Florida House Approves Random Drug Tests for State Employees, But Not Themselves
The Florida House passed a measure that allows random drug testing for state employees, but rejected an amendment that would have required the tests for themselves and the governor. The bill also passed its final Senate committee last week, according to The Miami Herald.
The measure would permit state agencies to randomly test up to 10 percent of their employees once every three months. Agencies could fire employees the first time they tested positive, the article notes. Under current law, random drug testing is only allowed for “safety sensitive” positions. Workers who test positive once must participate in treatment programs, and cannot be fired for substance abuse.
Last June, Florida Governor Rick Scott suspended an order that requires all state workers to undergo drug testing until a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is resolved. The ACLU says that requiring drug testing for workers, without regard to suspicion of drug use or other related activity, violates their constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. The case is pending in federal court, the newspaper notes.
In October, a federal judge temporarily halted a Florida law that requires welfare applicants to pass a drug test before they are able to receive benefits. Judge Mary Scriven said the law may violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. The judge’s ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Florida and a Navy veteran. The veteran, Luis Lebron, is a University of Central Florida student who cares for his son and disabled mother, and receives welfare.