ACLU sues Rick Scott over drug testing of state employees

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Paul3144, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Paul3144

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  2. Bob Alkire

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    What is the problem with drug test? I've had to take them for years. If the government want many jobs in the public sector to be drug tested, why not government employees? I keep reading from time to time of many state and federal employees in trouble due to drugs or alcohol at work or behind the wheel of a car. I was watching TV a few weeks ago and they had three judges getting DWI's. I don't see a problem, if anyone should obey Florida laws it should be an employees of the state, so what is the problem.
     
  3. Bro. Curtis

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    Punishment based on a urine test is against the 5th ammendment. I would like to think that still means something, to some people. Private employers may be able to wiggle around this, but to see a government with this level of intrusiveness should scare people.
     
  4. Paul3144

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    It's invasive and I shouldn't have to prove to my employer that I'm not on drugs.

    Not to mention the Fourth Amendment.
     
  5. matt wade

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    Good for Rick Scott. I would rather have a different governor, but I agree with his stance on this and on testing welfare recipients.
     
  6. Bob Alkire

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    I guess it has been over the last 20 or 25 years I have had to have a drug test every two years, and about three or four spot test a year, government mandate. I drive a truck and the government has said we need to be checked just as pilots are. When I've sub taught in the public schools I’ve had to take a drug test. At one time law enforcement had to do likewise. Where does the 4th and 5th amendment come into that?

    I believe all state and federal employees should take them, paid by state, you should be clean. Read the papers down here and seen how many college professors and other government workers are caught driving and using drugs or drinking. See how many are send home from work do to the same. Drinking and drugs are a problem that some folks are good at hiding.
     
  7. Paul3144

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    I work as a customer service representative in a call center and we don't have drug testing. I've never taken a drug test in my entire life. The last thing I want is the government forcing people to take drug tests without probable cause. It's sad to see Rick Scott trample on the rights of Florida's public servants.
     
  8. matt wade

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    No one is forcing them to take a drug test. They can take the drug test or not, it's their choice.
     
  9. targus

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    Drug testing as a condition of employment is quite common and a good safeguard for the employer when it comes to potential liabilities.
     
  10. Paul3144

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    That's somewhat true. However, requiring drug testing in all cases whatsoever for people who want to serve the public violates the Constitution of the State of Florida.

    I agree it is fairly common. All I'm saying is that I have have never taken a drug test. I have never been offered a job that required a drug test. Also, before someone asks, I have never used illicit drugs.
     
  11. Baptist Believer

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    While there is a compelling reason for some to have mandatory drug tests (and appropriate follow-ups should the initial test turn up positive) for those who are on the forefront of public safety (truck drivers, pilots, etc.), drugs tests without a probable cause or sufficient protections against false positives are morally wrong in my opinion.

    The event that initiates the test in these situations is the simple fact that a person wants to or is holding down a job. That's not normally the modus operandi of a drug addict. Furthermore, one can easily get false positives from consuming things like poppy-seed rolls, going to a concert or other public event where people are smoking cannabis (I once walked out of a White House tour directly into a crowd of people smoking pot as part of a protest for the legalization of cannabis... I didn't have a choice about it, the Secret Service directed us out that way), or simply the use of legal prescription drugs that you may not recall before taking the test. There's also the issue of the possible mistakes/mislabeling in the lab that is processing urine. That job is not necessarily done by people with advanced degrees (or even a degree) or folks who are particularly responsible.

    Furthermore, having some near family members who have had severe drug problems, many drug users know how to cheat the tests and can name the appropriate prescription drugs they are allegedly taking in order to mask the fact that they're actually taking illegal drugs. As a result, drug tests are much less effective than many in the law-abiding world believe they are.

    Often, with mandatory drug tests, any positive is an automatic verdict of guilty, without any follow-up or recourse.

    As someone who has never used an illegal drug, I'm irritated enough with the written tests that I've had to take in the past when seeking employment. Because I don't admit to marijuana use (since that's actually the truth), I have been denied for jobs from several employers. They assume I'm being dishonest since "everybody has done it at some point."

    At a previous employer, the HR people wanted to institute a written test for all new applicants to a position in my department to save money during the hiring process. Since I was doing the hiring, I negotiated with HR that we not use the test if I failed it. They had known me long enough that they didn't have any concerns about my character. I failed the test spectacularly since I told the truth and did not admit to any illegal drug use which was expected for my demographic. When I was first hired for the entry-level position, they used a battery of personality and intelligence tests and a 30 minute interview with a psychotherapist to determine if there were any issues. She asked me about illegal drug use and I told her the truth. She believed me because, based upon the information she had about my personality, background and core beliefs, it made sense to her that my statements would be true.

    Getting back to the original issue, there must be a compelling public safety issue for mandatory drug testing, along with an appropriate follow-up in the event of a positive result from the initial test.

    Otherwise, there needs to be probable cause to initiate a drug test. Simply wanting a job is not probably cause.
     
  12. matt wade

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    Educate me. What part of Florida's Constitution does it violate?

    I call malarkey on "people who want to serve the public". Most of these workers just want a pay check. They don't give 2 cents about "serving the public". (not that there is anything wrong with that)
     
  13. Paul3144

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    Article I, Section 12.

    That's true. There are still some state employees who want to serve the public. Even if they aren't civic minded, their jobs still require them to do so.
     
  14. Bob Alkire

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    Try driving a tractor trailer and not taking a drug test every two years and about three or four random one a year too. You will be doing another job. Read about the teachers and other government workers in our state who are picked up for DWI's and the others who are send home from work because of drugs or alcohol. If government can mandate others to take drug test a few times a year, I feel government employees should take them as well. I didn't vote for Scott but I'm all for him on this one, I didn't vote for anyone for governor, poor on both sides.
     
  15. matt wade

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    In what way does this violate that section? I've read and and re-read it. I don't see how drug testing for a job violates that section. No one is requiring the person to take a drug test. They are free to not take the drug test.
     
  16. billwald

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    This problem generally arises in scab states.

    There are two generally used drug tests one much more expensive than the other. The cheap one gives many more false positives. The cheap test is usually used when there is no labor contract.
     
  17. matt wade

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    The ACLU is suing on behalf of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Council 79.
     
  18. Paul3144

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  19. matt wade

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    Paul3144, just because the ACLU says it doesn't make it so. Why don't you tell us in your own words how a drug test, that someone is not required to take, violates the Florida Constitution?
     

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