Post injury chemical testing, for either drugs or alcohol, may have serious consequences to an injured worker. A positive alcohol or control substance chemical test may be used to either deny an entire claim or to deny benefits available within a claim.
A workers’ compensation claim may be denied if the employee test positive for either alcohol or a controlled substance at a certain level within a certain period of time after an injury. A positive test result would create a rebuttable presumption that the injury was proximately caused by the employee being intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance not prescribed by a physician. The employee may rebut this presumption by offering evidence that the injury was not proximately caused the by intoxication or influence.
In order to create a rebuttable presumption that an employee’s injury was caused by intoxication or influence, the employer must have a qualifying chemical test. In order to have a qualifying chemical test, an employer must fulfill several requirements. First, the employer must have a posted written notice to its employees that the results of, or the employee’s refusal to submit to, a chemical test may affect the employee’s eligibility for benefits. Then, the employer must have “reasonable cause” to suspect that the employee is intoxicated or under the influence. Lastly, the test must conduct within a certain period of time after an injury.
POST INJURY DRUG &