Should Companies Have to Rat Out Potential Employees Who Fail a Drug Test?

The state of Georgia is reportedly requiring companies to let them know when a potential employee fails to qualify for the job because of a failed drug test. This effectively disqualifies the candidate from collecting unemployment benefits.

According to a story on Pal-Item.com, the Georgia Department of Labor has found a unique way to avoid paying unemployment benefits to people who take drugs. Instead of requiring that they take a drug test in order to qualify, officials are asking businesses and the public to let them know when a potential employee fails a test.

Many employers require prospective employees to take a drug test. If they fail, rendering themselves unavailable for work, the state can then effectively stop paying them unemployment benefits. In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, recipients must be actively seeking work and make themselves available for any job. Failing a drug test, or refusing to take one, could be seen as a violation of the terms.

A study by the Society for Human Resource Management reportedly showed last year that about 57 percent of U.S. employees drug test prospective  candidates. This new procedure by the labor department saves the cash strapped state the expense of paying for drug tests and, at the same time, saves having to pay out unemployment benefits to people who abuse drugs.

So what do you think? Should these companies be required to rat out people who fail a test when applying for a job? And what do you think of the state's plan? Is it ingenious or a backdoor way to avoid having to go to the legislature to implement drug testing?

Tim Sullivan June 02, 2012 at 07:01 PM
No one should be required to prove themselves innocent without first being charged with a crime. Drug testing is a waste of time and resources. If you cannot tell if someone is a junky when you interview them then you shouldn't be interviewing people in the first place.
Alex June 03, 2012 at 08:58 AM
Drugs tests, as is well known by people who actually operate businesses, are a required part of many insurance policies and justifiably so. Drug addled employees cause accidents. Drug addled employees steal money. Drug addled employees make bad decisions. If you believe you can tell when someone took an oxycontin yesterday or smoked a joint this morning, you really aren't thinking clearly yourself.
Alex June 03, 2012 at 09:02 AM
To answer the article's question: Ingenious and I am grateful for the "outside the box" thinking here. Failing to get a job because you fail a drug test every time does not entitle you to further unemployment benefits.
John Cook June 04, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Why does Patch.com consider it a bad thing for a person or business to assist in getting illegal drug use out of the community? Merely using the term “rat out” is an unfortunate misuse of your influence in our community! Shame on Patch.com!
John Cook June 04, 2012 at 02:45 AM
According to reference.com, a community is a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality. By definition, Georgia, Metro Atlanta, City of Atlanta, and my neighborhood are all communities. While the described efforts may not eliminate illegal drug use completely, the effort is appreciated, and I don't believe it is appropriate for anyone to use derogatory tags such as "rat" or "narc" for people attempting to be good citizens. It discourages good people from trying to improve their part of the world (which is also a community).
Deanna Allen June 04, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Mr. Cook, I don't think the individual who wrote this particular headline meant anything derogatory by it, but thank you for pointing out how it could be perceived. We genuinely appreciate feedback.
Karsten Torch June 04, 2012 at 01:26 PM
2 things, and I don't usually call on bad grammer, but Lady, you aren't texting here, and using that shorthand makes your comments very hard to read, at least for me. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Also, while I think drug laws are stupid, and right up there with prostitution laws on the senseless, money-wasting laws we have in this country, the fact is that these are, in fact, illegal. Drugs also impair judgement in many different ways. So does alcohol, and while it's illegal, we can easily be fired for showing up to work drunk, so why not the same rules with drugs? Although, embezzlement is also illegal, but should somebody be fired from their job because they were embezzling funds from the local PTA? Or got pulled over for driving drunk on the weekends? These are questions that I have with the discussion at hand, and unfortunately, it's not an easy answer. What is an easy answer for me is that people doing illegal drugs should not be getting my money while not working so they can spend that same money on stuff that is, in fact, illegal. And not necessary. And if a business can save me even more of my money by not making the state pay for tests that would, in fact, be unneccessary with a simple matter of reporting what they were actually fired for, then I'm all for it. But businesses should only have a requirement to report the truth on a termination letter, not have this requirement legislated specifically....
Alex June 04, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Oh, Karsten, YOU ARE PRECIOUS! First, it's "grammar." Second, your first paragraph is actually comprised of one run-on sentence replete with comma splices and another sentence that lacks a subject. Your second paragraph is riddled with misused punctuation. Your third paragraph is no less disastrous; for example, "And not necessary" is not a complete sentence. Your post is such a cacophony of horrid grammar, punctuation misuse, and bad organization that I would recommend that you keep your grammatical thoughts to yourself. Actually educated people will have a difficult time sorting out what you are trying to say.
Alex June 04, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Nice job, John. Journalistic weasel words are the death of actual news.
Robert Bliss June 04, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Getting back to the question at hand, "Should Companies Have to Rat Out Potential Employees Who Fail a Drug Test?", why should a prospective employer be responsible for the extra government paperwork and regulations of notifying the Department of Labor of their pre-employment drug screening results. Too much government! If the Department of Labor is going to eliminate unemployment payments to those recipients that using illegal drugs, they need to conduct their own drug test. After all, it should be their, (DOL), regulation to enforce! Furthermore, if the DOL screening results are made available to potential employers, it will speed up the employment process and reduce the expense businesses and/or applicants have to make. After all, businesses are paying for unemployment benefits already and should benefit from a single and thorough drug screening that DOL conducts and provides as a service to those that support and serve tax paying employers.
Karsten Torch June 05, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Wow. Tool. Sorry, had to be said. At least I wasn't condescending (and if I mis-spelled that one, tough....).
Alex June 05, 2012 at 08:29 PM
You weren't? I think you had everyone fooled. By the way, that was not properly four different sentences. I'll leave it to you to figure out, you miscreant.


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