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Drug tests for everyone – Rick Scott goes off the deep end again

Our colleagues at Workers Comp Insider sent us news of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s latest idiocy – he issued an executive order requiring drug testing for all state employees every quarter.
The master of simple solutions to complex problems has done it again. Here’s a bit from Jon Coppelman’s piece.
“All current employees – regardless of what they do – must be randomly tested every quarter. Because drugs stay in the body for hours and even days after they are used, the governor is attempting to control every waking minute of the state workforce. Not even commercial drivers are subject to such stringent monitoring.
This policy does not stem from “business necessity” nor does it take into account individual freedom and the right to privacy. Using the governor’s logic, you could argue that everyone in America should, for one reason or another, be tested for illegal drugs. This is bad policy and, to put it bluntly, unAmerican.”
A few questions spring to mind.
– does this include Scott and his staff, and all political appointees? the language seems to say it does.
– is this Constitutional ? seems like a potential case could be made that this is a violation of due process, privacy…
– what are the legal implications? Scott’s Order will result in hundreds of thousands of drug tests each year – many will be false positives, leading to…what? what is the next step? retest? what recourse will workers have if their tests are positive? do they get fired immediately? what if they metabolize meds differently?
the drug tests are for ‘illegal drugs’ only, yet the abuse of prescription drugs has surpassed illegal drugs on the popularity scale. So, what does Scott’s Order do about rampant abuse of opioids in Florida? anything?
– how much is this going to cost? let’s see…
168,000 state employees.
tested 4 times each year
figuring a drug test (all in, staffing, reporting, actual test, etc) costs about $100 (they’re much more expensive on a retail basis, but Scott will likely go for a low bid.
and the total is – $67,000,000.
Yep, $67 million dollars.
and this from the idiot who didn’t want to implement a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program because it would cost less than a million dollars a year.
Now, let’s add in the legal costs – because employees will sue if they get fired. And the cost of hiring replacement workers (who all have to get drug screens).
and remember this doesn’t address abuse of OxyContin etc.
What does this mean for you?
next time you vote, consider the consequences.

5 thoughts on “Drug tests for everyone – Rick Scott goes off the deep end again”

  1. No worries, Solantic will probably give the state of Florida a good bargain on those tests. According to their website, Drug screens are only $35 a piece.

  2. While it pains me to offer aid to Governor Scott, I believe that this misunderstands the executive order. It does not require every employee to be randomly tested quarterly, but it requires every employee to be potentially subject to random quarterly testing. In other words, no one knows whose name will come up each quarter. It doesn’t stipulate the percentage of employees to be actually tested.

  3. Well, if it’s good enough for private industry, it’s good enough for the gov’t.
    The rest of us deal with this in our jobs, so I have to confess to a certain degree of schadenfreude when I see gov’t having to deal with it too.
    That said, I really don’t see the point of it in either case, and for most of the reasons you already mentioned.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates




A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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