SCOTUS Rejects Florida's Employee Drug Testing Appeal

Apr 21, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Governor Rick Scott's request to review a lower court ruling declaring his state employee drug testing policy unconstitutional.

The decision is a victory for 85,ooo state workers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which challenged Scott's 2011 Executive Order as a waste of taxpayer money.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed with what we have known all along: the question of whether the state has the power to compel all employees to submit to suspicionless searches without a good reason is settled and the answer is ‘no,’” stated ACLU of Florida staff attorney Shalini Goel Agarwal,  lead ACLU counsel in the case. “Every court that has heard Gov. Scott’s argument agrees:  without a threat to public safety or suspicion of drug use, people can’t be required to sacrifice their constitutional rights in order to serve the people of Florida.”

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against suspicion-less drug testing for most state workers. But it left open  the possibility that some could be subject to drug tests if they work in safety-sensitive positions. 

Determining what jobs are safety-sensitive and which are not is the subject of separate litigation.

The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to reject Florida's appeal, means the ruling of the 11th U.S. Circuit court stands.