Many times when a worker is injured while on the job, the employer will require a drug test. For the employee, this often doesn’t make sense when they were doing their regular work. However, Florida state law allows this practice to protect the employer and his business.
A drug test may be required when the person seeks employment or as a routine fitness for duty test. It may also be required if a person has a history of drug problems or if there is reasonable suspicion. Drug or alcohol use may inhibit a person’s ability to perform his or her job correctly. This results in a higher risk of injury to the worker and his or her co-workers.
Most companies today maintain a drug-free workplace. If your employer implements such a drug-free program, by law your employer must provide notice and education for any drug or alcohol testing. Employers may then require employees to submit to a drug test to detect the presence of alcohol or drugs in the employee’s system. This includes a requirement for drug testing in a workers’ comp claim.
How Drug Testing Impacts A Workers’ Comp Claim
If an employee refuses to submit to a drug test or if the drug test is positive, the employer may deny the workers’ comp claim. The employee would not receive workers’ compensation benefits even though the employee was injured on the job. To do this, the employer must follow the Florida drug testing statute for conducting such tests. In addition, the business or workplace must have been established as a drug-free zone.
When a drug test is performed, it must be performed in confidentiality. The employer must provide a copy of the company policy on drug use, information about the drugs the test is designed to detect, and a copy of the outcome if the drug test is positive. The employer must also provide information about how to contest the results of a drug test if the test is positive for drugs or alcohol.
What About Prescription Medication?
A concern for some employees is how prescription medications will impact a drug test in a workers’ compensation claim. Many prescription painkillers contain opiates, which are the same ingredient found in heroin and other illegal substances. Depending on the type of medication the employee may be taking, the drug test could return a false positive.
With the result being positive, the employer could stop all workers’ comp benefits. For a worker who has done nothing wrong and is trying to recover from a workplace injury, this situation could be devastating. Unfortunately, it seems all too often that the burden of proof is on the employee. Most employees do not have a working knowledge of Florida’s workers’ compensation laws; therefore, they may not understand how to fight the incorrect results to reinstate their benefits.
Do You Need A Boca Raton Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
If you are concerned about a drug test by your employer or you have an incorrect positive test result, you need a Florida workers’ comp attorney immediately. An experienced Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation lawyer can help you prove the drug test was incorrect so that you can begin receiving your benefits again.
Contact the Fort Lauderdale workers’ comp lawyers of The Broderick Law Firm, P.L. by calling 1-800-333-3903 to schedule a free consultation.