Ohio Considers Drug Tests for Unemployment Recipients

Friday, 28 Oct 2011 03:11 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s administration is considering a push to make people who collect unemployment benefits pass a drug test, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Legislation has already been introduced in Ohio’s General Assembly, joining similar bills in other states nationwide. Ohio Job and Family Services Director Michael Colbert justifies the action, saying “we do not want anybody on unemployment benefits who is not able to work.”
Drug test legislation for welfare recipients passed in Florida and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott this year was put on hold Monday through a federal lawsuit.

Enacting a similar bill in Ohio could also face lawsuits by people claiming the law would violate constitutional rules against illegal search and seizure.
Colbert said Ohio would also have to consider rehabilitating people who fail drug tests, because people who are unemployed have no insurance and would have trouble finding treatment.
Roger Geiger, an official with the Ohio chapter of a national small-business group, said most small businesses don’t require pre-employment drug tests, but “people tell me they’re getting lots of candidates who are unemployable, and that could mean a number of things, including drugs.”

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