‘Degrading’ and ‘Unconstitutional’: Trump Reviewing Rule That Would Allow Drug Testing for Unemployment Benefits

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Donald Trump...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The Trump White House is reportedly reviewing a Labor Department rule that would give states the power to force people to pass a drug test before they can receive unemployment benefits, ignoring protests that such screenings would amount to demeaning and unconstitutional invasions of privacy.

“The rule itself would not automatically impose drug tests on the jobless but would let states screen people who file claims for unemployment benefits―fulfilling a GOP dream from the Obama years,” HuffPost‘s Arthur Delaney reported. “In the wake of the Great Recession, after the national unemployment rate surged to 10 percent, several Republican-led states clamored for the right to obtain the bodily fluids of people laid off through no fault of their own.”

The proposed rule was published the Federal Register last November and immediately came under fire from the ACLU and worker advocacy groups, which condemned the measure as overly broad and likely illegal. The Labor Department finalized the rule last week after a public comment period and sent it to the White House for review.

“The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches by the government. Courts have said drug testing is a search and subject to Fourth Amendment protections,” the ACLU’s Kanya Bennett and Charlotte Resing wrote in a blog post earlier this year. “So unless there are probable cause and individualized suspicion, there should be no search.”

“Exceptions to this rule have been made when the government can show it has a ‘special need’ and that need outweighs individual privacy rights, but that is not the case here either,” they added. “Simply put, the government is on very shaky ground if it thinks it can subject the unemployed to blanket drug testing.”

In addition to constitutional concerns, Bennett and Resing also argued the Trump administration’s rule would add “an unnecessary and degrading toll to the existing stigma of being out of work.”

“Blanket drug testing just further demeans people who the government has no reason to suspect of using drugs,” said Bennett and Resing. “This type of futile and unconstitutional intrusion into people’s privacy simply because they are out of work is unacceptable.”

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7 Comments on "‘Degrading’ and ‘Unconstitutional’: Trump Reviewing Rule That Would Allow Drug Testing for Unemployment Benefits"

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Independent
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Independent
If this executive decision will give control basically to the party in Office, it would not be favorable to him and his supporters when dems take back control. He has indicated that he does not plan on leaving office when he is voted out. He already thinks he is supreme leader and has an army of storm troopers ready to defend him. He is master of diversion with evil disgusting things that he knows will get our attention while he is changing the government to suit him and the people who are controlling him. He is not smart enough to… Read more »
Robert Burnett
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Robert Burnett

Trump is pure evil who gets his jollies by making others lives miserable. It’s time for someone to step up and say enough is enough. And we need to begin to make his life miserable. I’m sick to death of the Dems sitting on their rears with a lot of idle threats. Get rid of the f**king bum and do it now. Let him know up front he doesn’t have the authority or power to do whatever he wants.

Sick of the Con
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Sick of the Con
The cost of testing will far surpass the benefits they are paying out. Also they will be creating a fed dna database to track and victimize Americans. I thought republicans, the ‘true Americans’ were against big government infringement of their constitutional rights. This goes after his rabid racist base. Their opioid addiction would disqualify their coal job unemployment and disability benefits. Dismantle Unemployment benefits now, and tomorrow, disability, medicaid and medicare. Take money from the only people out here paying taxes and into these benefits, cause the rich Republicans are not. Meanwhile, Trump, his friends and family literally burn taxpayer… Read more »
Impeach trump
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Impeach trump

What is that they are looking for? Recreational use of marijuana is legal here and many people have legitimate rxs for controlled substances such as gabapentin, pain meds and ADHD medications which enable many many people to be employed….perhaps trump should be tested-trump is the most vile hated human being in this country

IL 12th voter
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IL 12th voter

From a dollars and cents point of view,will someone have to be hired to administer the testing? Plus the cost of the purchasing the test. Will the testers be able to be bribed for false drug free results? Is this another layer of bureaucracy that they claim they want to eliminate? This idea is ripe for abuse and will cost more than it saves. Just stupid. Red meat for the base.

Debra
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Debra

I say we start in the White House first and let’s see if any of those losers can pass. The reThugs are like children with their hands in the candy jar going crazy on what shit they can pass while in control of a stupid President who only cares about what he can get out of it.

Dick Panico
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Dick Panico

I agree , all federal employees ,and anyone running for federal office should not only take a drug test , they should also take a lie detector test .
….If it had been law , Trump sure as hell wouldn’t have even have run for any public office .
All of his appointed cabinet , it’s likely none would have survived.
He and his administration are the sleaziest group ,to ever be in the Whitehouse .
It will require years of disinfectant ,to remove the stench of them .