When employees get injured at work, they are susceptible to workers' compensation; it’s a type of insurance policy that helps protect employees and employers from workplace injuries. In such cases, the employee doesn’t have to prove that there was negligence or prove illness or injury was sustained in the workplace.
There are, however, exceptions to this rule, which can render an employee unworthy of getting worker’s compensation. A good example is failing a drug test. This can make workers' compensation claims to become complicated.
Injured employees must, therefore, seek counsel from Larrimer & Larrimer Law Firm to understand the specifics of their case. The law firm has a team of esteemed workers comp lawyers in Columbus who are mindful of legal issues. Victims can schedule a free consultation today to get insights on the worker’s compensation claims.
What Is Post-Accident Drug Testing?
An employer can outline various tests in the drug testing policies. They include a random drug test, post-accident drug testing, and drug testing before employment. These policies are put in place to ensure that the work environment is safe.
Post-accident drug testing is done to determine whether the drug ingested could have increased the chances of unsafe work practices. If an employee fails a drug test, it doesn’t prove that the drug ingested caused the accident. The results can be used to defend workers' compensation claims and make them ineligible.
Drug testing can happen in secured locations. An employer can seek the services of a drug testing facility where the specimen is sent to an on-site collection spot. Some hospitals offer drug testing services but as an added service because they don’t retain experts for drug tests.
What Is Tested During Post Accident Drug Testing
Drug testing is a popular way of determining drug or alcohol use. Most drug testing facilities use an easy matrix to test if there is the presence of substances. The best matrixes they use are;
This specimen has drug concentrate and is an easy specimen to work with. They usually test for metabolite in the specimen. Metabolites are compounds produced by metabolism and are excreted. Using metabolites levels helps in determining drug use.
This is another non-invasive and affordable method of drug testing. It gives results, but the window of accuracy is relatively small.
Blood testing is the most accurate drug testing method. However, it's expensive and also invasive.
Metabolites can be filtered through the hair. The substance stays on hair, making it a permanent test for drug use.
Can Employees Get a Post-Accident Drug Testing?
Post-accident drug testing, as stated by the OSHA memorandum seeking a drug test immediately after an injury, may seem like retaliation from the employer’s side. They, however, didn’t write off the importance of having post-accident drug testing.
The organization gave strict measures for employers to follow. Employers can only conduct post-accident drug testing if they have valid reasonable suspicion that the injury was made due to intoxication rather than having bonafide rules that any employee must undergo drug testing in work-related accidents.
In essence, the Occupational Safety Health and Administration memorandum further indicates that employers must put up measures that allow their employees to report work-related injury or illness freely. Therefore, OSHA prohibits employers from conducting post-accident drug testing without an objectively good reasonable suspicion for doing do so. Employees should seek legal counsel from experienced workers' compensation attorneys from Larrimer & Larrimer Law Firm if they feel their employers exercise unrightfully drug tests.
Is Drug Testing Required for Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation works based on a no-fault system; therefore, it doesn’t require post-accident drug testing of employees because workers' compensation doesn’t need proof. In some cases, employers shy away from undertaking drug testing since they don’t want to lose money from drug test costs.
However, employers can request a drug test when they are suspicious that the accident occurred due to some form of intoxication. It’s important for an employee to discern whether the employer is making a genuine request or making an intoxication defense.
Various states wouldn’t compensate their employees when they fail a post-accident drug testing if the drug use caused or contributed to the workplace accident. It’s, however, important to note that even if the employee fails the drug test, it doesn’t mean that’s the end of it.
The court will make a verdict on whether the intoxication defense will play a role in the eligibility of a workers' compensation claim for an employee.
How Long Should Workers' Compensation Wait to Have a Drug Test?
If the employer requests a drug test, it is usually imperative that they do drug testing soon after the accident. There is a window of detection that most drugs have staying on the body, but it will depend on the type of drug or alcohol use and the amount on the body.
In case the employer waits too long, the accuracy of the results will lessen. Generally, drug testing should be administered 12 hours after the occurrence of the accident. This helps in getting accurate results.
What Happens When an Employee Fails a Drug Test?
When an employee consents to post-accident testing and fails, it’s not a reason to start panicking as this doesn’t mean that the employee is ineligible for a workers' compensation claim. The process, however, will not make one walk off scot-free.
A failed drug test leaves room for scrutiny and black lash from the employer and insurance company. The employer may use this against the employee in the following ways:
A failed drug test can disqualify an employee by indicating impairment due to drug use.
The drug and alcohol found on the employee's body were the sole cause of the accident.
It’s easy for the employer and insurance company to prove that drug use and substance were found on the body. Proving that the drug or alcohol use directly caused the accident is another ball game. In most cases, the insurance company usually pays for workers' compensation claims regardless.
Can an Employee Get Fired after Failing Post-Accident Testing?
As stated earlier, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration acts prohibit employers from retaliating against their employees. Firing or discriminating against employees who file for worker’s compensation claims is deemed illegal.
However, employers have a right to operate in a safe and drug-free working environment as per the Health Administration acts. They can decide to fire an employee due to a failed test due to drug use, but they can’t fire the employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim.
When employees are fired, they are still entitled to the worker’s compensation benefits if their claims were successful; these are all reasons why the employee will still need the services of a lawyer with a proven track record.
Can Employees Refuse to Take a Drug Test?
An employee who refuses to go for a drug test when requested by their employer may be susceptible to disciplinary actions as per the guidelines of the company regulations. There’s no point in refusing if the employee is not hiding anything. When an employee doesn’t have a valid medical explanation for refusing to take the drug tests, they should just take the test.
It makes the employee look guilty as if they are trying to hinder or invalidate the drug testing process.
Why Work with Proficient Workers Compensation Attorneys?
Working with proficient experts will put an employee in a better position to get the settlement they deserve. Here are some reasons why working with Larrimer & Larrimer Law Firm attorneys is the best option:
These experts are skilled and knowledgeable about post-accident drug testing and how the workers' compensation system works. Therefore, their clients can’t be lured by employers or insurance companies who don’t want to have any kind of liability to make as much profit as possible.
The experts have top-notch negotiations skills that ensure the victim gets the best compensation. They look at the employee's current and future career prospects and settle for an offer suitable for their clients.
Overall, the number of years that the professionals have been offering the people of Columbus, Ohio, is more than enough to give exceptions services. They have sharpened their crafts and can know where the case will go even before it starts. Attorneys can also advise the employee accordingly when they find that the case at hand doesn’t have enough evidence to win the claim.
At such a time, an employee may feel frustration going back and forth with the insurance company and employer. Having a trustworthy attorney who can step in and outline their clients' needs is beneficial. It leaves the employee to think about other things and tend to their injuries.
Contact Larrimer & Larrimer Law Firm
The workers' compensation system works as a no-fault. When victims fail an automatic drug testing, the employer and insurance company may try to deny a worker their benefits. In this case, an employee needs a professional lawyer from Larrimer & Larrimer Law Firm to handle their compensation case. Victims may contact the Larrimer & Larrimer Law Firm to get top-notch services.
If you were hurt at work or are experiencing any type of repetitive work injury, let us know so we can help.