Drug testing in the workplace is performed for a variety of reasons. Drug tests can be done before employment, randomly or periodically, or after industrial accidents. If there is an accident in the workplace, a drug test can be done immediately after the work injury or as part of the industrial treatment for the injury.

Importance of Drug Testing after a Work Accident

Workers compensation drug testing is necessary after a work accident. In California, the Intoxication Defense offers an affirmative defense of the employer that can show the intoxication of the employee caused the injury. But, it is not easy to prove the affirmative defense. Although a drug test might be positive with regards to certain drugs, the employer should prove the intoxication was the injury’s cause.

Drug Testing During Treatment

The worker’s compensation law in California lets doctors employ drug testing as part of the treatment protocol. The Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule offers the rationale for drug testing.

The conduct or the past of the injured worker can trigger a physician to request drug testing. A doctor may request the test if they see some things occurring such as lost or stolen medications, multiple unsanctioned escalations in dose, concerns of family members on the patient’s use of opioids, family history of substance abuse, and more.

Things to Keep in Mind when Facing Workers’ Compensation Drug Test

Not all employers will require a drug test after a workplace accident. They may not want to cover the testing cost or a laboratory might not be readily available. If an employee is ordered to take a drug test, they should know that even a positive test does not always rule out the possibility of getting workers’ comp. For instance, if they are tested positive of marijuana, this does not necessarily show they were intoxicated while at work. The result might only mean the person has used marijuana in the past few weeks or months. Because of this, it can be hard for an employer to prevail in their intoxication defense. But, those who are concerned about the effect of drug testing on their workers’ compensation claim should contact a lawyer.

Why Injured Works are Concerned about Drug Testing

Drug testing offers results concerning a variety of drugs. It may provide information that insurance companies can use in defense against the claim of the injured worker. The drugs on the test may affect the case in terms of credibility such as when the injured worker denied taking the drugs they have tested positive for.