A Joint Resolution supported by U.S. Representative Kevin Brady and Senator Ted Cruz, regarding drug testing and unemployment eligibility, has officially been signed into law by President Trump. With this new Resolution in place, the collection of unemployment benefits will be dependent on the ability of Claimants to pass state drug tests. This new law repeals a regulation finalized by the Obama Administration that only allowed drug testing of unemployment claimants if an applicant lost employment because of illegal drug use or when an applicant is seeking employment in an occupation that regularly conducts drug testing for job applicants and employees, such as professions requiring the use of firearms or air traffic controllers.
The new law does not make provisions for medical marijuana in drug testing procedures, even if a patient is in full compliance with state law.
While some groups have voiced their concerns over this new restriction, saying it will cost more in drug testing than it will save in unemployment funds, others have praised the law. According to Rep. Brady, “After 5 years of battling with the Obama Department of Labor, states like Texas will now be allowed to drug tests folks for unemployment to ensure they are job ready from day one. This is a win for families, workers, job creators, and local economies.”
It is yet to be seen how many states will implement this new federal law, but it is predicted that this development will lead to further changes concerning drug use in the work force.