Florida random drug testing order outlawed

April 26, 2012 at 4:42 PM
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MIAMI, April 26 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Miami Thursday outlawed random drug tests of state employees, saying they were an unreasonable search.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered the testing last March for the 80,000 employees who work in 15 state agencies that report to him, as well as job applicants, but suspended the order last June when a lawsuit was filed by a public employees union and the American Civil Liberties Union, The New York Times reported.

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro said in her ruling the testing order "does not identify a concrete danger that must be addressed by suspicionless drug-testing of state employees," the Times reported. "And the governor shows no evidence of a drug-use problem at the covered agencies."

Despite the ongoing lawsuit, the Florida Legislature this year passed a bill that allows all state workers to undergo random drug testing. But the state law does not make drug-testing a requirement.

Scott signed the bill last month and the law takes effect in July. Ungaro's ruling does not affect the new law, but a separate lawsuit is expected to be filed, the Times said.

Scott objected to the ruling Thursday.

"As I have repeatedly explained," Scott said in a statement, "I believe that drug testing state employees is a common-sense means of ensuring a safe, efficient and productive work force."

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