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Drug tests for unemployment benefits approved in Texas

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by bobmarley, May 25, 2013.

  1. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Unemployment is not FREE MONEY
    We pay into that . . .do we not?

    So . . drug test folx . . to get the money they paid into the system back?

    Rocket River
     
  2. Dream Sequence

    Dream Sequence Contributing Member

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    In Texas, employers pay the tax..nothing is deducted from the employee's paycheck.
     
  3. bobmarley

    bobmarley Contributing Member

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    You might want to do some research there, buddy.
     
  4. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

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    I brought the idea of drug screening up before thinking it'd be a good way to weed out the useless, but there were good points later on in the post with sources claiming that it would take more money and resources to administer and analyze the tests than the actual waste. In Florida, at least...

    So in the end, it could be a TSA-like body scanner cash grab by their respective companies of interest...in this case, drug screening companies that aren't necessarily top notch or capable of handling such a load on a consistent and efficient basis.

    Now while I can agree that drug screening might not be the best option, it doesn't solve the principle of pushing the useless into more productive means of living, but I'm up for alternatives where resources aren't expended on every recipient to catch the negligently stupid few.

    I'll bump that thread if I bother to find it or if there's interest from posters here.
     
  5. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    More pandering to ignorant conservatives.

    I'm sure this will prevent unemployment and drug abuse, too.
     
  6. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    I appreciate your point that people who are unemployed shouldn't be taking drugs. There may be some who disagree, but in general, I don't think anybody is arguing that taking drugs is a good way for the unemployed to improve their chances of getting a job.

    However, if we really want to reduce drug taking, we should empower police to pull people over and compel drug testing of anybody they like simply because we don't like the way they look. I guarantee you that it would do more to reduce illicit drug taking than simply testing people on unemployment.

    But we don't do that. Instead, we have something called the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, which prevents people from "unreasonable" searches and seizures. What we have to do is balance the needs to serve justice with the individual 4th amendment rights of the individual. There are instances where, by respecting the 4th amendment, people are able to "get away" with crimes. But that is the trade off that was agreed upon when the Bill of Rights was adopted.

    I don't think people should be any less protected by the 4th Amendment simply because they are exercising their right to unemployment insurance. They have a right not to be searched unless there is a pretty darn high standard of suspicion, the same way the police can't stop you on the street and compel a drug test because you look wrong.

    In addition to cause, there is also an exemption, apparently, when public safety is an issue. For instance, if you operate heavy machinery, they can require a drug test. But I think that we can agree that being unemployed doesn't seem to qualify as a risk to public safety. If I'm wrong in that assumption, please let me know.

    To me, that is what it comes down to, and I think what it comes down to for the courts. The individual liberty trumps utility, and seeking your legally due unemployment insurance is not sufficient cause for suspicion that you are on drugs.
     
  7. bobmarley

    bobmarley Contributing Member

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    They won't drug screen everybody who files for unemployment. Only those whose questionnaires are suspect. I don't think that is unreasonable.
     
  8. wekko368

    wekko368 Member

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    I don't think anyone has a "right" to unemployment benefits, especially since employees don't pay into the system (in Texas). If it were a legally due right, you wouldn't be disqualified from them by quitting or being fired with cause. Unemployment benefits are more like a safety net administered by the government at the expense of employers.
     
  9. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    Sorry in advance for being a pedant:

    From Texas State labor code:

    [rquoter]
    Sec. 207.002. BENEFITS FOR TOTAL UNEMPLOYMENT. (a) An eligible individual who is totally unemployed in a benefit period is entitled to benefits for the benefit period at the rate of 1/25 of the wages received by the individual from employment by employers during that quarter in the individual's base period in which wages were highest.

    [/rquoter]

    From Miriam-Webster:

    [rquoter]
    Definition of ENTITLEMENT
    1
    a : the state or condition of being entitled : right
    b : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract


    [/rquoter]
     
  10. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    If the question is, "Are you currently taking illegal narcotics?" it is reasonable. If there are a series of questions such as, "Have you ever been to a Grateful Dead concert?" it is not.
     
  11. bobmarley

    bobmarley Contributing Member

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    ^^^

    The presupposition to entitlement is eligibility. You must be eligible and if your questionnaire is flagged and you are screened part of your eligibility will be passing. Then you will have entitlement, not until eligibility is determined.
     
  12. bobmarley

    bobmarley Contributing Member

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    Nice straw man.

    I'm not sure what questions will be asked and I'm sure people can lie on it, but I believe they can have legal reprocutions for falsifying their questionnaire.
     
  13. bobmarley

    bobmarley Contributing Member

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    If you are currently taking drugs how are you supposed to get a job and pass a drug screen? Aren't you legally supposed to be job hunting while on unemployment?
     
  14. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    Ok, just as a "what if", imagine you spend all day hunting for a job, and at night you drink a beer. Does that mean you are an alcoholic incapable of searching for a job? Or are you able to drink a beer at night after a day of job hunting, and still search.

    Also, though it may be a surprise, there is no legal requirement that employers preform a drug screen before hiring you.

    And you are going back to the utility argument. There are individual rights which are held above the greatest utility. You seem to not really "get" the whole spirit of the 4th Amendment, and innocent until proven guilty, and all that stuff. If I applied all those arguments to you - ways to impose a nanny state on you because of all the horrible things that you could be doing, would you be as in favor, or does it only apply to people getting unemployment? I mean, if we are helping people find a new job, why stop there? Go straight to the root and install random house checks to make sure nobody is about to do anything that might cause them to lose their job! Much more efficient.
     
  15. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Further government power and invasion. It is interesting that both parties don't have an issue with it if it is interference they deem as positive.
     
  16. rsx_htown

    rsx_htown Contributing Member

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    So what if they have children and they fail this drug test, do we punish the kid by not giving them the means to feed their kids or do we also take the kids away as well?
     
  17. Amiga

    Amiga 10 years ago...
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    It sounds like this is not only bad in term of cost to the state but is an unnecessary burden to the vast majority of the just unemployed. Another thing I'm sure they didn't need. Doesn't seem smart. We need smart and effective government not this wasteful and ineffective stuff.

    Also the idea of selecting some and not other for testing based on some questionnaires doesn't seem right to me. What criteria do they use and who creates those criteria. Not sure how you would avoid being or even being viewed as not prejudice in some way.
     
  18. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    It's also the kind of thing that a limited government aficionado (as most Republicans ostensibly are) should find an anathema.

    A cost-increasing government testing regime that fights an imaginary problem with little or no efficacy to back it up - this is the type of limited government that Texas Republicans are down with ? Really?

    The actual problem is that they don't have the balls to abolish unemployment insurance like they really want (which is fun to talk about in abstract but politically suicidial - becasue it is stupid/bad policy) in the first place so half-ass steps like this are put in place instead.

    Failure of ability to govern - check .
     
  19. Joshfast

    Joshfast "We're all gonna die" - Billy Sole
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    big government wins again, conservatives where have you gone?

    Oh right, minorities are always scarier then big gigantic ****-all government.
     
  20. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    Repubs and big gov win the prize again -- drug tests are expensive -- more money passed on to Joe Public through taxes.
     

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