Drug Testing And Workers' Compensation Claims
Taking a drug test after an accident at work can feel like an invasion of privacy and even a suspicion on the part of your employer about whether or not you are to blame. All these feelings are valid and might even be accurate, but it is a necessary step in the workers' compensation claims process in many instances.
Presumption of Guilt
In most states, no law requires an employee to undergo a drug test after an accident at work. However, if your employer has this requirement listed as part of their incident protocol and a test is requested, it is generally best to follow through.
When an employee refuses to undergo testing, it leaves but one outcome: a presumption of guilt. If your claim eventually makes its way in front of a judge, the fact that you refused to adhere to the testing request will likely not work in your favor.
As part of the testing request, you will likely be given a window by which the test should be performed. Often, this request involves testing within a few days after the incident. Like a refusal to take the test, waiting too long to test can appear just as suspicious.
An employer can argue that the employee was impaired at the time of the incident and only waited to test to eliminate the substance from their system. If you are working with an attorney, they will review the testing request to ensure all the proper conditions are met so that you can test by the requested time.
Often, employees avoid testing because of a fear of failing. However, it is crucial to understand that a failed test does not always mean a denied claim. Even in the case of recreational drug use, if drugs in the employees' system had no bearing on the accident, their drug use might not play as big of a role.
For example, if an object fell on a person, it would likely have fallen with or without drugs in their system. Additionally, certain prescription medications can trigger a failed drug test. In this case, a notice from the employees' physician detailing the medication use can defend a failed test.
If you were injured on the job, it might be in your best interest to succumb to the testing requirement and hire an attorney. Speak with attorneys such as Fortune & McGillis SC promptly to discuss how you should move forward.