FL Governor Orders Drug Testing For All State Employees

Via Exeuctive Order, Florida Governor Rick Scott today ordered mandatory drug testing for newly hired state employees, and periodic testing for existing employees.

Scott issued an executive order requiring each of his agencies to amend its drug testing policy within 60 days to require pre-employment screenings of all job applicants and random testing of the existing work force.

The American Civil Liberties Union, though, pointed out that a federal judge in 2004 ruled random drug testing of most state employees was an unconstitutional violation of privacy rights.

The ACLU says in order for a drug-testing requirement to pass constitutional muster, there must be some connection to safety, or some evidence of illegal drug use.

The order may also violate labor union contracts and collective bargaining rights .[More...]

Scott also cannot unilaterally order drug testing of existing employees without safety issues if they are covered by labor contracts, said Tom Brooks, a lawyer for the Federation of Physicians and Dentists...."Drug testing is considered a mandatory subject of collective bargaining" for most public employees,

One exception to those with collective bargaining rights: police officers, according to the Florida Supreme Court.

The Governor's legal aides insist the order is valid. Exemptions include:

Scott's order does not cover independent constitutional agencies and those of Cabinet members or that he jointly administers with the Cabinet. It also does not cover the Legislature or court system.

So prosecutors, judges and probation officers are exempted? What about prison guards?

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    how convenient (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 01:26:40 PM EST
    So prosecutors, judges and probation officers are exempted?

    Not really (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 04:31:44 PM EST

    Under Scott's order, current employees in agencies that answer to the governor, would be subject to periodic random screening.

    So, yes, judges are exempt.  And my guess is since that the State Police, Parole Department, Department of Corrections (minus the privately run prisons), which includes the probation department) are directly part of an agency directly under the direction of the governor, then they WOULD be subject to this law.  The only lawyers that who, from this reading, would NOT be subject to the drug tests, (because they are under the Judicial Branch and do not report directly to the governor) are the State Attorneys and the State Public Defenders.  

    Local prosecutors in county courts are under the organization of local elected prosecutors and do not seem to be in an agency under the direct control of the governor. I could be wrong about that - can't find anything showing a direct correlation to the governor's office, unless they somehow go up through the AG's office.

    Of course, I don't see this law holding up to constitutional muster anyway, so all this pearl clutching is probably a moot point.


    Hey look... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 01:28:30 PM EST
    FLA has money to burn...maybe they can loan Uncle Sam some cash.

    Lets just install a urine analysis device in every residential sewage waste line and be done with it...privacy and liberty is so age of enlightenment last season anyway.

    And What is This Clown Going to Do... (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 04:26:07 PM EST
    ... when they fail, fire them ?  Better beef up that unemployement fund and get ready for the unemployement rate increase.  Florida isn't exactly a drug free zone.

    What I want to know is he and his staff exempt ?  Because if anyone if Florida needs their urine checked it's this clown and the people advising him.

    Even though when I go to the DMV, I feel like they are all on drugs, the fact is drugs at the work place isn't a problem anywhere.  Psuedo sickness is 1000 times bigger issue.  It's just another made up issue to line the pockets of contributors at the expense of people's lives and wallets.

    Who cares if the guy I call on the tax hot line is smoking weed on the weekends, or the toll both attendant does a couple lines on vacation.  So long as he is doing is his job well, I don't care if he mainlining in the bathroom with a crack chaser.


    My Point Was... (none / 0) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 09:50:52 AM EST
    ... more that we should judge people at the workplace by their performance/behavior.  Obviously, one would have to have superman like qualities to do heroin and crack w/o being noticed.

    A better example might be the guys who have a drink or two at lunch, or maybe the smoker with a pinch or two in thier cigarette.  Which is leading me back to the story, if there is no reason to suspect someone of doing drugs, why test them ?

    But my real point is we are so lost in politics that if two identical people do the same behavior, the only one at risk of losing their job is the one doing drugs.  

    If I never did a drug, screwed up really bad, and my co-worker got his arm chopped off.  That is not a fireable offense, maybe a reprimand, but if I had a scrap of something in my system, even from a week ago, I would gone ASAP.

    Same with drinking and driving, kill someone and you go to jail, which I am on board with.  But do the exact same screw-up w/o alcohol, and you get a ticket.  The behaviors, or in this case the actions identical.  We are blaming drugs and alcohol, not the person, which to me is insanity.  

