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Drug-Free Workplace Policy and Program Template

Connecticut Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

State: Connecticut
Statute of Order: Conn. Gen. Stat. §31-51t et seq., §14-261a et seq., §14-276a
Covered Employers: All private employers.
Applicant Testing: Testing authorized if applicant is informed in writing beforehand. Former employees may not be tested unless they have been away from the job for at least 12 months. Testing required to certify school bus drivers.
Employee Testing: Testing authorized on reasonable suspicion of substance abuse; random testing authorized of employees in safety-sensitive jobs. Testing required for intrastate truck drivers after a reportable accident, upon reasonable cause, or at random under federal law. Discipline or discharge authorized for employees who test positive.
Conditions & Methods: Confirming test in case of positive findings, privacy for employee in collection of specimen, and confidentiality of test results.
Important Bulletpoints:
  • The State Labor Commissioner is tasked with setting which are high-risk and safety sensitive positions authorized for drug testing.
  • Random urinalysis drug testing may be permitted only on a per individual request basis which must then be approved by the State Labor Commissioner.
  • All testing must be conducted within certified testing laboratories only. Confirmation screening of an initial positive result is a requirement. The confirmatory urinalysis drug test must be done by another independent laboratory using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry methods.
  • Employees may be tested for evidence of substance abuse if the employee voluntarily agrees to participate in an employer sponsored or authorized employee assistance program.
  • Unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation benefits, which would otherwise be due to the employee, may be denied as a result of employee’s use of narcotics of for violating employer’s drug-testing policy.
  • Connecticut labor code dictates that collective bargaining agreement provisions must fully comply with existing laws.
  • Medical Marijuana Law:

    On October 1, 2012, the Connecticut Senate and House of Representatives enacted House Bill 5389 - An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana. It protects patients, their primary caregivers and physicians and dispensaries from penalties under state law for the production, use or possession of marijuana. A patient is required to have a physician's certification attesting to his/her need for the palliative use of medical marijuana.

    Qualifying Medical Conditions

    • Cachexia(Wasting syndrome)

    • Cancer

    • Crohn's Disease

    • Epilepsy

    • Glaucoma

    • HIV/AIDS

    • Intractable Spasticity

    • Multiple Sclerosis

    • Parkinson's Disease

    • PTSD

    • Other medical conditions approved by the DCP (Dept. of Consumer Protection)

    In January, the Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program was expanded to include the following 3 additional dispensaries and 6 new qualifying conditions:

    • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    • Post Laminectomy Syndrome with Chronic Radiculopathy

    • Severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

    • Sickle Cell Disease

    • Ulcerative Colitis

    In October, HB 5450 was signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy, allowing minors under the age of 18 to qualify for medical marijuana if they have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions:

    • Cerebral Palsy

    • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

    • Cystic Fibrosis

    • Intractable Spasticity

    • Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care

    • Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder

    Under HB 5450, dispensaries are allowed to provide medical marijuana to approved medical facilities and nurses are allowed to administer medical marijuana at health care facilities.

    Limitations

    • A physician's certification is only valid for 1 year.

    • A patient and his caregiver together can only have in their possession enough marijuana to last for 1 month.

    • A patient can only have 1 primary caregiver

    • A caregiver may only provide marijuana to a single patient unless he/she is a parent, guardian, conservator or sibling of the patient.

    • Marijuana use is prohibited in public places, in private or public school grounds/ university property, in the workplace, in moving vehicles or in the presence of minors (any person under 18).

    Recreational Marijuana

    Possession of marijuana under 14 grams (1/2 ounce) was decriminalized for adults aged 18 and older on July 1, 2011 via Senate Bill 1014. From a criminal misdemeanor charge that was punishable by 1 year in jail and $1000 fine, it is now a non-criminal infraction punishable by a fine of $150. It will no longer mean arrest, jail time and a criminal record.

    In 2015, a poll conducted by Quinnipiac found that 63% of voters in Connecticut support the full legalization of recreational marijuana. It is expected that the Connecticut Legislature will consider legislation to achieve this by ending prohibition and putting in place a system to tax and regulate marijuana use. They convened on January 4, 2017.

    Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

    The Medical Marijuana Law as expanded does not affect employers' rights to keep their workplaces drug and alcohol free. In fact, it explicitly states that marijuana use is prohibited in the workplace. Employers who do not already have an existing drug test policy are totally within their rights to build one that explicitly addresses employee marijuana use in the interest of maintaining employee performance, safety and productivity.

    Sources:

    http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/sourcefiles/connecticut-hb-5389.pdf

    https://votesmart.org/bill/15260/40131#.WHY2Gxt96Hs

    http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=4287&q=509628&dcpNav=|55376|

    https://marijuanadecrim.wordpress.com/ct-laws/

    Applicability: Law applies to patient, guardian of patient, caregiver, dispensary producer and physician
    Quantity Allowed: Amount reasonable necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability for a period of one month, as determined by the Department of Consumer Protection. Specific amounts to be provided no later than 1/1/2013 by Department of Consumer Protection.
    How Obtained: Through Dispensaries and producers.
    Liability Protections: Qualifying patient, guardian and caregiver protected from arrest for possession, transportation, delivery or cultivation of Medical Marijuana if foregoing has a valid registration certificate from the Department of Consumer Protection – Validation is not to exceed one year. Law includes a restrictive and detailed provision that states that no employer may refuse to hire a person or may discharge, penalize or threaten an employee solely on the basis of such person’s or employees status as a qualifying patient or caregiver. Some exceptions may apply.
    Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use: Valid registration certificate from the Department of Consumer Protection required for physician, patient, dispensary and producers.
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    Material on these pages (state drug testing laws and drug testing regulations) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or technical advice. This drug testing related information is not intended as substitute for obtaining legal advice from attorney, or a relevant medical technical or financial professional. TestCountry is not a law firm or a legal agency, therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content. Drug testing laws are collected from legal and/or state sources, and it may or may not be valid by the time you are viewing it. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Confirm Biosciences Inc. DBA TestCountry.

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