Statement by TAB President and CEO Bill Hammond
AUSTIN, TX—The U.S. Labor Department is blocking a new Texas law from taking effect. That law would allow for limited drug testing for people receiving unemployment benefits in Texas.
“Congress has passed this bill, it passed the Texas Legislature and it is unconscionable to me that a bunch of federal bureaucrats are able to thwart the will of both Congress and our Legislature,” said Bill Hammond, Texas Association of Business President and CEO.
Senate Bill 21requires certain unemployment benefit applicants to undergo a drug test. “This is what many businesses in Texas already require as part of the employment process,” said Hammond. “This will be a positive for the applicants because it will show employers that these folks are not abusing illegal drugs and are ready to go back to work.”
Hammond is calling on the Labor Department to stop stalling and create the rules needed to implement this law. “We saw overwhelming support for this bill in the Texas Legislature,” said Hammond. “The final vote in the Senate was unanimous. Every Republican and Democrat voted for this bill, even Senator Wendy Davis. Just because some folks in D.C. who have a little bit of power at the Labor Department do not like the idea, that shouldn’t give them the right to second guess the will of the people of Texas.”
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Founded in 1922, the Texas Association of Business is a broad-based, bipartisan organization representing more than 4,000 small and large Texas employers and 200 local chambers of commerce.