There are several different situations in which an employer may drug test employees.
One such circumstance is if there is a workplace accident.
If you suffered an injury at work, you are undoubtedly going through a difficult time, but try to stay calm.
Often, drug testing after a workplace accident is routine.
In reality, it usually does not affect an employee’s ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but it is always best to consult with a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney.
Minnesota Workers’ Comp Drug Testing Law
There are specific laws that govern when an employer can drug test an employee following a work accident and injury.
If you suffered a work injury and are wondering, Can you get fired for failing a workers’ comp drug test? Contact the workers’ comp attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka today.
Minnesota workers’ compensation law governs an employer’s ability to test an employee for drug or alcohol use.
Specifically, the law allows an employer to drug test any employee who was involved in a workplace accident.
Your employer may be able to fire you for failing a drug test, but that will not necessarily affect your workers’ compensation benefits.
Even if an employee is found to be intoxicated at the time of the injury, the employer must prove both that:
- The employee was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, and
- The intoxication was the proximate cause of the injury.
If the employer can make this showing, it may compromise your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Example Scenario Applying the Two-Prong Test
If a painter falls off his ladder, with no other intervening factors, and a test of his blood alcohol content (BAC) shows the presence of alcohol, it is likely an employer can show the employee’s intoxication was the proximate cause of injury.
On the other hand, if the intoxicated painter falls off his ladder because another person walked into it and it began to wobble, the painter will probably still be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Although the worker is intoxicated, the intoxication is not the proximate cause of their injury.
Even though you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits despite a positive drug test, the positive test can still affect your employment.
As long as it doesn’t violate your employment agreement or any other law, your employer can fire you for failing a drug test.
If you suffered a work-related injury and tested positive for drugs or alcohol, do not panic.
Although workers’ compensation law certainly does not intend to encourage drug or alcohol use while working, it remains favorable to the employee.
The purpose of workers’ comp insurance itself is to protect the employee, and a positive drug test does not automatically change that.
If an employer cannot demonstrate through the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the accident that the intoxication was the main cause of your injury, they cannot bar you from receiving workers’ comp benefits.
Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you or someone you love was injured at work, and you are wondering, Can you get fired for failing a drug test? Or Will a positive drug test affect my workers’ comp benefits?
You should seek the advice of experienced workers’ compensation counsel.
At Arechigo & Stokka we have been representing injured employees for over a decade with outstanding results.
Here, every client receives the personal attention they deserve. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. Josh was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. Mr. Stokka alson received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law. During law school, Josh clerked at a Minnesota law firm specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result. Now, he focuses 100% of his practice on defending injured workers in Minnesota.