Q: Can an employer ask for on-site random drug test in a public restroom in plain sight of the customers you service?
I am a retail pharmacist in a small Oregon town. My employer is initiating on-site quarterly random drug testing. The problem is, we only have one bathroom and it is designated public. The bathroom door is about 5 feet from where customers line up for prescription drop-off and counsels, and any customer at the front cash wrap would have full view of us entering and exiting the bathroom with the sample cup. I am the only pharmacist on staff, and customers that require my advice would be waiting for me while this procedure is done. I am a professional that has worked to build the trust and respect of this community over 16 years. I am horrified of losing my reputation in the community by this procedure being conducted in plain sight of my patients. The town is small and rumors abound about the smallest things. I fear for my (and the rest of the staff's) privacy, I fear for my reputation as a trusted professional, and I feel like this will create a hostile work environment.
A: I am not aware of any law that would prohibit this. However, your first step should be to take your concerns to management. A well laid out argument that addresses exactly why this is a bad idea for the company (e.g. lost customers), along with a well thought out plan to address those concerns but also meets the company's issues (such as do the test before opening or after closing) may be all that is needed.
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