Rep. Gutwein supports bill denying unemployment benefits for drug users

Posted by: Kelly Sweeney  | Tuesday, February 15, 2011 8:00 am

STATEHOUSE - During a late session Monday night, House Bill 1267, regarding drug testing and unemployment benefits, passed in the House by a unanimous vote.

Representative Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville), Chairman of the Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions, stated ""Because so many employers today require mandatory drug screenings, people who are committed to finding a job should not use narcotics."

The bill provides that an individual who files an initial claim for unemployment benefits must be advised that they could be disqualified from benefits if an employer requires a drug test as an offer of employment and if the drug test were to be returned positive.

The bill also requires the prospective employer to notify the Department of Workforce Development that the prospective employee has either tested positive for or refused to submit to a drug test immediately.

An individual who is disqualified from unemployment benefits may resume eligibility for benefits upon submission of a negative drug test to the Department of Workforce Development.

"Sometimes, people need help and that's what unemployment insurance can be for. But, they should be serious about finding employment," added Rep. Gutwein. "Common sense says people who are serious about finding a job shouldn't break the law."