Press Release  | 03/28/2000

Barbara Ehrenreich to Speak at Drug Testing Forum

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Well-known author and commentator Barbara Ehrenreich will be a keynote speaker at a Lindesmith Center-West sponsored forum titled, "Drug Testing: The New McCarthyism" to be held Tuesday, May 2, 2000 from 5-7 pm at the San Francisco Medical Society, 1409 Sutter Avenue (at Franklin).

Over 80% of major U.S. companies have made drug testing a condition of employment. In a recent New York Times Magazine piece titled "Warning: This is a Rights Free Workplace," Ehrenreich wrote, "Workers who stack boxes of Cheerios in my local supermarkets get tested, as do the editorial employees of this magazine, although there is no evidence that a weekend joint has any more effect on Monday-morning performance than a Saturday-night beer. . . . The mystery is why American workers, the political descendants of proud revolutionaries, have so meekly surrendered their rights. . .What we need is nothing less than a new civil rights movementthis time, for American workers."

Ehrenreich, the author of many books, including the upcoming Nickel and Dimed: Surviving in Low Wage America, has written for Time magazine since 1990. Her articles, reviews and essays have appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The Nation and The New Republic as well as newspapers throughout the world. She has appeared on the "Today Show," "Good Morning America," "Nightline," "Crossfire," "Politically Incorrect," "Charlie Rose," and "All Things Considered."

Also on the panel will be Brian Sedgwick, a toxicologist who worked in the urine testing industry, and now is a consultant and expert witness on the chemistry, metabolism and detection of drugs. Daniel Abrahamson, Director of Legal Affairs for The Lindesmith Center and Dale Gieringer, Coordinator of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), will round out the evening discussing the current legal aspects of the issue, including hair and sweat-patch testing.

The forum is free and open to the public. Please phone 415-921-4987 or email tlc-west [at] ix [dot] netcom [dot] com to reserve a space.

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 x 1383

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