by Deborah Caldwell
Conservatives seem convinced that most of the Americans who are unemployed are in that position because they’re lazy, not because they can’t find a job during worst recession since the Great Depression. So the Georgia Department of Labor concocted a scheme that would allow businesses to report to them if a job applicant failed a drug test. This was heralded by Georgia officials as a way to catch lazy unemployed people who were caricatured as as just sitting around and getting high, and weren’t serious about finding work.
So, was the program successful? Not at all according to Georgia Labor Department official Sam Hall.
“As a result of that one employer calling, we investigated and the person that had been reported was disallowed from continuing to receive benefits,” Hall said.
In addition to this program, the labor department has also begun a snitching program, which allows people to turn in benefit recipients who they believe are defrauding the program. Not much luck there either.
Hall seemed to suggest that the number of reports aren’t higher because many employers don’t go through the trouble of blowing the whistle on applicants.
“Obviously there would be some employers who would hesitate and some who would say, ‘Well, I’ve not hired the person and I’m going to move on,’ but we will appreciate any notice we get,” Hall said.
It’s probably much easier for Hall to hypothesize about why there aren’t more reports than to just admit that the program failed because most unemployed people aren’t druggies.