If you work or are applying for a job in Connecticut and your employer has asked you to take a drug test, you'll want to know your legal rights. Federal law places few limits on employer drug testing: Although the federal government requires testing by employers in a few safety-sensitive industries (including transportation, aviation, and contractors with NASA and the Department of Defense), federal law doesn't otherwise require – or prohibit drug tests. For the most part, this area is regulated by state and local laws.
Like many other states, Connecticut has laws that allow drug testing in certain situations, as long as the employer follows the procedural rules.
Connecticut employers may (but don't have to) require applicants to take a drug test as a condition of employment. The employer must inform applicants, in writing, if drug testing will be required. If the applicant fails the test, the employer must provide a copy of the test results. An employer may refuse to hire an employee who will not submit to a drug test.
A former employee who reapplies may not be subjected to applicant testing unless the former employee has been away from the job for at least one year. Otherwise, the former employee is subject to the rules for employees, below.
An employer in Connecticut may require an employee to take a drug test when there is a reasonable suspicion that the employee is under the influence of drugs, and the employee's job performance is or could be adversely affected.
Random drug testing is allowed only if:
A Connecticut employer may not directly observe employees giving urine specimens.
An employer also may not fire or take any other adverse personnel action against an employee on the basis of a single positive test unless the positive result has been confirmed in a second test.
Have you been illegally asked or required to take a drug test? Even though Connecticut law allows employers to drug test in certain circumstances, employees and applicants may have legal claims based on how the test was conducted, who was tested, or how the results were used. Here are some examples: