Blacks are 17% more likely than whites to report working for an employer who drug tests, a new study shows. According to Business Insider, previous research had confirmed that very point, but researchers set out to test whether that was simply because black workers are more frequently employed in jobs that drug test, or whether workplace drug testing policies might be racially biased,
"It challenges the assertion that the only reason there's higher reporting among racial and ethnic minorities is because they're in jobs where testing happens more often," Yale researcher Dr. William Becker told Business Insider.
The study, published in Early View of the American Journal on Addictions, analyzed 69,000 responses from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Those who reported workplace drug testing were more likely to be younger age, male sex, black race, and live in non-urban areas. They were also more likely to work "blue collar" jobs in medium to large workplaces.
The report "highlights the potential bias that can be introduced when drug testing policies are not implemented in a universal fashion," according to its authors.
It may be that universally drug testing employees can alleviate these racial bias concerns. Or it may be that, like most every other component of the U.S. drug war, widespread workplace drug testing is an inherently racist institution ultimately designed to help imprison mostly poor and black workers in pennies-an-hour corporate prison slave jobs while the wealthy and the white idly profit from their human suffering.
Either way, more research is needed.