• John Larrimer

Can I Still Receive Ohio Workers Comp If I Fail a Drug Test?

In 2011, a worker at Stark Metal Sales, Inc., in Alliance, Ohio sustained an injury when a giant piece of steel fell on the worker’s legs. EMS arrived shortly and transported the worker to the hospital. Upon arrival, the worker was told he would be required to submit to a urine drug test. The worker told the nurses he simply did not need to use the restroom at that time. A week later, the worker returned for a follow-up and submitted to the drug screen. He tested positive for marijuana.

However, the Industrial Commission of Ohio, which is the establishment that handles any issues that arise from workers’ comp claims, allowed his claim for workers’ compensation to go through anyway. As a result, Stark Metal appealed immediately.

The Common Pleas Court in Stark County allowed the worker to exclude all testimony on drug testing due to the well-known fact that marijuana metabolites stay in the body for longer than a six-day period. As such, Stark Metal had no evidence from the medical records showing the time frame the worker used marijuana.

The worker made a statement saying he had smoked marijuana weeks before the workplace accident occurred. In response, Stark Metal argued that statement violates company policies. However, Ohio’s 5th District Court of Appeals finally affirmed the Stark County Common Pleas Court’s original ruling. Unless the worker’s drug use caused the workplace injury, he should receive workers’ compensation.

If You Fail a Drug Test, It is Still Possible to Receive Workers’ Compensation

Insurance companies will attempt to appeal your workers’ compensation claim on the basis of a positive drug test. However, drug tests must be given within eight hours of the injury and your employer must be able to prove that drug use directly caused the workplace accident. As long as it can be shown you were not impaired while on the job, it is still possible to receive workers’ compensation. It is always wise to consult with a workers compensation attorney if you have been injured on the job and suspect you will fail a drug test.

Larrimer &Larrimer, LLC is a personal injury law firm that fights for victims who have sustained injuries in a workplace accident in the Columbus, Newark, Shadyside, Zanesville areas of Ohio.

Source: http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20150401/NEWS08/150409976

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