verified. In addition, disreputable
sources of information, or sources that may have
an interest in misrepresenting the information
being sought, should not be used.

Having outlined these, I offer my argument
in full: Drug testing is not only a method of
coming to know^ about an employee’s ability to
fulfill the terms of contract which is analogous
to those listed earlier, but which also is reason-
able under the criteria listed above.

1. Drug testing is not harmful or intrusive

In the Supreme Court case Samuel K. Skinner v.
Railway Labor Executives’ Association (489 U.S.
602), the Court determined that both blood and
urine tests were minimally intrusive.’ While the
Court acknowledged that the act of passing urine
was itself intensely personal (ibid., p. 617),
obtaining a urine sample in a medical environ-
ment and without the use of direct observation
amounted to no more than a minimal intrusion
(ibid., p. 626). The Court justified not only
testing of urine but also testing of blood by
focusing on the procedure of testing (i.e.,
“experience . . . teaches that the quantity of
blood extracted is minimal,” ibid., p. 625) and
pointing out that since such tests are “common-
place and routine in everyday life,” the tests posed
“virtually no risk, trauma, or pain” (ibid., p.
625). The Court’s findings on this case are com-
pelling, and are consistent with my contention
that drug testing is not unnecessarily harmful or
intrusive. While such testing does amount to an
imposition upon an employee (i.e., by requiring
her to report to a physician and provide a urine
sample) in a way that may not be commonplace
for many employees, the Court ruled that since
this takes place within an employment context
(where limitations of movement are assumed),
this interference is justifiable and does not unnec-
essarily infringe on privacy interests (ibid., pp.

2. Drug testing is both efficient and specific

In fact, drug testing is the most efficient means
of discovering employee drug abuse. In addition
to providing direct access to the information
in question, the results of drug testing do not
include information that is irrelevant. The test
targets a specific set of illegal substances. It can
be argued (and has been) that drug testing is not
efficient because it does not test for impairment
– only for drug use. But this point ignores the
fact that the test is justified on a correlation
between drug abuse and employee productivity
more generally; impairment is itself difficult or
impossible to measure, since the effects of a given
quantity of substance vary from individual to
individual and from one incidence of use to
another. The fact that impairment is an elusive
quantity cannot diminish the validity of testing
for drug abuse. This criticism also ignores the fact
that the test is an effective means of deterring
impairment, providing habitual users a certain
expectation that their drug use will be discov-
ered if it is not controlled.

3. Drug testing can be conducted in a way which
guarantees a high degree of precision

It is well known that the standard (and relatively
inexpensive) EMIT test has a measurable chance
of falsely indicating drug use, and is also suscep-
tible to cross-reactivity with other legal sub-
stances. But confirmatory testing, such as that
performed using gas chromatography/mass
spectrometry, can provide results at a high level
of accuracy. This confirmatory testing, as well as
a host of other stringent safeguards, is required
of all laboratories certified by the National
Institute on Drug Abuse.”

In summary, my contention is that an
employer is entitled to drug test on the grounds
that the information derived is relevant to
confirm the employee’s capacity to perform
according to the terms of employment, and that
such testing is a reasonable means of coming to
know such information. Other points in favor
of drug testing, which are not essential to my
preceding argument but congruent with it,
include the following two items.

1810 Michael Cranford

First, drug testing is an opportunity for
employer beneficence. Testing permits the
employer to diagnose poor employee perfor-
mance and require such individuals to participate
in employer-sponsored counseling and rehabili-
tative measures. Employers are permitted to
recognize that drug abuse is a disease w ith a broad
social impact that is not addressed if employees
who perform poorly as a result of drug abuse are
merely terminated.’^ Second, a specific diagnosis
of drug abuse in the case of poor employee
performance might protect the employer from
wrongful termination litigation, in the event that
an employee refuses to seek help regarding their
abuse. The results of drug testing might confirm
to the court that the termination was effected on
substantive and not arbitrary grounds.

