Do Employers Use Post Injury Drug Tests to Discourage Workers’ Compensation Claims?
An injury can throw your life into chaos. The hardships do not stop with the physical suffering. Injuries often cause people to miss an extended period from work. A long time without a paycheck can multiply the pain exponentially.
Fortunately, there is a system in place to take care of the injured. The workers’ compensation system helps people collect a percentage of their normal pay while they are injured. This is often a saving grace for working people. It allows the afflicted to collect wages while they are unable to work. This can decrease the stress and help good, hard working people to weather a very difficult period of their life.
Unfortunately, employers often look for any way to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits. One way of doing this is to intimidate an injured employee with the threat of a drug test. They may use these threats to deter an employee from seeking what they are rightfully owed. These actions also set an example for other employees; if they see what an individual has to go through for a workers’ comp claim they may not want the hassle if they get injured.
This begs the question; Can employers force an injured employee to take a post-injury drug test?
Employer Retaliation Against Employees
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets safety standards within the United States. In 2016, OSHA issued a new rule that decreed, “Employers cannot deter proper reporting or retaliate against employees for the reporting of a workplace injury or illness.”
Similarly, The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has stated that their research revealed that employees are often deterred from reporting industry and seeking compensation.
Post Injury Drug Tests
Employers are often eager to blame an injury on the worker, or workers, instead of poor conditions, overwork, or inadequate equipment. This does not mean that employers cannot conduct drug tests of their employees. It does, however, provide some protection for the injured.
- The employers must prove that their actions are not meant to be retaliatory towards, or to intimidate, any employees.
- This may be difficult to prove for either side.
Workers’ compensation claims can be very complicated. It is a legal matter that most people are unable to handle without a qualified attorney. The law strives to protect both sides from being taken advantage of. If you are having difficulties with your workers’ compensation claim then you should do extensive research into the process. The next thing to do is to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney such as the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer West Palm Beach locals trust.
Quality legal counsel may help you to get the compensation that you have earned. Your employer will have legal professionals to fight for them; it is of extreme importance that you ensure that you are well represented as well.
A special thanks to our authors at Franks, Koenig, and Neuwelt for their insight into Workers’ Compensation.