American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 79 v. Scott

AFSCME Council 79, the largest union of state employees in Florida, challenged Governor Scott’s executive order mandating suspicionless drug testing of all of the employees and job applicants at state agencies in his purview.

The Eleventh Circuit rejected the State’s argument that employees agree to be drug tested by virtue of wanting to keep their jobs: “Surrendering to drug testing in order to remain eligible for a government benefit such as employment or welfare, whatever else it is, is not the type of consent that automatically renders a search reasonable as a matter of law.”  The court held that across-the-board testing based on a generalized interest in safety was impermissible, but remanded the case to the district court for the parties to conduct a job category-by-category review of which positions can be permissibly tested and which cannot.

The Governor has so far acknowledged that he has no legally sufficient basis to test over 900 job categories out of approximately 1,340 represented by the union.

Legal Documents

Complaint (5/31/11)

Order Granting Permanent Injunction (S.D. Fla.) (4/26/12)

Opinion Affirming Unconstitutionality, but Vacating Injunction and Remanding for Individualized Job Category Review (11th Cir.) (5/29/13)