On May 22, 2015, in an unpublished decision, Judge Andrew W. Roraback of the Connecticut Superior Court (Waterbury Judicial District) found that Connecticut’s statutory restrictions on urine-based drug testing did not apply to hair follicle-based drug testing. In the case, the plaintiff, Ronald Schofield, Jr. was ordered to undergo hair drug testing by his employer, the defendant, Loureiro Engineering Associates, Inc. The defendant terminated the plaintiff’s employment based on the test results. 

Connecticut law regulates urine-based drug testing and the plaintiff sued claiming that the statutory protections applied to him even though he was ordered to undergo hair testing, not urine testing. The superior court disagreed and dismissed the case, refusing to apply Connecticut General Statute sections 31-51u, 31-51v, and 31-51x to hair-based drug testing. The court wrote,

the drug testing statutes in question apply only to urinalysis testing and do not cover an employee who is subjected to other forms of drug testing.

. . .

While the logic of plaintiff’s position is readily understood and the seemingly irrational inconsistency which flows from the disparate protections made evident in this opinion are undeniable, “the task of changing the law lies with the legislature and not with the judiciary.” 

Therefore, at least in Judge Roraback’s courtroom, Connecticut employers are free to impose hair, saliva, and other non-urine-based drug tests without meeting the somewhat onerous restrictions of Connecticut law. Connecticut employers engaged in workplace drug testing should watch this space closely for further developments.


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Drug Testing

Ogletree Deakins understands that employers face complex and nuanced issues when implementing and enforcing drug and alcohol testing and substance abuse policies. Drawing on decades of experience advising and defending drug testing laboratories, and public and private employers across the country and internationally, our attorneys provide highly responsive legal service

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