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Vermont State Drug Testing Laws

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 the only applicant and probable cause testing. Post-accident drug testing in Vermont is prohibited unless there is probable cause of substance abuse.

January 2018 – Vermont legislators pass the recreational marijuana bill. The law restricts marijuana possession to adults over 21 years and allows 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 affect 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 performs instant testing at their drug testing centers in Vermont. Instant testing is not permitted for employee drug testing.
Drug PanelsLimited RestrictionDrugs 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.
LaboratoryRestrictedThe Vermont Department must approve the lab 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 the probable cause of drug or alcohol use
Reasonable SuspicionPermittedWith the probable cause of drug or alcohol use
Oral FluidsRestrictedThe law defines specimens like 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 their 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 legalized possession of marijuana for recreational use. Workplace drug testing is not affected by the Vermont recreational marijuana law.
Report Driver DOT PositivesNo 
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 against a compensation claim. State laws’ intoxication defenses generally fall into one of three rough categories: reasons 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 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 vary 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.

View Individual State Law Summaries

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