Under a new rule being advanced by the U.S. Department of Labor, applicants for unemployment benefits may soon have to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits. The rule, which has been a source of significant controversy, recently moved closer to becoming a reality when the DOL sent it to the federal budget oversight office for final approval.
President Trump has expressed support for the DOL’s proposed rule, which would allow states to deny unemployment benefits to applicants who test positive for the use of controlled substances. The rule would not apply to all applicants, but instead just to applicants whose only suitable work is in an occupation that regularly conducts drug testing.
Opponents of the rule cite privacy issues and argue that the rule is not necessary and will disproportionately impact historically disadvantaged groups. Opponents have promised to pursue legal challenges if the rule is implemented.