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House Bill 589 would deny unemployment benefits to an individual who would fail to secure a suitable employment offer because he would refuse without good cause to submit to a preemployment drug test, or he would fail such a drug test.
The Texas Workforce Commission would establish the reasons according to which an individual would have good cause to refuse to submit to a drug test.
House Bill 589, passed and signed into law during the 83rd Legislative session, required that individuals who have worked in a job identified by the Department of Labor and who are seeking to receive unemployment benefits comply with a drug screening. Should they fail the drug test, they would become ineligible to receive unemployment benefits for four weeks, after which they can pass another drug test and become re-eligible if they pass the test.
House Bill 589 would go a step further in fostering personal responsibility by encouraging people who are looking for a job and who already receive unemployment benefits to honestly focus their will and energy on the goal of finding work.
Failing a preemployment drug test (for reasons other than medical ones) or refusing to submit to one (without good cause) indicates that finding an employment is probably not the person’s priority. In that case, and because the person was offered work on condition of passing a drug test, there is no ground for him/her to keep receiving benefits because he/she cannot find a job.
House Bill 589 would also have a positive effect on limited government by limiting the safety net that is unemployment compensation to those really determined to find a job.
We support House Bill 589.