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Workplace drug testing issues – State Laws – Vermont

Caution: Vermont employers wishing to conduct workplace drug testing must follow state rules.  Policies and procedures are critical to a legally defensible drug testing program in Vermont.  Drug testing has restrictions, the Statute allows only applicant and probable cause testing.  Post accident drug testing in Vermont is prohibilted unless there is probavle cause of substance abuse.

January, 2018 – Vermont legislators pass recreational marijuana bill. The law restricts marijuana possession to adults over 21 years, and allows possession of one ounce of recreational marijuana with no criminal or civil penalties. Currently, workplace drug testing is not affected by the Vermont recreational marijuana law.

These categories do not effect DOT regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.

Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Vermont

Drug Testing IssueStatusComments
Instant or POCT TestingNot PermittedNeither Quest Diagnostics nor LabCorp perform instant testing at their drug testing centers in Vermont. Instant testing not permitted for employee drug testing.
Drug PanelsLimited RestrictionDrug listed are Amitriptyline, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine, doxepin, glutethimide, hydromorphone, imipramine, meperidine, methadone, methaqualone, opiates, oxycodone, pentazocine, phenytoin, phencyclidine, phenothiazines, and propoxyphene. Other drugs may be added through regulation.
LaboratoryRestrictedLab must be approved by the Vermont Department of Health Public Health Laboratory. See List.rnrn
Medical Review OfficerRequiredRequired for both positive and negative results
Random TestingRestrictedDOT or other Federal law only
Post-AccidentLimitedWith probable cause of drug or alcohol use.
Reasonable SuspicionPermittedWith probable cause of drug or alcohol use.
Oral FluidsRestrictedLaw defines specimens as urine, blood, breath and hair.
Hair TestingNot restricted
Unemployment DenialYesTerminate for misconduct and address misconduct in the drug free workplace policy.
Workers Comp DiscountNo
Intoxication DefenseYesIn 2010 the Vermont Supreme Court concluded that under §649 the employer must establish the employee's intoxication was the 'proximate cause' of his or her injuries.
Medical MarijuanaYesThe Vermont medical marijuana law states that the medical marijuana provisions do not require employers to accommodate medical marijuana use in the workplace.
Recreational MarijuanaYesVermont's state legislature passed a bill on January 22, 2018 that legalizes possession of marijuana for recreational use. Workplace drug testing is not affected by the Vermont recreational marijuana law.
Report Driver DOT PositivesNo
General StatuteWorkplace drug testing statute chapter 5, subchapter 1, (21 VSA §511) related to private workplace drug testing in Vermont.

In Vermont, An employee who tests positive and agrees to enter the EAP or rehabilitation program may not be terminated.

Intoxication Defense – Denial of Workers Compensation Claim - States vary in their willingness to allow employers to use an injured worker's intoxication as a defense against a claim for compensation.  State laws' intoxication defenses generally fall into one of three rough categories: defenses that do not depend on causation; defenses that require some form of proximate causation between intoxication and injury; and defenses that require that intoxication be the sole cause of injury.  Always check with your insurance company and your attorney when you have a positive post-accident test after an injury.

This chart is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal guidance. State and local law varies greatly; therefore, you are advised to consult experienced legal counsel during the design of your actual substance abuse testing program and with any questions that follow.

State Law Vermont

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