Workers Compensation and Drug Testing
Many companies require that employees pass a drug test before hiring, and some even require post-accident testing. In some cases, these tests are required to determine if drugs had a role in an on-the-job accident. However, there are also instances when employers can make use of these tests without having to actually pay out workers compensation benefits. The most important thing to remember about these tests is that the results do not necessarily prove that an employee is intoxicated. Rather, they are meant to verify that an employee was not intoxicated when he or she was injured.
A positive drug test can mean serious consequences for an employee. Some employers may fire or suspend an employee who fails a test. If you fail a drug test, it is vital to contact a workers' compensation attorney. These attorneys can help you find out if you are eligible for benefits, and can also provide advice and guidance in the event that your employer tries to prevent you from receiving the compensation you are entitled to.
Drug tests can reveal if an employee had illegal or prescription drugs in his or her system. Although this is not the only way to figure out if an employee was intoxicated, it does indicate that drugs played a role in the workplace incident. Employers can also require that employees be tested for alcohol if they have reason to suspect that the employee is under the influence. This is the best way to ensure that the employee will not become intoxicated in the workplace.
Depending on the circumstances, a positive test can be a good thing or a bad thing. There are some advantages to being drug tested at work, including a 7.5% discount on your workers' comp insurance premium. At the same time, there are some unfortunate consequences. For example, an intoxicated employee cannot claim that they were at fault for an on-the-job accident, and they could be denied workers' compensation benefits altogether.
While most companies choose to have a drug free environment, it is still possible to be denied workers' compensation if you use drugs on the job. Even the most strict employers are unlikely to deny a claim if the employee is using prescription medications. It is always a good idea to inform your employer of any medications you are taking.
Although it is not impossible for an employee to be denied workers' compensation based on a drug test, the fact is that the majority of cases do not end in disaster. Most insurance companies will pay out their fair share of the compensation. And if the employee is not able to get the benefits he or she is entitled to, it is usually in the best interests of both parties to settle out of court.
Getting a workers' comp benefit for a small, low-tech drug test is a far cry from getting an injury on the job. But if you have been involved in a workplace accident, it is a smart idea to review your employer's drug testing policy and know your rights.