According to Common Dreams, President Trump is reviewing a Labor Department rule that would allow states to force people to undergo and pass a drug test before they are given unemployment benefits. Critics of the rule say that drug testing would be an invasion 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 said. "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 rule was published in November by the Federal Register and was criticized by the ACLU and other advocacy groups. The rule was finalized last week.
"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. "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."
They continued that the new 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," they said. "This type of futile and unconstitutional intrusion into people's privacy simply because they are out of work is unacceptable."
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