Drug-Free Workplace & Workers Compensation
When we start a new job, we usually do not think twice about being drug tested. Most people expect that taking a drug test is just a normal part of the application process. But what we often do not realize is that it could have a major effect on your Workers Compensation case if you were ever injured on the job!
In Florida, employers are allowed to become “Drug-Free Workplaces” by following the proper procedure required by Florida law (like drug testing applicants before hiring, drug testing employees after an accident on the job, posting drug-testing information in the office, etc). If the procedure is followed, the employer gets to pay lower insurance rates. Also, if an applicant tests positive for drugs or alcohol, the employer has the right to refuse to hire that person (if the positive test has been confirmed), and most importantly, if an employee is hurt on the job and later tests positive for drugs after the accident, the employer has the right to deny the workers comp claim and not pay ANY medical bills or lost wages relating to the accident.
Florida Law states: “If an employer implements a drug-free workplace program in accordance with sec. 440.102 which includes notice, education, and procedural requirements for testing for drugs and alcohol pursuant to law or to rules developed by the Agency for Health Care Administration, the employer may require the employee to submit to a test for the presence of drugs or alcohol and, if a drug or alcohol is found to be present in the employee’s system at a level prescribed by rule adopted pursuant to this act, the employee may be terminated and forfeits his or her eligibility for medical and indemnity benefits…” This is an important Florida law that is designed to protect the safety of those on the job and to prevent drug or alcohol related accidents.
It is very important to be aware if your place of employment is considered to be a “Drug-Free Workplace” and if it is, it is even more important to know whether or not your employer has followed the procedure required by statute. Although it is vitally important never to work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; however, your employer cannot deny you benefits based on the Drug-Free Workplace status if they do not follow the proper procedure.
As always, it is important to contact a qualified attorney if you have questions concerning a work injury or if your employer is not paying your medical bills or lost wages as they should be, even if you had a positive drug test. If you, a family member, or a friend is injured at work, while doing your job, ALWAYS speak with an attorney about your legal rights! The personal injury attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes have been caring for clients in the Tampa Bay area for over 60 years. Click here for a free case consultation or contact us today!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There is no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-317-6650 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.