Connecticut employers with substance abuse testing policies take note: a Superior Court judge in Waterbury recently ruled that the State’s drug testing laws apply only to urinalysis and not to a drug test using hair specimens.
After being subjected to and fired as a result of a drug test analyzing his hair, Ronald Schofield, Jr. sued his former employer, Loureiro Engineering Associates, Inc., alleging that it violated a number of Connecticut statutes prescribing when employers can give a “urinalysis drug test” and the circumstances under which they can rely upon it. Loureiro moved to strike the counts in Schofield’s Amended Complaint relying upon these statutes, arguing that they were inapplicable because Loureiro did not subject Schofield to a urinalysis drug test.
The Court agreed and dismissed Plaintiff’s claims based upon the statutes, although it recognized that “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 [sic.] undeniable.” Nevertheless, the Court made clear that that its job was to interpret the law as the Legislature wrote it, not to change it to conform it to what the judge believed it should be.
The Court’s decision creates a potentially huge loophole for drug tests not based upon urinalysis, like blood- and hair-based ones. We’ll keep you posted on developments, including whether any momentum develops to try to amend the statutes at issue to include all forms of testing.