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Drug Testing is the Law, for Now

March 20th, 2012 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Rick Scott has signed legislation requiring a pre-employment drug test for new state hires. The legislation also sets up random testing for up to ten percent of the state workforce four times a year. But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, whether anyone has to take a test will likely be decided by a federal court.

Jamal Langley is the first face you see when you enter the Governor’s office. Jamal took a drug test seven months ago when he applied for the job. “I mean I knew I would have to take it to get employed. Its part of the application process. So I didn’t mind doing it because it’s part of the application and I applied for the position,” says Langley.

Rick Scott says everyone in his office was tested before they got a job…That includes his secretary of state who told us “And I was happy to do it, and I passed.”

Legislation signed by Scott will require pre employment drug testing for all state applicants. The legislation also allows agencies to order random tests of up to ten percent of the existing work force four times a year. Scott says he will implement the testing at every agency under his control. “I think its the right thing to do for the state. We want to have, just like a private company, you want to have a productive work force” says Scott.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which stopped the Governor from drug testing welfare recipients says it won’t announce in advance if it plans a lawsuit, but this one is certainly on their radar. The ACLU says the legislation clearly violates Constitutional principles, but attorney Maria Kayanan says there are not differing levels of constitutionality. “Pre employment drug testing is just as unconstitutional as testing of current employees. there are no levels of unconstitutionality.”

The law takes effect July first unless a court says otherwise. The state is still in Federal court over the drug testing of welfare recipients. Before that testing was stopped, just two percent of those being tested positive.

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