    The assumption being, which you made as well, is that drug users are bad for business, which may be true, but I doubt it.  What is bad for business is employees who aren't looking out for themselves or their company.  And you have been around long enough to know that some of the best employees, especially in sales, are functioning alcoholics/addicts.

    So in your case with the manager, the drug behavior IMO doesn't matter, if the guy was screwing up, he should have been gone regardless.  But that's now how society views drug behavior, even if you outperform most of your peers, do drugs, get fired.

    Never mind the guy/gal with the bad attitude who has zero output, and isn't capable of performing their job.  Those people are HR nightmares, because so long as one is one time, firing them is nearly impossible.  But a top performer whose excels in every aspect of their job, will be canned immediately should they get caught at a club dropping X.


    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 12:10:00 PM EST
    Same with drinking and driving, kill someone and you go to jail, which I am on board with.  But do the exact same screw-up w/o alcohol, and you get a ticket.  The behaviors, or in this case the actions identical.

    Not sure where you get that idea, but when I worked for a judge, I saw more than a few negligent homicide cases where a driver killed someone and the driver wasn't drunk or high.  They went to jail.

    And no, the behaviors AREN'T identical.  In one case, the driver knowingly and deliberately plied themselves with alcohol - a drug proven to impair judgment, slow reaction time, and loosen reflexes, and then got behind the wheel of a car.  In your other example, a driver got behind the wheel of a car.

    Please explain how that is "identical".


    Scott seems to exemplify (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 01:52:03 PM EST
    the inconsistencies of the tea party types: get the government into my urine (we need to catch those dope fiends), but kept them out of my company's Medicare billing (we don't need to catch those fraudulent business practices).

    Scott has plenty of ties to the health care (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 01:58:36 PM EST
    system...I'm sure someone will be getting a nice contract for the drug testing. Fraudulent business practices are always the ones someone else is doing, not a tea partier!!!

    check out what the gov of maine (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 02:04:37 PM EST
    is up to

    you cant make this sh!t up

    AUGUSTA, Maine -- Maine Gov. Paul LePage has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depicting the state's labor history from the lobby of the Department of Labor headquarters building in Augusta.

    In addition, the LePage administration is renaming several department conference rooms that carry the names of pro-labor icons such as Cesar Chavez.

    LePage spokesman Dan Demeritt says the mural and the conference room names are not in keeping with the department's pro-business goals and some business owners complained.

    I hate these people (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by sj on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 03:26:48 PM EST
    Exhausting as it is, I hate these people.  I used to think they couldn't sink any lower.

    I was wrong.


    Sadly or Frighteningly (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 03:51:36 PM EST
    I don't believe we've seen the worst yet.

    Now that's just petty (none / 0) (#9)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 02:10:17 PM EST
    This is, after all, the Department of Labor, not the Department of Commerce.  And in these fiscally tight times, how much is it going to cost the state of Maine to paint over the mural and change the nameplates on the conference room doors, as well as changing the names in all directories?  I guess Maine has money to throw around.  

    the mural that was just paid for (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 02:12:48 PM EST
    and installed in 2007.  but "some business owners" complained.

    Well, then, I guess (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 02:32:47 PM EST
    when "some business owners" complain about the name of the "Department of Labor" itself, Maine'll be changing it to the "Department of Serfs."   ;-)

    Nice contract for sure... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 02:09:31 PM EST
    these pointless tests ain't cheap...somebody is pining for a sweet gig at Acme Corp. Tyranny Div. post-"public service" me thinks...or loaded up on stock pre-announcement.

    Or GNC stock...they sell the elixirs to beat the stupid things.


    Credit checks and Chinese executions come to mind. (none / 0) (#19)
    by editor u on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 04:35:48 PM EST
    "these pointless tests ain't cheap"

    That"s true, and I have an idea that should help:

    Instead of draining money from the people's treasury to enrich their cronies' or campaign contributors' companies administering (or providing materials for) the drug tests, they could just charge the cost to the people who they are testing, whether job applicant or existing employee. Just as (at least in New York) some landlords are requiring credit reports of all potential renters, who are then charged for the cost of the report that could result in their being denied the apartment.

    It's strange, I know, but the latter reminds me of news reports some years back that after a person was executed (by a gunshot to the head) in China, authorities made the family of the deceased pay for the bullet.



    Well in a sense they already do... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 05:33:05 PM EST
    via taxation...but the state could double-dip and bill applicants for the test.

