Connecticut employment drug testing laws state that an employer has the right to perform drug tests on applicants as well as current employees. Employers can implement a drug testing program as long as applicants are informed of the drug test in writing, the test is conducted in accordance with § 31-51u, and the applicant is presented with a copy of the results (if the test is positive). It is prohibited for employers to observe the drug-testing process. Positive results may result in the employer refusing an applicant. If an employee tests positive on a drug test, termination may only occur if a second drug test confirms this positive result.
Can Current Employees be Tested? Yes, employees can be drug tested for the following reasons:
- reasonable suspicion of drug/alcohol use
- random drug tests, only if:
- required by federal law (applies only to Connecticut employers in certain industries or with government contracts)
- high-risk or safety-sensitive position (designated by state labor department)
- student transportation positions
- voluntary consent by employee as part of an employer’s EAP
Is Certified Testing Required? No.
Laws – § Sec. 31-51(t-aa)
What can be Tested? Urine is the only specimen mentioned but no other samples are specifically prohibited.
How to Conduct a Legal Drug Test
Step 1 – Applicants and current employees should submit a Drug Test Release Form once they have been made aware of an employer’s drug testing program. Connecticut drug testing law authorizes urinalysis drug testing and does not address other types of tests such as hair, breath, or blood. An employer is not prohibited from procuring samples of hair, breath, or blood, but does so at its own risk.
Step 2 – Most employers are not legally required to use certified laboratories; this does not include employers who contract with the federal government. Federal law requires the samples be tested at laboratories certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A list of these labs can be found by navigating to the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) website.
Step 3 – Test results, if positive, must be given to the applicant or employee, in accordance with § Sec. 31-51v. No employer can terminate or take action against an employee from the result of one positive drug test. The test must be confirmed by a second urinalysis drug test using a methodology determined by the Department of Health.