Can My Employer Drug Test Me After An Accident?

If you are injured at work, your employer can require you to take a drug test to enforce its drug-free workplace policies.  A positive test result could result in a reduction of your workers’ compensation benefits.

If you are injured at work, a positive drug test result will create a rebuttable presumption that your workplace injury was sustained in connection with being under the influence of drugs if:

(a)  The initial testing was administered within twenty-four hours of the accident or injury; (b)  Notice was given to the employee of the test results within fourteen calendar days of the insurer or group self-insurer receiving actual notice of the confirmatory test results;
(c)  The employee was given an opportunity to perform a second test upon the original sample; and
(d)  The initial or any subsequent testing that forms the basis of the presumption was confirmed by mass spectrometry using generally accepted medical or forensic testing procedures.

When the employer receives a positive test result, they can use the result as an affirmative defense to do any of the following:

  • Deny the claim if they can prove that the injury or death sustained was a result of intoxication to such an extent so as to render it impossible for the employee to physically and mentally engage in employment duties; or

  • Reduce the amount of benefits allowed to the employee by fifty percent (50%) if the employee had notice of employers anti-drug and alcohol policy and the employer made diligent efforts to enforce its reasonable rules and policies.

Can I refuse to take a drug test after an accident?

If you refuse to take an employer’s drug test, that could result in an outright denial of benefits if the employer had sufficient cause to suspect use of alcohol or a non-prescribed controlled substance by the claimant or if the employer’s policy clearly authorizes post-injury testing.

If you have been injured at work and asked to take a drug test, you may want to consult with an attorney and get copies of your employer’s drug-free workplace policies to better understand your rights and responsibilities.