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Saturday, June 2, 2012 - 4:53am

Drug Users May Lose Unemployment

Updated: 2 years ago.
State labor officials said testing positive for drugs amounts to fraud and would disqualify someone from collecting unemployment benefits. The Georgia Department of Labor is asking employers and others to turn in people collecting benefits who test positive for drugs. (Photo Courtesy of Micah Baldwin via Flickr.)

Georgia's Labor Department is asking employers and others to turn in people collecting unemployment benefits who fail drug screenings, but so far the agency has gotten no complaints.

Labor Department Commissioner Mark Butler said the measure is aimed at reducing unemployment fraud. Officials said testing positive for drugs amounts to fraud and would disqualify someone from collecting benefits.

The policy began in March, and the department sent notices to employers about fraud and abuse reporting. Those reporting suspected fraud may do so anonymously, and the Labor Department will verify claims before people are removed from the unemployment rolls.

Republican lawmakers voted this year to require drug testing for those receiving welfare benefits in Georgia. The state's unemployment rate of 9 percent is above the national average.