UWC today filed comments in response to Proposed Rules filed by US DOL on October 19, 2014 with respect to the interpretation of the circumstances under which a state UI administrative agency would be permitted to test applicants for unemployment compensation as a condition of eligibility for being paid unemployment compensation(See Attached). Comments are due to be submitted by Monday, December 8th. Note: these proposed rules do not apply to the use of drug testing by employers or termination or discipline by employers associated with the results of drug tests. They only apply to the testing by the UI administrative agencies in specific circumstances.
The proposed rules may be accessed at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-10-09/pdf/2014-24098.pdf and the UI-PL No. 1-15 also interpreting the statute may be found at http://ows.doleta.gov/dmstree/uipl/uipl2k15/uipl_0115.pdf
Specific provisions raising issues include:
- The proposed rules in Section 620.3 would unduly restrict the list of occupations of individuals who may be tested to those identified as of October 9, 2014.
- The proposed rules in Section 620.4 (a) would unduly limit drug testing to only the period after an applicant applies and before the applicant files a continued claim for unemployment compensation.
- The proposed rules and UI PL No. 1-15 would impose an unnecessary burden on the agency to determine whether “suitable work” in a specific occupation is not available in the local labor market.
- The proposed rules and UI PL No. 1-15 unduly mandate that states follow drug testing guidelines that meet standards by the Mental Health Services Administration or the U.S Department of Transportation.
- The proposed rules, and by reference UI PL No. 1-15, fail to recognize that Section 303(a) of the Social Security Act, as amended particularly by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 in Section 2101, substantively changed federal requirements with respect to “timeliness” and “due process”.
We encourage members to submit comments.