Drug testing and questions of justification

A number of arguments have been offered which
suggest that drug testing is not justified under
terms of contract, or is not a reasonable method
by which an employer may come to know of
employee drug abuse, and therefore amounts to
a violation of employee privacy. These arguments
include a rejection of productivity as a justifica-
tion for testing, charges that testing is coercive,
and that it amounts to an abuse of employee
privacy by controlling behavior conducted
outside the workplace. I will respond to each of
these in turn.

First, some have charged that arguing from an
employer’s right to maximize productivity to a
justification for drug testing is problematic.
Desjardins and Duska point out that employers
have a valid claim on some level of employee
performance, such that a failure to perform to
this level would give the employer a justification
for firing or finding fault with the employee. But
it is not clear that an employer has a valid claim
on an optimal level of employee performance,
and that is what drug testing is directed at
achieving. As long as drug abuse does not reduce
an employee’s performance beyond a reasonable
level, an employer cannot claim a right to the
highest level of performance of which an
employee is capable.”’

Desjardins and Duska further point out the
elusiveness of an optimal level of performance.
Some employees perform below the norm in an
unimpaired state, and other employees might
conceivably perform above the norm in an
impaired state. “If the relevant consideration is
whether the employee is producing as expected
(according to the normal demands ofthe position
and contract) not whether he/she is producing
as much as possible, then knowledge of drug use
is irrelevant or unnecessary.”‘”* This is because the
issue in question is not drug use per se, but
employee productivity. Since drug use need not
correlate to expectations for a given employee’s
productivity, testing for drug use is irrelevant.
And since it is irrelevant to fulfillment of the
employment contract, testing for drugs is unjus-
tified and therefore stands in violation of an
employee’s privacy.

While I agree that it is problematic to state
that an employer has a right to expect an optimal
level of performance from an employee, I would
argue that the employer does have a right to a
workplace free from the deleterious effects of
employee drug abuse.’^ Drug testing, properly
understood, is not directed at effecting optimal
performance, but rather performance which is
free from the effects of drug abuse. Since the
assessment which justifies drug testing is not
based on the impact of drug abuse on a given
employee’s performance, but is correlated on the
effects of drug abuse on workplace productivity
more generally, drug testing does measure a
relevant quantity.

It is also overly simplistic to state that
employers need not test for drugs when they can
terminate employees on the mere basis of a
failure to perform. Employers are willing to
tolerate temporary factors which may detract
from employee performance; e.g., a death in the
family, sickness, or occasional loss of sleep. But
employers have a right to distinguish these self-
correcting factors from factors which may be
habitual, ongoing, and increasingly detrimental
to productivity, such as drug abuse. Such insight
might dramatically impact their course of action
with regard to how they address the employee’s
failure to perform. It is therefore not the case,
as Desjardins and Duska suggest, that “knowl-

Drug Testing and the Right to Privacy 1811

edge of the cause of the failure to perform is

A more critical series of arguments against
basing drug testing on an employer’s right to
maximize productivity has been leveled by
Nicholas Caste. First, Caste attacks what he
identifies as “the productivity argument”:

The productivity argument essentially states that
since the employer has purchased the employee’s
time, the employer has a proprietary right to ensure
that the time purchased is used as efficiently as
possible. . . . the employer must be concerned with
“contract enforcement” and must attempt
somehow to motivate the employee to attain
maximal production capacity. In the case of drug
testing, the abuse of drugs by employees is seen as
diminishing their productive capacity and is thus
subject to the control ofthe employer.”

