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Florida Governor Suspends Order Requiring Drug Tests for State Workers

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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, Reuters reports.

“We are pleased that this new order has delayed subjecting thousands of state employees to demeaning, invasive and illegal tests of their bodily fluids,” Randall Marshall, the ACLU of Florida’s Legal Director, said in a statement. “But it does not change our Constitutional challenge. Any government search without suspicion of drug use or not directly related to public safety is a violation of privacy protections and we will vigorously move ahead with our challenge.”

Governor Scott signed an order in March that required state workers to undergo screening for illegal drugs every three months, and required prospective state employees to have a drug test. According to Reuters, the governor says he is confident the courts will uphold the testing program. The drug testing suspension does not affect the Florida Department of Corrections, which already tests its employees, the article notes.

Governor Scott recently signed into law a measure requiring that adults in Florida who are applying for welfare assistance undergo drug screening. The law, which takes effect July 1, requires applicants to be responsible for the cost of the screening. They can recover the costs if they qualify for assistance.

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