Random Drug Tests for State Workers and Applicants in Florida

Gov. Rick Scott has signed an executive order that will require random drug testing of current state employees, from executive leadership to part-time employees, and all applicants for employment in state agencies under the control of the governor’s office. Gov. Scott directed the implementation of the said policy within 60 days. Many critics think the idea is costly and impractical. A feature on Tampa Bay estimates that this order will potentially affect around 100,000 people. If a test costs $35 each, the program could cost the state of Florida up to $3.5 million. The Governor’s office believe that this new policy will benefit taxpayers in Florida. “Floridians deserve to know that those in public service, whose salaries are paid with taxpayer dollars, are part of a drug-free workplace,” declared Gov. Scott. As probably expected, Gov. Scott’s order came under fire from the ACLU, citing a 2004 federal court ruling in Florida that found a similar policy unconstitutional. ACLU executive director Howard Simon said in a statement, “The state of Florida cannot force people to surrender their constitutional rights in order to work for the state. Absent any evidence of illegal drug use, or assigned a safety-sensitive job, people have a right to be left alone.” Simon also assured that ACLU would represent any state employee affected by this policy.    

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