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Drug testing for unemployment passes Texas House

Reasonable suspicion required for TWC to order test

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AUSTIN, Texas - A bill that would allow the state to drug screen unemployment applicants has passed the Texas House.

Rep. Brandon Creighton presented the measure to the House Tuesday night

The law would require state officials to screen applicants to see whether they might abuse drugs. Only if there is reasonable suspicion could the Texas Workforce Commission order a drug test.

Applicants for unemployment benefits could appeal for a retest, or keep their benefits if they enroll in a treatment process within seven days. Otherwise, the person could re-apply for benefits after 30 days.

Opponents complain the measure would hurt the families of workers who paid unemployment insurance while they were working. Civil liberties advocates also call it a warrantless search.

Another bill would require drug testing for welfare benefits.


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