Labor

House passes bill to roll back restrictions on unemployment drug testing

The House passed a resolution Thursday to repeal an Obama-era rule that allowed states to drug test only certain people applying for unemployment benefits.

Members voted 236-189 under the Congressional Review Act to repeal the labor rule finalized in August. Under the rule, states can only drug test individuals applying for unemployment benefits if the work they are suitable for is a job for which workers are regularly drug tested.

The White House supported GOP action to remove the rule, claiming it imposed an arbitrarily narrow definition of occupations and constrains a state’s ability to conduct a drug testing program in its unemployment insurance system.

{mosads}Supporters, however, claim repealing the rule gives states the ability to randomly drug test workers who through no fault of their own are unemployed, poor or in need of public assistance.

“Suspicion-less drug testing of government benefit recipients likely violates the Fourth Amendment, and it is cruel and inhumane treatment of individuals,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said.

Tags Sheila Jackson Lee

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