Houston Matters

Drug testing for Unemployment Benefits in Texas

The Texas Legislature has passed, and Governor Perry has signed, a law which would require some Texans seeking unemployment benefits to pass a drug test. There are numerous questions about the law, including exactly who it covers, in which occupations, whether the state should actually have the right to require such testing, and whether it […]

The Texas Legislature has passed, and Governor Perry has signed, a law which would require some Texans seeking unemployment benefits to pass a drug test. There are numerous questions about the law, including exactly who it covers, in which occupations, whether the state should actually have the right to require such testing, and whether it could ultimately be expanded to other government programs, like welfare, or social security. The Texas Workforce Commission, which will be tasked with implementing the law, says it won’t be able to do so fully until receiving further guidance from the U.S. Labor Department about the types of occupations to be included. We discussed the implications of this law with Professor Patricia Gray, Research Director of the Health Law and Policy Institute at the University of Houston. She’s also a former Texas state legislator. And we spoke with Rebecca Robertson, Legal and Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union.

 

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