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Workers’ Comp in Nashville: Can I Lose It For A Failed Drug Test?

If you are injured during working hours, you will be compensated by the insurance company. In the case of workplace injuries, it is meant to protect workers and their employers. The system comes under a no-fault policy, according to which it is not necessary to prove another person guilty to get compensation for your illness or injury. In some cases, your workers’ comp in Nashville might be refused if you fail a drug test. It happens when an employee’s drug test causes a problem. The U.S. Bureau of labor statistics states that 4,764 people died due to work injuries in 2020. 

What is the Importance of Drug Test for Workers’ Comp?

You are not required to give evidence if you’re injured during work because workers’ compensation has a no-fault policy. No law asks employers to drug test their employees who have been hurt on the job. Some employees want to avoid drug tests because they don’t want to pay for testing. It depends on the employer to run a workers’ comp drug test. However, if an employer has doubts that drugs could be the direct cause of the accident, they can demand a screening. Tennessee Labor Code provides intoxication protection which states that the legitimacy of proof depends on the employee. The employer has to prove the intoxication level but also that intoxication is what caused the accident in the first place. 

What is the Period for Drug Screening?

It is best to perform a drug screening after the accident as it will be favorable for the employer. Drugs detection depends on the type of substance consumed and the amount in the body. Delaying time after an accident can reduce the accuracy of the results. The common regulation for drug testing following an injury is 12 hours after its occurrence. 

What to Do When You Fail a Drug Test for Workers’ Comp in Nashville?

If you agree to drug testing following an accident and fail, you don’t need to take its stress. It would help if you kept in mind that failing a drug test does not make you ineligible for workers’ compensation. However, it doesn’t mean you’ll be set free unpunished. Even though marijuana is now legal in Tennessee, it is still considered illegal at the federal level. If you test positive for marijuana in your body, your claim is still valid but can make you vulnerable in some way. The reason is it will give room to your employer and their insurance company for inquiry and possible repercussions. They will probably try to claim that your accident was a direct cause of the drugs in your blood, even if that’s not the actual case.

Your employer must prove two things to rule out you from receiving workers’ comp benefits:

  • The drug test can positively identify injury caused by drug use
  • The intoxication level of drugs in your system was the primary cause of the accident that caused the injury

It can be convenient for an employer to prove that there were drugs in your system through a drug screening. However, it is quite difficult for them to prove that these drugs directly caused your injury at the workplace. In most cases, insurance companies will end up reimbursing the compensation claim regardless.

Will You Get Fired After Failing a Drug Test?

The contract you have signed with your employer will determine the next action after testing positive for drug consumption. Your employer will probably not fire you instantly unless it is a persistent code of conduct. If this is your first time, your employer may give you another chance to prove yourself. They might compel you to go for rehabilitation if you are found addicted so that you can resume duties at your workplace with a clear mind without the influence of any intoxication. If you repeat the same mistake, they have the right to terminate your employment contract immediately. 

Another possible outcome would be if you are a new employee and got injured at the workplace, you pre-screen; your positive drug tests may be a red flag for the new employer. They have full rights to fire you and seek a rehab center before re-applying for the job position. If you’ve failed a workers’ comp screening test, employers and their insurance companies might try to contradict your claim and your benefits. If this is the case, you need an experienced personal lawyer to handle your Workers’ Comp in Nashville

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