U S Steel Drug/Alcohol Policy

This is how it is administered.

I have a brothers working at each Minnesota mine where this policy is in place.
Has anyone in the free world seen a more degrading practice?

In between these 2 mines, is the mine i work at and we also have a very strict policy, however, If someone was to be taken in for a test and the test (urine) is negative they just return to work in most cases.

A post-incident drug test is degrading?

Let’s talk about draconian policies: I get tested a minimum of once a year whether I like it or not. My name can come up once a month, and frequently does. If something happens while flying that results in injury or damage to equipment, the first thing they do after treatment is make us either pee in a cup or take blood.

The first positive test is the last positive test. You get 5 minutes before the wing commander, whereupon he tells you that your dishonorable discharge will be following you out the gate shortly, you are no longer a member of the military, and you are not welcome to come back under any circumstances.

Now THAT is draconian.

As for the “looking like a criminal” thing, the policy is public knowledge. Who, exactly, will be looking at someone as if they are a criminal? The point about not allowing you to go to your car or change is valid as well: it’s far too easy to cheat the test if you have prepared something to enable you to do so, as many habitual drug users have done in the past.

In any event, this is, for lack of a better word, a fine example of what might be called “propaganda”. It is so one-sided as to be pointless. Of course, any release that the company were to issue would be exactly the same, only from the opposite perspective, so as usual there is some middle ground.

If you have a problem with these CYA measures that the company has undertaken, it is incumbent upon you and your coworkers to ensure that none of you are using illegal drugs. Unfortunately, it’s far too late for that, but it’s because of the idiots that these policies exist to inconvenience you and me.

We don’t get tested in Canada. Well, at least not in private industry. I’ve never figured out how this came to be standard practice in a country that used to be the poster child for individual rights.

There’s no requirement that every company must test. The restaurant I work at a few nights a week has no such policy, either for hiring or for any incidents. With larger companies, in my experience, though, it’s nearly universal. Like I said before, it’s a CYA measure. Why should a company assume liability for your injury when it was likely your criminal/irresponsible activity that resulted in your injury?

Ah yes. Welcome to the Litigious States of America.

Indeed. It makes my eyes roll as well. Such is the state of our society.

That’s not to say that companies don’t engage in malicious prosecution as well. Reference the McLibel case and the existence of SLAPP lawsuits.

Companies get tax breaks for drug testing.

Personally I woudn’t care one way or another since i don’t do anything illegal. I do like my beer, on my own time though. It seems to me that whatever I choose to do on my time though is my business, not my company’s.

Drug testing seems to me to be a huge personal rights infringement, and I’m frankly puzzled that you folks let them get away with it: land of the free and all.

I’m puzzled as to how you think this has anything to do with the U.S. being called the “land of the free.” “Land of the free” is just a line from the Star-Spangled Banner, I honestly don’t know what Francis Scott Key’s intent was behind those words but I don’t think he meant it as “free of having to listen to your employer.”

“I’m frankly puzzled that you folks let them get away with it.” Right. “Let them get away with it.” These are private corporations, if I invite you into my home I could ask you to take off your shoes, and you wouldn’t have to do it, but if you refused I’d have full rights to kick you out. That’s part of the “land of the free” thing, property rights and all that. Just like you’re welcome to walk out of my house if you don’t want to follow my rules, you’re welcome to walk out of a job if you don’t want to follow the rules the company sets up.

You’re entering into a situation willingly, if you don’t want to work at a company that makes you do random screenings, no one can make you. And, if you don’t want to take a test you can refuse at any time, even after accepting employment, there’s no mechanism by which a private company can force you to submit to such a test.

Roughly 62% of American employers do pre-employment drug screening, a smaller percentage do random drug screening while employed. So, if you don’t want to work at a company that does any sort of testing, you certainly don’t have to–and many corporations are moving away form it anyway. Pre-employment screening is a joke, as anyone can just choose to not use for a period prior to the screening. And by and large for most companies it just isn’t cost-effective to do testing continually of all employees.

