Can You Be Drug Tested for Workers Compensation in Clearwater, FL?
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes | Workers’ Compensation
Have you been injured in a workplace accident in Clearwater, Florida? If so, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and lost wages by filing a workers’ compensation claim. The vast majority of Florida employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover employee losses resulting from on-the-job accidents.
However, filing a claim doesn’t guarantee you will be compensated fairly. Insurance companies are still businesses, and they often look for ways to undervalue or deny claims. For example, an insurer might claim you were intoxicated at the time of your accident and reject your claim. Under Florida law, an employee is not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if intoxication contributed to their injuries.
In these instances, employers or insurers might attempt to prove intoxication by asking victims to take drug tests. If an insurer is asking you to take a drug test after a workplace accident, you might wonder whether this request is legal in Florida.
How Does A Drug Test Affect a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Employers and insurers are permitted to drug test employees to determine if they are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you were to test positive after a workplace injury, you might not be able to receive compensation.
However, a positive drug test may not necessarily preclude you from seeking compensation. It’s possible your employer did not follow the law when they drug tested you. Instead of giving up, work with your attorney (or hire one if you haven’t already) to contest the results of your test.
Drug testing for workers’ comp in Florida: An employer’s responsibilities
Florida’s law regarding how employers may drug test workers is strict:
- Employers must provide workers with information about their drug testing policies. They must also sufficiently describe the types of drug testing that employees may be asked to submit to.
- Employers must let employees know what the consequences will be if they refuse to be tested for drugs.
- Workers must be notified that they can contest the results of a positive drug test.
- In general, employers must work with drug testing agencies or professionals who follow strict standards in regard to performing tests and handling materials.
That last point is very important. The rules and regulations for performing drug tests in Florida are complex. An attorney familiar with these types of cases can review the details and determine if a drug test’s results should be invalidated due to mistakes.
What Should I Do if My Employer Asks Me to Take a Drug Test for Workers’ Compensation?
First, you should know that Florida law does allow employees to self-report that they use certain acceptable drugs (such as prescription drugs) to a medical review officer or similar party. Your employer must let you know the procedures for making such a report. Review your employer’s procedures and decide if reporting the use of a medication is a wise idea before taking a drug test. You may also report the use of medications after being tested.
Your best course of action when filing a workers’ compensation claim is to seek legal representation. A lawyer can advise you on your options for taking or refusing to take a drug test.
They can also employ a range of tactics to help you receive compensation even if you fail a drug test. For example, an attorney can show there’s no proof that drugs contributed to your injuries. Take heart; failing a drug test does not guarantee you won’t be compensated for your on-the-job injuries.