From this argument. Caste states, one can infer
that any manipulation is acceptable as long as it
is maximizing productivity, and he defines
manipulation as an attempt to produce a response
without regard for that individual’s good, as he
or she perceives it.’^ Caste goes on to give two
examples of hypothetical drugs which, assuming
the productivity argument, an employer would
be justified in requiring employees to take. The
first drug increases employee productivity while
also increasing pleasure and job satisfaction. The
second drug increases productivity while
infiicting painful side-effects on the employee.
The fact that the productivity argument appears
to sanction the use of both drugs, and in fact
cannot morally distinguish between them, seems
to argue for its invalidity. Since the productivity
argument cannot distinguish between causing an
employee pleasure or pain, by adopting its logic
one would be forced to the morally unacceptable
conclusion that an employee’s best interests are

Caste points out that what is wrong with the
second drug is not that it causes pain “but that
it is manipulatively intrusive. It establishes areas
of control to which the employer has no right.””
He concludes that what is wrong with the pro-
ductivity argument is that it is manipulative. And
what is wrong with manipulation is not the
effects it produces (which may, coincidentally, be

in the subject’s best interests) but rather that it
undermines the subject’s autonomy by not
allowing their desires to be factored into the
decision making process.^” Since drug testing is
justified by appeal to productivity arguments, it
also is fundamentally manipulative and results in
a morally unacceptable degree of employee
control. Drug testing is therefore unethical, and
should be rejected.

One could point out that our system of
modern law regulates behavior in a way that
would also have to be considered manipulative,
according to Caste’s definition, but he avoids this
counterexample by stating that in a democratic
system, citizens have a chance to participate in
the legislative process. Since their desires par-
ticipate through the election of representatives
who make the laws. Caste argues that our legal
system does not destroy autonomy the way
mandatory drug testing does, by dictating
behavior without any room for autonomy.^’
Before I address the critical oversight here, I
should point out that one might rescue drug
testing from the charge of being manipulative by
using the same argument that Caste did to rescue
our legal system. One can exercise the same
degree of autonomy with respect to drug testing
legislation as one currently does with legislation
generally by participating in our electoral system.
Since employees have an ability to elect repre-
sentatives who can limit the use of drug testing,
one could argue that drug testing also “does not
destroy the individual’s autonomy in that he or
she retains the capability of input into the
governing process.”^^ In point of fact, individual
autonomy is limited in both cases, as it must
necessarily be in any contractual obligation,
making any expressed distinction here trivial.

The failure of Caste’s argument becomes clear
when we realize that, if he is correct, virtually
every action required of an employee at a work
site would qualify as manipulative – whether the
action in question was in her best interests or not,
and whether or not she desired to comply, since
Caste defines manipulation as a function of
restricting autonomy. Dress codes, starting times,
and basic performance expectations all may be
similarly justified by appeal to the productivity
argument – but most of us are not prepared to

1812 Michael Cranford

count these things as manipulative or unjustified.
Requirements of this sort are not instances of
manipulation, but are justified expectations
which honor a contractual agreement. Similarly,
an employee who demands a paycheck of her
employer is engaging in manipulation, according
to Caste’s definition – but this cannot be correct.
In the contract, each party is apprised that the
other has a right to benefit from the arrange-
ment, and each has a commensurate responsi-
bihty to uphold their part. Accountabihty to the
terms ofthe contract does not amount to manip-
ulation when the accountability in question is
reasonable. In agreement with Caste’s original
criticism, it is not true that an employer has a
right to ensure maximal productivity. But an
employer does have the right to hold an
employee accountable to the terms of the
contract, which express reasonable expectations
of productivity. From this it cannot be inferred,
however, that just any activity to maximize (or
even minimally ensure) productivity is justifiable,
since the contractual model expressly allows that
the employee has certain morally justified claims
that cannot be bargained away in return for
employment. Since the productivity argument, as
Caste depicts it, is in fact not a justification for
drug testing under a contractual model, it is not
the case that drug testing must be rejected.

In a similar vein, some argue that any testing
which involves coercion is inherently an invasion
of employee privacy. Placing employees in a
position where they must choose between
maintaining their privacy or losing their jobs is
fundamentally coercive. “For most employees,
being given the choice between submitting to a
drug test and risking one’s job by refusing an
employer’s request is not much of a decision at
aU.” ^ While Brenkert’s arguments against the use
of the polygraph are directed at that device’s
inability to distinguish the reason behind a
positive reading (which may not, in many
instances, indicate an intentional lie), his
argument that the polygraph is coerc


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Post

Open chat
💬 Need help?
Hello 👋
Can we help you?