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Florida Must Pay Attorney Fees in Employee Drug Test Lawsuit

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #765)

A federal judge has ordered the state of Florida to pay more than $190,000 in attorneys' fees in a case challenging an executive order ordering suspicionless drug testing of state employees issued last year by Gov. Rick Scott (R). Those taxpayer funds have now been lost to Scott's chimeric crusade to impose drug testing on various fronts.

Last Friday, US District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro ordered the state to pay attorneys' fees to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 79, which filed suit to block the executive order in May 2011. The union is the plaintiff in the suit challenging Scott's ability to randomly test workers in state agencies.

A report by the Orlando Sentinel found that the state has now incurred over a million dollars in legal bills for controversial legislation pushed by the governor.

Judge Ungaro had ruled that Scott's executive order was unconstitutional back in April, saying the governor did not show a "compelling need" to impose drug testing. Scott has appealed to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Scott's drug testing plan has never been implemented except among some employees of the Department of Corrections. He put it on hold because of the legal challenge.

Another of Scott's pet projects, the mandatory suspicionless drug testing of welfare applicants and recipients has also been so far stymied in the federal courts. In that case, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction blocking implementation amid strong hints she would eventually rule that the practice was unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, despite the legal roadblocks -- and financial costs to taxpayers of fighting them -- Scott and the legislature last year passed another bill, House Bill 1205, which would allow, but not require, state agencies to conduct random suspicionless drug testing of state workers. That law, too, is on hold as it faces challenges in the federal courts.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Uncle Bob (not verified)

Just look at his picture, as shown here... you can see the uncertainty in his eyes... what are you compensating for, Mr. Scott?  What are you trying to prove?  What kind of daddy issues do you have?  Well, when even a federal judge will make a ruling like this, it's time to lower the curtains.  The Drug War is done.  Suspicionless drug testing is a bane on our society, and a gross violation of our personal rights.

It is literally telling someone that despite the general good work they may be doing for the organization, they have to rule out drug use "just in case."  This is even more offensive when you consider federal employees and members of our military.  People with security clearance who have exceptional trust placed in them, but even those people can't be trusted to "not do drugs."  So everyone has to pee in the bottle and send it off to the piss-sniffers, you know... "just to make sure."

What an absurdity.  What a joke.  And the scumbags who profit from sniffing urine, I hope they get shut down and go out of business hard and fast as the drug war continues to collapse.  They profit off the misery of others, their job is to destroy other peoples' jobs, for no damn good reason other than they used the wrong "drug of choice" which in America the drugs of choice are apparently alcohol and tobacco, and nothing else.

How primitive, how backwards... I hate that these idiotic policies founded on hatred and ignorance are still around to this day.

The drug war hasn't been TRULY won until ALL suspicionless drug testing in this country is outlawed as an unconstitutional breach of our civil privacy. 

Tue, 01/01/2013 - 8:41pm Permalink
Mark Mitcham (not verified)

In reply to by Uncle Bob (not verified)

In Colorado, a red-card is legal proof of disability.  It has been determined by a physician and certified by the state that this patient is approved for cannabis use.  And now, cannabis itself is legal.  But this friend of mine (okay, it's me) still can't get a job through a temp agency because he can't pass their drug test!

It's so totally about money and greed.  Disgusting is the word.  Barf!  Where's my nausea medicine....?

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 2:33pm Permalink
pimpstress (not verified)

In reply to by Mark Mitcham (not verified)

i have NEVER failed a drug test and i have medication that shows up all over the drug test.  I have even passed all blood draw drug tests.  i am a 5'9" woman 130lbs and I use Pectin.  I use SureGel Fruit Pectin.  Throw the package in a big gatorade bottle keep it shaken up and drink the stuff.  you might need two packages as THC stays in your fat cells and i have few fat cells compared to the average american.  I hope this helps!!!!

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 1:54pm Permalink
Mark Mitcham (not verified)

In reply to by pimpstress (not verified)

Thanks for the kind advice.  I've got no ethical problem with beating an evil drug test, but I've always gone the six-weeks-without route (which admittedly sucks) because I was afraid so-called "detox" methods (hate that name, weed not toxic) either wouldn't work, or would make me ill.  Pectin doesn't sound particularly toxic, and I have your assurance that it works.  Also, we don't always have six weeks to spare!  So, I'll give your suggestion serious consideration.  Thanks again.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 2:25pm Permalink
Uncle Bob (not verified)

In reply to by Mark Mitcham (not verified)

There's no magical miracle "detox" product out there that will pass MS/GS or other reliable types of drug tests.  I wouldn't wager your career or life on passing a drug test due to one comment posted at this website.  There's simply no way you can freely use drugs and still pass a drug test.. if there is,the method would be an absolute sensation.  You'd never hear the end of it.  The entire drug testing industry would crash.  That industry stays afloat, because there's just no way to pass that test.  Even dilution doesn't really work anymore.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 5:03am Permalink
Mark Mitcham (not verified)

In reply to by Uncle Bob (not verified)

Until that industry is recognized as the parasite that it is, as opposed to the health/safety scam it purports to be, it will continue to enjoy the financial rewards of corporate discrimination.  The more legal marijuana gets, the harder it will be for businesses and governments to fuck over some of society's most vulnerable, low-paid workers.  Still lots of drug policy reform work left to do!





