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Tips for Employers: Drug Testing After a Work Injury

work injuryWhen a worker is injured on the job, it’s difficult to be critical since they are in pain. However, having a drug test after a work injury can be crucial. While Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system, a worker that was under the influence will not be eligible for the same benefits as an employee that was exercising proper behavior. In fact, a drug test could prevent a worker from collecting benefits at all.

Drug testing an employee is not always legal. This is because they are owed a certain amount of privacy. However, when an injury becomes involved, the legal stance changes a bit. In many cases, there is good reason to be suspicious, which is when it is legal to drug test an employee normally. In most cases, it can be difficult to prove there was good reason to be suspicious but having an accident that could have been avoided is one of the best ways to justify why an employee should be tested.

However, there should still be caution expressed, as illegally testing an employee will only cause worse issues when it comes to the work injury.

Written Policy

Hopefully, as an employer, you have considered the possibility of an injured worker prior to its happening. Additionally, it should be a consideration of how it will be handled if an intoxicated person comes to work even if they are not injured. The best thing a company can do is write a drug testing policy in their employee handbook, outlining reasoning for drug testing and having employees sign an acknowledgment of your policies.

Test Quickly

A drug test should happen as soon as possible after an injury. The quicker the test, the more accurate the results. After all, many drugs, such as alcohol, quickly dissipate and are difficult to prove. However, showing the person was above the acceptable BAC percentage an hour after the injury will be good evidence against the claim.

Use a Reputable Lab

If you use a lab that is not reputable, it will be argued during the claim. Don’t count on the employee not having legal representation, as many immediately seek a lawyer after being injured on the job.

Give Care Immediately

Regardless of the results of the test or if you are able to demand a test, medical care should be given as soon as possible. Even if the employee was heavily intoxicated, you still have a duty of care in ensuring they receive medical attention when necessary.

If you have been injured at work and your employer is trying to use evidence of intoxication against you, contact our team today. We understand both sides of defense and will use our experience to benefit you.

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