Injuries in the workplace happen all the time. When they do, employees normally receive workers’ compensation to cover the cost of their injuries and treatment.
In Minnesota, employers can require that employees injured on the job take a drug test. However, Minnesota designed its workers’ compensation laws to protect injured workers. Even if you fail a drug test, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation for your on-the-job injuries.
Drug Testing Laws for Workers’ Comp in Minnesota
Under Minnesota law, employers have the right to require drug testing for employees who suffer an on-the-job injury.
However, the statute also requires that the employer have a written drug testing policy. The employer can request a drug test only in accordance with that written policy. If the employee tests positive, he or she also has the right to explain the positive test and the right to request a re-test within a specified time.
Do I Have to Take a Drug Test to Receive Workers’ Comp?
Minnesota’s workman’s comp state law does not require that employees take a drug test before receiving workers’ compensation.
However, the employer still has the right to require a drug test before paying any workers’ comp benefits. If your employer requires a workers’ comp drug test, you may need to take it before you receive your benefits.
Failing a Drug Test Does Not Mean You Can’t Get Workers’ Comp
Even if you fail a workers’ comp drug test, you may still be eligible for benefits.
Under Minnesota’s law, if the drugs or alcohol are the proximate cause of the workplace injury, the employer may refuse to pay workers’ compensation benefits. But the burden of proving causation is on the employer.
The employer must provide evidence that:
- The employee was intoxicated, and
- The intoxication caused the injury or injuries.
Proving causation can be difficult, especially if other dangers existed that contributed to the injuries.
For example, a worker slips and falls while carrying a heavy object and breaks his arm. He tests positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
However, evidence shows that another worker carelessly spilled a liquid on the ground and did not clean up the spill or put out a sign warning of a slippery floor. The judge may find that the other worker’s carelessness, and not the drugs, were the proximate cause of the injury.
Bottom line: even if you test positive for drugs or alcohol, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
When Should I Contact an Attorney?
If you tested positive for drugs or alcohol following a workplace injury, you should contact a qualified Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney right away. An attorney can increase your chances of recovering your workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ comp cases can be complicated and time-consuming. An attorney understands how to defend your interests and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Your attorney understands which facts and circumstances are important for proving your case.
Your attorney can help you by:
- Gathering witness statements and police reports;
- Performing investigations of the workplace and the scene of the accident;
- Gathering medical records such as hospital reports and drug tests;
- Negotiating with your employer on your behalf; and
- Representing you if your case proceeds to trial.
Your attorney will work with you to build a strong case and fight for the best possible outcome.
Contact a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you suffered a workplace injury, contact the law offices of Arechigo & Stokka today. Our knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience defending our clients in workers’ compensation cases.
We provide hands-on legal services, and our dedicated staff will answer your questions and provide you support every step of the way. We care about our clients and place their interests first. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office at 651-419-5366 or fill out an online form today.