The previous administration’s rule limiting states’ power to drug test applicants for unemployment benefits, has been repealed through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The rule (a byproduct of the 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act), only allowed drug testing in occupations that already had the requirement in place (such as airplane pilots, public transit drivers, and jobs requiring one to carry a firearm). The White House and the Department of Labor are taking steps to broaden this rule, opening up drug testing requirements to more applicants of unemployment benefits.
Supporters of changes to the rule, like The Strategic Services on Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation, believe broadening the law is necessary as a means of insurance rather than public assistance. The National Employment Law Project, on the other hand, is a group that has expressed the expansion of drug testing will be too costly, as well as unconstitutional, promoting negative stereotyping of U.S. workers.
The Labor Department is working diligently on a new proposal that will be posted on the Federal Register for feedback from the public this summer. The expectation is that it is to be quite different from its predecessor.