Mon, 01/07/2013 - 1:34pm Permalink
Tony Aroma (not verified)

I guess when you (or your wife) owns shares in the drug testing company, you'll work pretty hard to make sure they get the contract, US Constitution notwithstanding.

Tue, 01/01/2013 - 8:46pm Permalink
Paul Pot (not verified)

Given Governor Sick Rott's close association with the drug testing industry (Solantic) his drug testing laws amount to nothing less than the most blatant corruption scandal.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:11am Permalink
Uncle Bob (not verified)

In reply to by Paul Pot (not verified)

How do we look this up?  Where does this info come from.  I'm not doubting anything, but it's shameful if it's true.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:37am Permalink
Tony Aroma (not verified)

In reply to by Uncle Bob (not verified)

One of the more popular services at Solantic, the urgent care chain co-founded by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, is drug testing, according to Solantic CEO Karen Bowling.

Given Solantic's role in that marketplace, critics are again asking whether Scott's policy initiatives - this time, requiring drug testing of state employees and welfare recipients - are designed to benefit Scott's bottom line.

The Palm Beach Post reported in an exclusive story two weeks ago that while Scott divested his interest in Solantic in January, the controlling shares went to a trust in his wife's name.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:42pm Permalink
Rookie (not verified)

In reply to by Uncle Bob (not verified)

I would suggest Google as a place to look up this information. As a resident of Florida Rick Scott's shady past is a thing of public knowledge. Check into his past in the Medical Industry and the accusations that never really stuck to this Teflon Don...

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 8:12am Permalink
joebanana (not verified)

Just who is this clown trying to impersonate? The fraud president? Executive orders are bunk, there's no such thing. Look it up in the constitution. Recall this creaton, before he does any more damage.

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 1:28pm Permalink
Uncle Bob (not verified)

Do you think the President of the United States is included in the federal governments Drug Demand Reduction program?  Does even his number come up occasionally, and he has to pee in the bottle and send it in?  What happens if the President "pops positive" for drugs?  Does he get discharged?

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 3:02pm Permalink
kelemi (not verified)


There are 11 groups that don't want to end the War on Drugs

1Conservative political and religious groups

2Police and Correction officers unions (Excluding those in LEAP)

3Liquor Industry

4Tobacco Industry

5Pharmaceutical industry

6Owners of Privatized Prisons

7Mandatory Drug Test Clinics

8Oil Industry

9The banks that launder the Cartel's money.

10The CIA who have helped their clients including 11

11The Drug Cartels. 

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 4:41pm Permalink
paita (not verified)

In reply to by kelemi (not verified)

Thank u for pointing the truth out,many do not want the war on drugs stopped.I read a g.p.o.[government printing office]official paper of a Attorney General named Meese back in the late 80's.This man who lived his life on OUR TAX DOLLARS is the lovely soul who preached w/our tax dollars,''zero tolerance,''and here is a beauty on our tax dollars,I quote,''every single person who chooses to smoke  pot,or any drug is responsible for all the dea,officer,government official killed from drugs,''  really,,,,,,We paid to take care of this man for life w/our tax dollars.These are the type of idiots,prohibitionist,that make these corrupted policies.Not based on science.For example,who many of these readers believe when they say ,they are testing you for drugs,actually believe they are testing you for actual drugs,meaning cocaine,white powder cocaine,heroin,opiates,amphetimes,and pot,how many of u believe this??Well your not being tested at all folks.These ,all,these so called drug test use to be called presumptuous drug testing,why?Well its kinda obvious,they presumed u did the drug,so they justified actually using reagents[chemicals] in ever single drug kit that actually make the drug there testing for.Ever here of people being told the tested positive for heroin,opiates,when in reality they really did only ate a poppyseed muffin?How does that happen?I'll tell u,the actual drug testing kits reagants[synthetic chemicals chloraform/menthanol] for a opiate are all ready in that kit,soo all they need is the molecule from a poppyseed to MAKE,I repeat,make there positive.Another example coca teas,.Every single drug reagents,extraction kit,for coca has in it a certain amount of ethanol and hydrochloric acid,every 1.Soo anotherwards,coca +ethanol+hydrochloric acid=their benzoylecgonine.Alone,coca is just coca.Alone a poppyseed is just a seed.They add these chemicals to your pee to make it look like you consumed a drug,they add these chemicals to make the metabolite,not the consumer of poppyseed or teas.This was further confirmed by a very inexpensive dip stick test,simply putting that dip stick in a cup of tea or poppyseeds in water,no pee or heat needed.The hydrochloric acid provides enough heat alone,,will yield u a positive for a opiate metabolite or a cocaine metabolite everytime,which kinda blows apart the lie,''you must of consummed the drug.Yea these magic tricks/smoke a mirror illusionist who work for the ,''war on drugs'' committee men paid by ,''our ''tax dollars,need to go,or be charged with crimes of unethical ,inhumane treatment to humanbeings,,.paita

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 5:20pm Permalink
Zootman (not verified)

I am not a heavy smoker anymore, by that no more than maybe once a day, or a few hits on the bong. When younger i would smoke all day. I have found that i can pass a lab piss test by quitting from 20-21 days before and as always drinking as much water as possible prior to the test. I am telling this to the person who listed a 6 week period of not smoking. I never could get herbs, (goldenseal) or any other meds to work. The only thing that I used to fake it that worked was a solution that you put directly in the sample when you were not observed. That worked for everything. Just FYI for others who think this is an extreme invasion of privacy. Thanks and good luck.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 8:07pm Permalink

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