I think in certain industries, though, drug/alcohol testing should be mandatory (and for many it is.) There’s just certain fields like medicine, transportation, and et cetera where you could put hundreds of people and the general public at huge risk if you use while on the job, and that’s why on-the-job testing should be done in those cases.

For future reference, employers in Canada do drug testing as well, especially in the transportation industry (in Canada it is not mandated that the transportation industry do drug/alcohol screening like it is in the United States, but companies in Canada just like in the U.S. have a responsibility to make sure their employees do not pose a significant risk to the public so many Canadian bus/trucking companies do drug testing.)

Well, at least it keeps the heroin addicts from flooding into middle-management positions.

I’ve been, to one degree or another, associated with the “drug culture” since 1966. I’ve lost some friends to “drugs” (or they lost themselves…) One died of heroin, an occasional user (maybe once a month). The rest died of booze.

America has a serious drug problem, but it comes from Kentucky and Milwaukee, Colombia and Mexico are way, way behind.

Just for myself, I’ve had a number of moderately dangerous jobs, wherein trusting my co-workers was crucial. I’d rather work with a guy who is stoned right now than a guy who was drunk 12 hours ago.

Don’t worry, I live in America and I find it puzzling too. I feel drug testing should be illegal. Judge my performance, on my performance, not on what I do in my personal free time outside of work.
Unfortunately, many of these drug tests are just as primitive as they were a decade ago. While these tests indicate that a drug was taken in the past, it does not specify whether an individual was under the influence of that drug while on the job. And, even then, there is emerging data that indicates that drinking certain drinks like coca tea or taking an anti-depressant Wellbutrin causes false positives for drug abuse.

  • Honesty

U.S. Steel is U.S. Steel again?! That’s awesome … last time I visited Pittsburgh they had renamed themselves “USX” and the Steel Building was “USX Tower” or something, which was just sad. Even if they’re not producing as much steel as they used to, I don’t think they were ever famous for producing ‘X.’ Don’t be ashamed of your past! Man, I need to get back up there for a visit, it’s been too long…

Um… sorry for the hijack. I blame the drugs.

Regardless of the tangents in which every single poster subsequent to the OP has engaged, neither the OP nor the union have actually protested drug tests.

The claim, (if true), that empoyees have been sent out of fact-finding meetings for drug testing after raising complaints about policy or procedure would seem to be a pretty clear indication of harrassment.
On the other hand, a test for impaired ability after reporting a machine malfunction may be more arguable and a test after an injury would be something I would tend to support.

Rather than a simple “drug testing is bad” rant, (which does not seem to be the point of the OP), or “alcohol is worse than drugs” rant, (which is irrelevant, since the tests are for drugs and alcohol), why don’t we address the actual point of the OP. Does anyone have any evidence that USX is actually (mis)behaving in the manner described? Are there any rebuttals from USX? Has the union provided evidence for its claims? (When is the contract up for renewal?)

Keep in mind that these policies are new and the workers in most cases have 30 + years with this company. Its not easy to start out new after 25-30 years.


This policy sounds great to me: for not using drugs I get three days paid vacation and a paid cab ride for peeing in a cup.

Sign me up. I’m not intimidated. I’ll test every third day if they want me to.

Gbro, please review the Rules for Posting, particularly the section on policy on copyrights:

Thank you.

[ /Moderating ]

Not just the unions. They should test everybody.The offices ,the bosses and the executives. That would take the sting away from being tested.

The company claims that they do so:

I’m quite happy that I am not an indentured servent like you. Yes, it is draconian. I personally refuse to sell my labor to companies that drug test.

How am I an indentured servant? All they ask is that I don’t show up to work drunk (which will get you fired almost anywhere) and that I don’t do anything illegal. Is that so much of a stretch that you’re not willing to do it?