Does Failing A Drug Test Mean No Workers' Compensation In Georgia?
It is standard procedure for you to undergo a drug test if you were injured during a work-related accident to make sure the accident was not the result of you being intoxicated. Logically, it would make sense for you to assume you are not eligible for worker's compensation benefits if you failed the drugs test. If you live in the state of Georgia, however, this is not exactly how it works. In fact, here's everything you need to know about the state of Georgia and worker's compensation laws.
Why Employers Perform Drug Testing after Workplace Injury
First, let's take a look at why employers drug test in the first place. According to Georgia law, employers that take part in a drug-free workplace program are required to drug test employees after an accident in the workplace that result in lost time from work. This is done so the employer can determine whether or not you were impaired at the time of the accident and, if so, whether or not the impairment was the cause of the accident.
Federal Laws Pertaining to Drug Testing and Workplace Injury
There are federal laws in place that require certain employers to perform a drug test on an employee after a workplace injury has occurred. The 1988 Drug-Free Workplace Act states that all employees who work for the federal government, submit to a mandatory drug test in the event of a workplace injury. This is also the case for employees with a CDL license. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a drug test may be performed in the event of a crash involving a human fatality, serious bodily injury or disabling motor vehicle damage.
Georgia Laws Pertaining to Drug Testing and Workplace Injury
If you test positive for drugs, your employer must then prove that the drugs in your system were the direct cause of your injury. Your employer does have the right to terminate you for the positive drug test, but even still, you have the right to file a workers' compensation claim. It is also important to keep in mind that if you refuse to take the drug test, your claim for workers' compensation may be denied.
You Just Have to Prove the Drugs Didn't Cause the Accident
If your workers' compensation claim is denied due to the fact that your employer states you were impaired when the injury occurred, you will need to hire a workers' compensation attorney, in order to prove your drug use had no bearing on your injury. Your attorney will assist you with talking to witnesses who will testify on your injury was the result of the job task and that impairment was not an issue. They will also help you gather evidence that will be needed to prove that even though there were drugs in your system, they were not causing you to be impaired.
If your lawyer is able to prove the drugs had nothing to do with the accident, your worker's compensation rejection can be overturned. You, however, could still be fired if your employer has a no-drug policy. Talk to a lawyer, like http://www.tarklaw.com, for more help.