    Though I'm not sure how well that would work...traditionally one looks for a job because they need money, not because they feel like spending any...and how much indignity can one person take, ya know? Actually, don't answer that:)

    That credit check thing is a new one for me...wow.  You must have some apartment to rent, and some pair, to pull a stunt like that.  The state is one thing, you expect certain anti-customer/applicant friendly service from entities with arrest and tax powers, private sector is another ballgame.  All the quality applicants (or tenants) dismissed so flippantly...its a wonder any stay in business.  


    Check this out, kdog (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by NYShooter on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 12:00:17 AM EST
    I've spoken before about an elderly neighbor of mine, and the travesties he endured when J.P. Morgan/Chase confiscated his bank account (the one his Social Security check was sent to)
    He got into financial trouble after the company he worked for for 35 years instituted their "resource re-allocation program."  In other words, they fired him.

    Anyway, after straightening out his bank problem Social Security strongly urged him to have his money deposited into his account electronically. I checked around and everyone I spoke to, those who were on SS and had their funds sent electronically,  said it was a good idea and that they never had a problem Every month, like clockwork, when the date came, Bam! the money was there.

    So, I said sure, let's do it. Guess what? I couldn't find a bank that would open an account for this guy. The first thing they do when you want to open a checking account is to run a credit check. If your credit sucks, as someone who was laid off and un-hireable, would be....no account. Now, I'm talking about a stinking, plain old checking account. No credit, no check override privilege, no nothing.

    Nothing doing! Even though Social Security highly promotes automatic payment, the banks say "up yours." Automatic deposit makes such good sense for older people for so many reasons, security, not having to schlep to the bank in all sorts of weather, etc, etc.

    But the banks we bailed out say, "stick it."

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I finally got my bank to open an account for this gentleman. They're a small bank with only two branches and I know the manager personally.

    So why aren't outrages like this made more public? I'm sure if you looked long enough and hard enough you could find a bank that needs the business and would open an account. But, why do we make the elderly go through this crap when all they want is their lousy SS check put into their account?


    Quality of the place doesn't matter. (none / 0) (#29)
    by editor u on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 08:25:51 AM EST
    "That credit check thing is a new one for me...wow.  You must have some apartment to rent, and some pair, to pull a stunt like that."

    Actually, even owners of NYC one room ratholes are requiring credit reports - also people subletting, and people looking for roommates. And they're all making the applicant pay for the report.


    to make the connection between safety and drug use/random drug test. I don't condone his actions, I just think that anyone in power in government, federal or state, seems to be able to justify his/her actions with a good legal team.

    I'd be real curious to see who gets the contract and if they have any ties to him.

    Ah republicans (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by TomStewart on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 03:03:19 PM EST
    All about the rights of their friends and the rich 9usually one and the same) but someone trying to make a living or just get by? They're screwed.

    Why is this guy not in jail for fraud?

    Government regulation is for (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 05:51:41 PM EST
    pee, not for thee.

    How about IQ tests for elected officials? (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 03:03:45 PM EST
    Make them mandatory, and, girl, we'd clear the decks quicker than a rogue wave.

    How about an income limit? (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 03:31:27 PM EST
    If you make over a certain amount you cannot be a public official.

    And This Is The Solution To What Problem? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by john horse on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 10:16:28 PM EST
    Drug testing employees when there is no reason to do so is stupid.  What a waste of resources, not to mention a violation of privacy.

    and I'm still trying to get over Scott losing the $2.4 billion high-speed rail grant.    

    About 10 years (none / 0) (#3)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 01:40:46 PM EST

    before I retired from the Navy Reserve, they instituted random drug rests.  I really looked forward to them, as they were about the only test I could pass anymore.

    Pretty good 42 U.S.C. section 1983 (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 07:50:32 PM EST
    lawsuit for damages/punitive damages.  Keep up the good work, Gov.

    see the next post (none / 0) (#23)
    by diogenes on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 08:27:37 PM EST
    How about just random drug testing for judges?

    It's sad. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:58:55 AM EST
    At times, I don't think things could get any more insane in this country and you read stuff like this. This muttonhead can't afford to build high speed rail, but he can afford to have everybody's pee tested. I read this blog and Balko's The Agitator and a few more and it is so depressing to see what a complete mound of shit the United States has become. The Corporate States of America indeed!

    Jeralyn, what's your take on the Denver DA who wants to hand out bonuses based on convictions?