State Employee Drug Test Bills Moving in Florida

In Tallahassee, drug testing fever seems to know no bounds. Companion bills that would mandate random, suspicionless drug testing of state employees were on the agenda last week, and both passed out of committees in their respective chambers. Republican legislators also used the bills to attack state workers collective bargaining rights.

The latest legislative drug testing effort comes even as a state law passed last year to force welfare applicants and recipients to pass drug tests has been temporarily blocked by a federal court pending a final decision and as Republican Gov. Rick Scott's executive order last year to drug test state employees is in limbo awaiting litigation.

This week's drug testing bills, House Bill 1205 and Senate Bill 1358, would give state agencies the option of randomly drug testing their employees quarterly. Bill supporters argued that the legislation would give state agencies the ability to drug test workers just as private employers do.

"State employees are not different from other employees," and should be subjected to drug tests just like private workers, said state Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla), the sponsor of the senate bill.

The bills authorize state agencies to require all employees to submit to periodic random drug testing and would allow them to fire workers who test positive or mandate they undergo drug or alcohol treatment at their own expense.

The bills also remove "the definition of the term 'safety-sensitive position'" and remove "provisions limiting the circumstances under which an agency may discharge an employee in a special risk or safety-sensitive position." And for good measure, the bills "delete provisions relating to public employees' collective bargaining rights for drug testing."

Some members of the committee said they were concerned the bill could be challenged on constitutional grounds, but they were outvoted. The House bill passed out of the Government Operations Committee on a 9-4 vote, and the Senate bill passed out of the Health Regulation Committee on a 6-1 vote. Both bills face further committee votes before going to the floor.

Tallahassee, FL
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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drug testing of state employees

The governor and congress are state employees start with them


Of course this will be challenged on Constitutional grounds.. The right to privacy from the Government is part of the Constitution still? They havent managed to remove that part have they?

Because Private sector Employees are subjected to this Illegal search and siezure dosent make it right does it? It should also be against the Law to do this to Private Employees. What genius came up with the argument that the constitution does not apply to the workplace should be jailed.. 

Can anyone tell me of a medical test that is 100% accurate? How anyone is expected to gamble thier employement on a test that can be up to 30% or more in error is obscene. Jobs are hard enough to come by these days. This smacks of back room politics to give employers the ability to thin the workforce by claiming failed drug tests and let people go without unemployment benefits. A win for government and business. 

I assume the wording of these bills is similar to the last garbage they tried to pass which exempts the Governor his Cabinet, all the lawmakers and Judges from having to Submit to testing?

FLORIDA STAND UP AND YELL HELL NO TO THESE PEOPLE.. call your lawmakers now and tell them HELL NO!


Fla Drug Testing

This is the result of electing a "non-carreer" politician- the campaign slang and battle cry of our last gubernatorial and senate elections.  I am from Florida and Mr. Rick Scott's  whole campaign was fueled by the I'm a former businessman and not a career politician garbage, it just amazed me that people actually bought the idea that experience in politics was bad. He keeps trying to get these unconstitutional mandatory testing laws passed and all he is doing is wasting time and money. Random drug testing has already been deemed unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court in Baron v. Hollywood (1999) of course now they want to redefine what safety sensitive means as to make the Baron case not a primary authority when challenged, but there is also the U.S Supreme Court case of Chandler v. Miller (1997) which is closer to the current bill Governor Scott is trying to pass. Scott was a crooked businessman and scammed millions from false Medicare claims and now he's running the state of Florida. Just like the welfare testing this one too will be deemed unconstitutional as being in violation of the fourth amendment as well. We are stuck with him for another couple of years, so well expect more of this until he gets voted out. His slogan was " Let's get to work " most thought he meant getting the 700,000 jobs his campaign promised. Big disappointment.  

Jesus said to do unto others

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child or grandchild thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains.
If the people who want to use marijuana could grow a few plants in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes; it would put the drug gangs out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods.

Screening Tests

Drug testing is now very important part for every type of Industry. And it is available with good technology options, professional support networks and onsite drug testing. So i think it will alive in future. Thanks

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