Are drug tests administered to discourage filing for worker’s compensation?
Sustaining a serious injury at work can complicate your life in a number of ways. Along with the physical effects, an injury can put you into financial hardship if it prevents you from going to work for an extended period of time.
Thankfully, worker’s compensation exists to take care of people injured on the job. The system works by awarding people with a percentage of their normal pay while they are unable to work. This can help decrease a stressful period of time in which you may be incapacitated.
However, some employers try to avoid compensating workers for their injuries. One way to do this is by intimidating employees with the threat of a drug test. This is not only a method to threaten a claimant but also to show an example of the hassle a claimant goes through to other employees. They may be deterred from any future claims by this example.
Are the threats valid? Can an injured employee be forced to take a drug test when filing a claim for worker’s compensation?
Employer Retaliation: Legal?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created to protect the rights of workers and ensure a safe workplace environment. OSHA established a new rule in 2016 protecting employees from employer retaliation stating that employers are not allowed to dissuade employees from reporting workplace injury or illness.
Unfortunately, this new rule was necessary as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has reported research reflecting a high amount of employees being deterred from seeking workers’ compensation.
Drug Tests Post Injury
If an employer can blame an injury on the worker, then they will not have to compensate them which can enable them to ignore overwork, poor working conditions or ill-working equipment as reasons for an injury. An employer is allowed to conduct drug tests of employees, but an employer also cannot require a post injury drug test unless they have reasonable belief that an injured employee was under the influence at the time. An employer must also prove that the actions were not done in order to intimidate the employee.
A worker’s compensation case is a complicated process that is difficult to handle alone. Your chances of receiving compensation are much better if you have the assistance of a worker’s compensation attorney such as the workers compensation lawyers Nassau County locals to navigate the case. A lawyer can make sure you don’t get taken advantage of and allow you to focus on getting better. You deserve compensation for injuries sustained on the job and it is your right to utilize worker’s compensation.
Thanks to authors at Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen P.C. for their insight into Workers Compensation.