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.
Important to Note: Vermont’s law requires a Medical Review Officer (MRO) to report all results to the donor and only positives to the employer – no employer obligation.
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 Issue||Status||Comments|
|Instant or POCT Testing||Not Permitted||Neither Quest Diagnostics nor LabCorp perform instant testing at their drug testing centers in Vermont. Instant testing not permitted for employee drug testing.|
|Drug Panels||Limited Restriction||Drug 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.|
|Laboratory||Restricted||Lab must be approved by the Vermont Department of Health Public Health Laboratory. See List.rnrn|
|Medical Review Officer||Required||Required for both positive and negative results|
|Random Testing||Restricted||DOT or other Federal law only|
|Post-Accident||Limited||With probable cause of drug or alcohol use.|
|Reasonable Suspicion||Permitted||With probable cause of drug or alcohol use.|
|Oral Fluids||Restricted||Law defines specimens as urine, blood, breath and hair.|
|Hair Testing||Not restricted|
|Unemployment Denial||Yes||Terminate for misconduct and address misconduct in the drug free workplace policy.|
|Workers Comp Discount||No|
|Intoxication Defense||Yes||In 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 Marijuana||Yes||The Vermont medical marijuana law states that the medical marijuana provisions do not require employers to accommodate medical marijuana use in the workplace.|
|Recreational Marijuana||Yes||Vermont'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 Positives||No|
|General Statute||Workplace 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