Continuing our weekly summer series on the basics of various employment laws, we’ll turn this week to the state’s drug testing laws (which can be found starting at Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-51t)

I’ve discussed some of the quirks in this statute in a prior post, including the fact that the testing rules for applicants differ from employees, but that an "employee" may also include a former employee too. 

But what are the rules that employers must follow for job applicants?

For job applicants (the statute uses "prospective employee"), an employer cannot require a urinalysis drug test as part of the application process unless three items are met:

  1. the applicant "is informed in writing at the time of application of the employer’s intent to conduct such a drug test"
  2. the test is in accordance with procedures set up in the statute (basically a two-step test); and
  3. the applicant is "given a copy of any positive urinalysis drug test result."

The results of that test must be kept confidential and only shared with an employee "to whom such disclosure is necessary." (Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-51v)

While many employers in Connecticut have the discretion as to whether or not to implement drug testing, those employers who are subject to the Drug Free Workplace Act (mainly those federal contractors or grantees) may have additional requirements to follow. 

As always, this area is filled with traps for the unwary so if you’re thinking about implementing such a program be sure to consult with an attorney or a company that specializes in this area.