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Physical Privacy Rights in the Workplace

Physical Privacy rights in the workplace As soon as you raise your right hand in the Military you lose many rights. Just to name a few; the right to wear your hair long; grow a beard and or a full mustache; the right to attend a political rally; the right to express your first amendment rights, and many others. There are some I agree with and some I don’t; never the less I support the military’s general reasoning.

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I support the right to privacy, and the military in most cases try to comply with the privacy of individuals. One is drug testing. We are human and I understand that some folks have weaker will than others.

I have witnessed good men and women in the military lose their careers over the use of drugs. I agree with drug testing and everyone in the military should be drug free. There are many factors in my reasoning. There is espionage. Some may do anything for drugs; even give up their Government’s secrets. Safety is another factor; weather they work with weapons or machines the risk level is much higher with someone who is impaired. On another note I believe in the privacy of an individual that tests positive for drugs. The word always seems to get out to others.

I agree that we can say to other Soldiers that an individual tested positive and will be dealt with legally, as a deterrent for others. But to have everyone know who the individual was and what drug they tested positive for is just wrong. In the past they use to ask what medications are you currently taking? That is a private matter of the individual. If the Soldier tests positive for a controlled substance that happens to be prescribed medication, all the Soldier needs to do is provide proof. Now they do not ask that question anymore. So they have yielded to the right of privacy in that perspective.

They still need to work on the privacy for the ones that come up positive. There are many ongoing issues that spark controversy from time to time. Another is tattoos and body piercing. Now day’s tattoos and body piercing are more common then when I was growing up, especially with today’s youth. For them it’s like a sign of maturity. Even so that the Army and other Armed Forces have relaxed their entrance requirements and allow tattoos on forearms, necks, and legs. However, the Army will still not accept any gang related, or racist tattoos. If a Soldier is caught with any of these tattoos they will be discharged from the military.

Body piercing also is prohibited. I see more new Soldiers with tattoos then I ever seen in my career. What does this do to us old timers? It makes us think that the old known “good order and discipline” is slowly fading. I see young male Soldiers with earring holes in their ears. I even caught a young Soldier wearing an earring on duty. I told him he had five seconds to take it off or else… He complied. I believe that this is today’s norm, but is society slowly slipping too far? How about going to a lawyer’s office and seeing a lawyer with an earring and tattoo on his neck? I’ve seen lawyers with earrings before.

But how professional is this? I personally would not like to be represented by someone like that. A judge may discriminate and it may cause someone to lose a case. Other issues are perception. Looking at someone with multiple tattoos may give people a bad first impression on an individual. These young Soldiers will someday leave the Army and look for a job. The tattoos may cause them a job. They can be highly qualified, but they are still subject to discrimination. When I see a young Soldier saying that he or she is going to get a tattoo, I tell them to think about it real well. Think of how it may affect their future.