Judge: Florida worker drug testing unconstitutional

11:48 AM, Apr 26, 2012   |    comments
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MIAMI (AP) - A Miami federal judge has declared that Gov. Rick Scott's order requiring drug testing for state workers is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled Thursday that blanket testing of some 85,000 workers violates the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. The ruling could eventually have an impact on a new state law also permitting random worker drug testing.

Scott's order was challenged by a labor union representing government workers and the American Civil Liberties Union. They contended that drug testing should only be done if there is a suspected problem and in safety-related and high-risk jobs.

Lawyers for the governor contend that objecting workers are free to quit and job applicants could choose to find employment elsewhere.

Scott suspended the order in June because of the lawsuit.

In a statement Thursday morning, Gov. Scott said the following:

"As I have repeatedly explained, I believe that drug testing state employees is a common sense means of ensuring a safe, efficient and productive workforce.  That is why so many private employers drug test, and why the public and Florida's taxpayers overwhelmingly support this policy.  I respectfully disagree with the court's ruling and will pursue the case on appeal."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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