Workers’ compensation cases are often challenging without any extenuating circumstances. However, when the worker fails a drug test, the insurance company or employer may deny benefits citing that the drugs were the cause of the accident.
How a Failed Drug Test Affects Workers’ Compensation Benefits
After an employee is injured on the job, typically, workers’ compensation pays for medical bills, therapies, and missed work time. If you are injured on the job, your employer may request a drug test, and if you fail it, you may be denied workers’ compensation benefits. You can refuse the drug test, but your employer still has the right to deny the claim.
Some of the reasons that testing may occur include:
Your employer may conduct “Reasonable-suspicion drug testing,” meaning a drug test based on the belief that you are using or have used drugs recently, which violates the employer’s policy. Their suspicions may result from the following:
- Direct observation of drug use or physical symptoms of someone under the influence of a drug or alcohol.
- Erratic behavior at work and deterioration of work performance.
- A credible source reported drug use.
- Substantial evidence that an employee tampered with a drug test to alter the results.
- Facts that indicate an employee has caused or contributed to an accident at work.
- Any evidence that proves the employee has sold, solicited, used, possessed, or transferred drugs while at work or on the premises, especially while operating heavy machinery or equipment.
Some accidents and injuries occur regardless of whether you are under the influence or not. Some examples might be:
- Car accidents that were not your fault while driving for work.
- A co-worker is at fault for the accident, but you get injured.
- Accidents caused by third parties.
If you refuse to take the drug test or fail it, your employer may still have the legal right to deny you workers’ compensation benefits in Florida.
Some of the types of things employers look for when conducting a drug test are:
Each state has laws specifying the length of time an employer has to conduct a drug test following a workplace accident.
If you work in a drug-free workplace, your employer can require a drug test after an accident. Florida law protects employers against drug abuse in the workplace.
Your Legal Options
Failing a drug test after an accident will most likely result in you not getting any workers’ compensation benefits. But these types of cases can be tricky.
The best way to handle it is to consult your workers’ compensation attorney for advice. They can guide you through the process of getting the benefits you deserve after your accident.
Contact Barry Stein today for help with your workers’ compensation case.