Over at theGrio.com, I reported today that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has just signed into law a new package of laws that allow business to report failed drug tests that job seekers submit as part of the interview process. Job seekers who fail or refuse mandatory drug tests will have their unemployment benefits blocked.
On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a new package of bills into law that would reform the state’s unemployment benefit program.
The new laws would impact job seekers who failed company administered drug tests. If reported, job seekers who fail or refuse to take required drug tests would lose their unemployment benefits.
In a statement, Governor Snyder said, “These are necessary updates to make sure Michigan is in line with federal requirements. They will also help strengthen the unemployment insurance system by reducing fraud.” The new program is a test run that will last for a year.
The focus on potential drug use among the uninsured as a basis to deny them benefits is a controversial, Republican backed policy that often maligns those who are unemployed and in need of government assistance. The package titled Public Act 146 of 2013 allows businesses the choice to report failed drug results with the government. Businesses are not required under the new laws to report failed drug tests, but if they do report the results to the state, those individuals who do fail will stand to lose their unemployment benefits.
Essentially, what these types of laws do is criminalize people for being poor or unemployed. People on government assistance aren’t statistically more likely to be drug users, and no data suggests that this is an effective way to find and rehabilitate drug users. It’s just plain ol’ stigmatization.
Zerlina Maxwell really wants to be a superhero, but will settle for blogging.