After a work injury, all parties involved want the get a clear understanding of what transpired. But what if an employer suspects that an employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident? Are they allowed to force the injured employee to submit to a drug or alcohol test? We take a closer look at how Minnesota handles these situations in this blog.
Drug Testing After a Work Injury
Workers’ compensation laws offer employees a lot of protections, but they are also designed to offer the employer some protections. Because of this, state law says that an employer is within their right to request that any employee who suffers a personal injury on the job submit to a drug or alcohol test. Taking care of any immediate injury takes precedence, but know that your employer is within their rights to request that you submit to a drug or alcohol test, and you have to submit to that test within a reasonable period of time such that any substances would not have had time to leave your system.
So while you do have to acquiesce to a request by your employer to submit to a drug or alcohol test after a work injury, it’s also worth noting that a positive test will not be the end of the line for your work injury claim. The burden of proof falls on the employer, and in order to show that they are not liable for your injuries, they have to prove two things:
That you were, in fact, intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
That the intoxication was the proximate cause of your injury. In other words, they must prove that your intoxication was the primary reason that the injury occurred.
What To Do After A Positive Drug Test
If your employer asks for you to submit to a drug or alcohol test after a work injury, and the results show that you tested positive for a substance, the first thing you’ll want to do is call a workers’ compensation attorney. As we mentioned above, a positive test won’t sink your case, but it certainly doesn’t to do anything to make it easier. In these instances, it is beneficial to have a lawyer who can build a case that suggests the illegal substance was a contributory cause or a non-factor instead of a primary cause.
Everything centers around the details of your case and meeting certain deadlines. Your lawyer can help make sure everything is organized and you are cast in a positive light. If you don’t have any experience with building this kind of case, trust it to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer like Dean Margolis. To learn more how he’ll fight for your rights, reach out to Margolis Law Firm today.
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