June 2013 - Vol4 Issue 6


Texas to Require Drug Testing for Some UI Recipients

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Texas Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 21 which requires drug screening for individuals receiving unemployment benefits in certain occupations. The mandated drug screening, effective September 2013, requires first time UI applicants working in occupations that normally require drug testing, such as truck driving, to undergo screening. In the bill’s statement of intent, SB 21 amends Texas law to ensure all individuals referred by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) are ready to work.

The process starts when an individual applies for unemployment benefits. As a part of the process, the individual is required to complete a written assessment. Based on the review of the assessment, an individual may be required to submit to and pass a drug test administered by (or on behalf of) TWC. If the individual fails the drug test, the claimant may be deemed ineligible to receive benefits.

This law was designed to comply with legislation passed by Congress in 2012 which allows drug testing in specific job occupations which have not yet been fully defined. According to the press release, Governor Perry and other bill supporters feel the law will ensure Texans receiving benefits will be “ready to go back to work when another opportunity opens.”

Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas will follow the ruling and update our employers as clarifications or changes occur. Click on the following link for the Bill Analysis provided by the Senate Research Center: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/analysis/html/SB00021S.htm


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